LFF 2015 Previews Part i:
The Obvious Choices.
As ever, these are the ones you won't get tickets to...
Suffragette (Sarah Gavron)
We have to admit substantial bias on this one due to the production team being close friends of BS but as the BFI saw fit to put this one at the head of the programme, it’s not just us that are looking forward to it. Carey Mulligan gives a great performance as the fictional lead woven into Sarah Gavron’s tale of the Suffragette’s fight for voting rights. Great to see the girls leading the way at this year’s festival.
High Rise (Ben Wheatley)
What to say beyond the fact that this one brings together the team of Ben Wheatley and Amy Jump (Sightseers and Kill List) with J G Ballard. Combine that with almost no advance information beyond the plot - an expensive tower block running out of control and the fact that the BFI had to beg for a tiny clip from the filmmakers for the preview - and we’re already on the edge of our seats. If nothing else, this will be nothing else like anything at this year’s festival. Oh, and it stars Tom Hiddleston. Bring it on.
Black Mass (Scott Cooper)
Plenty of good advance word of this one. Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart) heads into well trodden territory with his tale of Boston crime lords warring with the FBI. Jonny Depp adds some weight and an genuinely disturbing giant forehead to play Jimmy ‘Whitey’ Bulger, a man who doesn’t take no for an answer and, with a potential state senator as a brother, doesn’t think he has to. Worth seeing just for Depp’s astonishing contact lenses.
Trumbo (Jay Roach)
Or the movie that finally gave Bryan Cranston the big screen starring role he deserves. Dalton Trumbo isn’t going t take being blacklisted by the House Committee on Un-American Activities lying down so sets about writing Hollywood movies anyway. Jay Roach (Austin Powers) brings us a part biopic, part fictional comedy that doesn’t take its subject too lightly. Worth seeing for what looks to be a superb growling performance from Cranston and of course, we will go for anything that has John Goodman in it.
He Named Me Malala (Davis Guggenheim)
A documentary about an extraordinary person that tells a tale that Hollywood wouldn't dare to make up.. The subject matter itself is compelling enough but the spectacular contrast between a young girl trying to live her life in both an international spotlight and back in her new home trying to finish her exams makes this a compelling choice.
Brand: A Second Coming
Whether you think Russell Brand is a noisy fool who knows nothing or the next messiah, he is endlessly entertaining. Well, endlessly might be an exaggeration. But worth looking in on for 104 minutes certainly. Come to think of it, if he does turn out to be the next messiah, well, the previous one didn't work out too well did he? Ondi Timoner's movie will doubtless be funny but we're likewise doubting we'll hear anything new...
The Program (Stephen Frears)
Good old Cheatin' Lance Armstrong continues to fascinate. After Gibley's interesting documentary the other year, we now get Fassbender as the fictionalised Lance. Chris O'Dowd stars as David Walsh, the one man who had Armstrong pinned from the start but who struggled to make the truth stick against an awesome publicity machine.
The Lady in the Van (Nicholas Hytner)
A strange old lady moves her van into Alan Bennett's driveway and stays parked there for years. True story. Hytner takes the play and adapts for the screen with National Treasure Maggie Smith as Miss Shepherd and Alex Jennings doing a very passable job of being Alan. Top British quirkiness so we won't be surprised if The Academy notices this one.
Steve Jobs (Danny Boyle)
Let's be honest, anything Danny Boyle does is worth looking at. The man who has crafted some of the most interesting cinema for a couple of decades now here turns his eye to the marketing genius that was Steve Jobs. Fassbender is up in the central role as a version of Jobs that has already had close friends tutting. Ace.