As the curtain rises on the 2011 London Film Festival, Chris Sullivan runs his eye over the schedule and offers his pick of the flicks...
The London Film Festival 2011 opens with the highly anticipated 360, directed by Fernando ‘City Of God’ Meirelles and starring Rachel Weisz, Jude Law and Anthony Hopkins and closes with The Deep Blue Sea director Terence Davies’s adaptation of Terence Rattigan’s play which stars Weisz (again) this time opposite Tom Hiddleston.
Also EA (eagerly anticipated) is The Ides Of March, a political thriller starring and directed by George Clooney – who will be on the red carpet, doing a press conference and has another flick, The Descendants, directed by Alexander ‘Sideways’ Payne, showing at the festival.
The picture that seems to be pulling in the biggest red carpet show is, Anonymous, the passion project by Roland Emmerich that says that none of the works attributed to Shakespeare were actually written by him but by the Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere (Rhys Ifans).
Rhys will be at the premiere with David Thewlis, Joely Richardson, Rafe Spall, the director and a gang of others.
Two of the movies I am most looking forward to both star the great Michael Fassbender – A Dangerous Method, directed by mad cap Canadian David Cronenberg and co-starring another star turn Viggo Mortensen. Adapted by Christopher Hampton from his play The Talking Cure. It sees two of the last century’s greatest con men, Carl Jung (Fassbender) and Sigmund ‘coke fiend’ Freud (Mortensen), try to cure unfortunate loon Keira Knightley with their questionable methods.
Fassbender’s other appearance both on the carpet and on film, is Shame from conceptual artist Steve McQueen. In that, the Irish actor stars as Brandon, a successful corporate exec/sex addict ensconced contemporary New York.
The other movie high on my list is Roman Polanski’s Carnage adapted from the play The God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza, it tells of two couples who, after a fight between their respected offspring, meet to discuss the situation over a civilized dinner.
Unfortunately it all goes horribly wrong but with John C. Really and Jodie Foster as the Longstreets and Michael Strauss and Kate Winslet as the Cowans, and the great man behind the lens, it can only go right for the viewer.
Others are anticipating the Madonna-directed biopic W.E. It tells of Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough) whose marriage to British King Edward XVIII brought about the constitutional crisis so well rendered in The King’s Speech back in the early 20th century and also a young modern day New Yorker (Abbie Cornish) who is obsessed with her. Let’s just say it’s divided the critics so far. Some say it’s a car crash and others suggest it’s really not that bad. Me? I’m keeping an open mind.
Maybe this year’s bravest entry is The Artist directed by Michael Hazanavicius which has the balls to be both in black and white and silent, while the most eyecatching title has to be Asshole – a hard-hitting tale of drugs, porn and rap music from India.
Keep following RedBull.com for more new and reviews from the LFF.