The 58th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express® starts today and promises big movies and even bigger stars.
Last year's BFI London Film Festival was a rip-roaring success, with such high-profile premieres as Gravity, Philomena, Captain Phillips and Saving Mr. Banks. All films went on to box office success and many Oscars.
This year's festival could possibly top last year's festival. Here is a quick snapshot of what's on:
Opening Night Gala:
The Imitation Game
Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing, who created a machine during WWII that cracked the German Enigma Code and whose inventions would become the prototype of the modern computer. He was also arrested and convicted in 1952 for the criminal offense of homosexuality. Keira Knightley also stars.
Closing Night Gala:
Brad Pitt's new film has him playing a battle-hardened sergeant. Set during WWII when the allies were making their final push into Germany, Pitt commands a Sherman tank, called Fury, that is on a mission behind enemy lines. Also stars Shia LaBeouf.
This film comes with the lots of good buzz (and talk of Oscar nominations). An unrecognizable Steve Carrell plays a very wealthy, and crazy, benefactor to wrestlers and brothers Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo. Based on the true story of American millionaire John du Pont and his fascination with brothers Dave and Mark Shultz. Directed by Bennett Miller who gave us Capote and Moneyball. Also stars Vanessa Redgrave and Sienna Miller.
Timothy Spall is said to be excellent in Director Mike Leigh's movie about British painter J.M. William Turner. Mr. Turner is a character study of the last 25 years in the life of the painter, and the relationships he has with several women, including with his children.
Reese Witherspoon stars in this true story of a young woman attempting to walk the gruelling 1,100-mile hike across the Pacific Crest Trail in the early 1990's. Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, who last brought us Dallas Buyers Club.
Wunderkind Director Xavier Dolan, a festival favorite, is back with Mommy. His fifth feature in as many years (and he's only 25) has Anne Dorval as a single mother who takes back into her home her son who is a troublemaker, suffers from ADHD, and has been expelled from a juvenile facility.
Bjork: Biophilia Live
This is being described as a multidimensional, multimedia project that explores the creative nexus between music, nature, and technology. And Bjork will be attending the festival as well to explain what it all means.
The New Girlfriend
Another film festival favorite - Francois Ozon brings us his latest film about a woman who is devastated by the death of her best friend and makes a promise to watch over her best friend's husband and newborn child. This has the earmarks of Ozon written all over it - melodramatic and twisty.
Son of a Gun
Ewan McGregor stars in this heist thriller which is all about mobster living: fast cars and firearms. McGregor plays a father figure to a younger man who is just out of the slammer and is trying to take the right path.
Jack O'Connell, excellent in the recent Starred Up, plays a British soldier trapped on the streets of Belfast in 1971 after his army crew accidentally leaves him behind. He struggles to hide, and survive, while being chased by provisional militia and reliant on the mercy of loyalist allies. This one is a must see, just for O'Connell's performance alone.
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence are on screen again (after Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle) about a logging magnate and his ruthless brilliant wife set against the backdrop of the hills of North Carolina.
Kristen Stewart plays against type as a soldier in the U.S. army who is tasked to guard over prisoners in Guatanamo Bay. She gets emotionally attached to one of the inmates while at the same time comes up against sexism within her ranks.
Willem Dafoe could either be perfect, or disastrous, by playing Italian Director Paolo Pasolini who's films courted controversy for their shocking images of nudity and his homosexual lifestyle. Pasolini the movie is told in the hours leading up to his 1975 murder.
Also on offer are documentaries galore, including ones on artist David Hockney and film Director Robert Altman, as well as a documentary that deals with the Holocaust - titled German Concentration Camps Factual Survey - showing actual footage of the liberation of the concentration camps.
The Festival will screen a total of 245 fiction and documentary features, including 16 World Premieres, 9 International Premieres, 38 European Premieres and 19 Archive films including 2 Restoration World Premiere’s.1 There will also be screenings of 148 live action and animated shorts. A stellar line-up of directors, cast and crew are expected to take part in career interviews, master classes, Q&As and other special events. The 58th BFI London Film Festival will run
Wednesday 8 - Sunday 19 October 2014.
Tickets for the festival can be purchased at:
Telephone Bookings: 020 7928 3232 between 09:30–20:30
In person: BFI Southbank Office: 11:30–20:30
Last minute tickets are available to be purchased on the day about 30 minutes prior to the screening at Festival venues