With the 13th annual Glasgow Film Festival set to take place next month, it has been announced that the festivities will get underway on February 15th with the European premiere of coming-of-age tale Handsome Devil serving as the Opening Night Gala, while the curtain will come down on the festival with the world premiere of Mad to Be Normal as the Closing Night Gala on February 26th.
Heading up a cast of bright new talent is Fionn O’Shea as gawky, sixteen year-old Ned, a bright, artistic lad who faces his own hell on earth when he is sent to an all-boys Irish boarding school where the manly pursuit of rugby is virtually a religion. He steels himself for the loneliness, ridicule and constant insinuations about his sexuality. Everything changes with the arrival of his new roommate Conor (Nicholas Galitzine), a star player in the rugby team, and inspirational English teacher Dan Sherry (Sherlock and Spectre star Andrew Scott). Ned and Conor bond over a mutual appreciation of cool music and an unlikely friendship blossoms and faces unbearable pressures from a school grimly attached to its narrow macho values.
Handsome Devil is directed by John Butler (The Stag), the film stars Andrew Scott (Sherlock, Spectre) alongside rising stars Fionn O’Shea and Nicholas Galitzine.
There was no more charismatic or controversial a figure during the Swinging Sixties than Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Laing. Dubbed “the white Martin Luther King” and the “high priest of anti-psychiatry”, Laing was as famous as Dylan. In 1965, he established Kingsley Hall in East London as a medication-free community for those seriously affected by schizophrenia. His methods and theories flew in the face of a medical establishment who considered Laing a dangerous radical. Mad To Be Normal offers a powerful account of Laing’s Kingsley Hall experiment with a stunning performance from David Tennant that really gets under the skin of an utterly compelling figure. Tennant’s nuanced, complex work conveys a sense of Laing’s immense personal charm and the combination of intelligence and arrogance that made him revered and reviled. The film also captures the darker side of a mercurial man who rarely made it easy for those who dared to get close to him, especially his lover Angie (Elisabeth Moss).
Mad to Be Normal is directed by Robert Mullan (We Will Sing) and sees David Tennant (Doctor Who, Broadchurch) leading a cast that also includes Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men, High-Rise), Michael Gambon (The Hollow Crown, Harry Potter) and Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects, In Treatment).
Tickets for the Opening and Closing Galas go on sale on Monday, January 9th at 10 am via the official site, while the full programme for the festival will be announced on January 18th.