With the full line-up for this year’s 59th BFI London Film Festival set to be unveiled on Tuesday, September 1st, Senior Staff Writer Scott Davis looks ahead to the festival with some of the films that may be part of the extensive programme.
We’ve already had confirmation that Suffragette, starring Carey Mulligan and Meryl Streep, is opening the festival on Wednesday October 7th, with Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs biopic starring Michael Fassbender closing the festival. Todd Haynes’ acclaimed Carol with Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara and James Vanderbilt’s Truth, also starring Blanchett opposite Robert Redford, part of the festival’s gala presentations. So what other treats are in store for the famous festival? Here are some of the film’s we may be lucky enough to see this October…
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
A massive success upon its debut at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, The Lobster is one of the strangest films to grace the silver screen this year. The story takes place in a world “in which single people are required to find a partner in 45 days in order to avoid being transformed into animals and released into the woods.” So far, so strange but for all its eccentricities, some similarities with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind to help set the tone for the film. Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz head the cast that also includes Lea Seydoux, John C. Reilly, Ben Whishaw, Olivia Colman and Ashley Jensen.
By the Sea
Written and Directed by Angelina Jolie
SEE ALSO: Watch the trailer for By the Sea
Angelina Jolie. Brad Pitt. As a married couple in a film written and directed by Jolie? Sign us up! Jolie’s 3rd film behind the camera follows an American writer named Roland (Pitt) and his wife, Vanessa (Jolie Pitt), who arrive in a tranquil and picturesque seaside resort in 1970s France, their marriage in apparent crisis. While Unbroken wasn’t the awards bait many had predicted, it did showcase Jolie’s growing stature as a filmmaker, and By the Sea might be the film to propel her into the directorial big leagues.
Directed by Scott Cooper
SEE ALSO: Watch the trailer for Black Mass
Johnny Depp has been having something of a career down-turn over the last couple of years, with his last film Mortdecai becoming one of the biggest flops of both the year and of Depp’s career. So hopes are high for his new film Black Mass, which sees Depp almost unrecognisable as notorious gangster Whitey Bulger and his fractured relationship with the FBI, for whom he was an informant. Early word is strong and the film receives its world premiere next week at the Venice Film Festival so fingers and toes are crossed for a Depp return-to-form. Benedict Cumberbatch, Joel Edgerton, Dakota Johnson, Kevin Bacon and Corey Stoll are part of the impressive ensemble.
Knight of Cups
Directed by Terrence Malick
SEE ALSO: Watch the trailer for Knight of Cups
While the film has been delayed in terms of its theatrical release (expect it next spring), Knight of Cups has already been shown at this year’s Berlin Film Festival so it may well pop up at this year’s festival. That said, Terrence Malick is renowned for his long and succinct editing processes, so this one may not be complete just yet. Christian Bale stars as Rick, “a slave to the Hollywood system. He is addicted to success but simultaneously despairs at the emptiness of his life. He is at home in a world of illusions but seeks real life. Like the tarot card of the title, Rick is easily bored and needs outside stimulation.” Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Imogen Poots, Jason Clarke and Antonio Banderas head the supporting cast, assuming they make the final cut of course.
Directed by Paolo Sorrentino
SEE ALSO: Watch the trailer for Youth
After winning the 2013 Best Foreign Film for his previous work, The Great Beauty, director Paolo Sorrentino returns with the widely-acclaimed Youth. The film debuted at this year’s Cannes Film Festival to rave reviews and could well be in the running come awards season. Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel play longtime friends Fred and Mick who vacation in the Swiss Alps, along with Fred’s daughter (Rachel Weisz), and reflect on their lives and past together. If you’ve seen the trailer, you will be as excited as we are for this beautiful-looking film.
Directed by Oliver Stone
SEE ALSO: Watch the trailer for Snowden
Oliver Stone returns behind the camera after a three-year cinema hiatus with the story of Edward Snowden, an NSA contractor Edward Snowden who famously leaked US government documents in 2013 and has since become one of the world’s most wanted men. Joseph Gordon-Levitt leads the cast as Snowden, and is joined by Shailene Woodley, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Melissa Leo and Nicholas Cage. Stone has blown hot and cold over the last decade, but Snowden could be his big return to his classic years with a timely story.