My top ten films from the BFI London Film Festival (LFF)

The London Film Festival is over for another year! I posted a lot of reviews from LFF over the past two weeks and it’s understandable if you missed some, so I’ve created a handy index with links to all my reviews, starting with my top 10!

The top ten are listed in order, with the first six receiving 5/5 stars and the remaining four deserving honourable mentions for being a cut above the rest of the 4/5 group. Click on the titles to read my full reviews.

1. The Shape of Water

Although this received rave reviews at other film festivals, I didn’t expect much from Guillermo del Toro‘s latest because I’m not his hugest fan, but this is is best film, absolutely. Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon and Richard Jenkins are all fantastic, the script is so, so strong, and it was a visual delight. Captivating love story between woman and aquatic creature.

2. Call Me By Your Name

I saw this in Berlin and I was desperate to see it again but the screenings didn’t work with my schedule. However, I loved it so much then that I know it would remain on my list. This gay romance story is beautiful and comes out in cinemas very soon, so please check it out. It is basically about young boy Elio (Timothee Chamalet) falling for academic Oliver (Armie Hammer) when he comes to stay at the family villa in Italy.

3. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

I hate the title for this so I expected it to be extremely dull but I was very wrong. This is the biggest surprise of the festival and definitely one of my favourites. Frances McDormand gives an incredible performance as the mother of a raped and murdered girl, who uses three disused billboards to chastise the police for their lack of action in the case. It sounds so dark, but it is actually very funny and I enjoyed it 100%.

4. The Florida Project

This is one of the more indie films because it doesn’t have a plot as such. It basically follows Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) and her pals as they make trouble, play, and find things to do around the motel where they live, just down the road from Disney in Orlando. It is real, refreshing and feels like a documentary, and Prince gives such a staggering performance.

5. Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

Again, I didn’t hold much hope for this either but I was surprised. It is excellent. It is about the creator of the Wonder Woman comics (played by Luke Evans) and his unconventional private life – he had a polyamorous relationship with his wife Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall) and their research assistant Olive (Bella Heathcote). It is told like a normal love story and is moving and beautiful.

6. The Light of the Moon

This is a refreshing take on the rape drama as it is written, directed and shot by women and stars a women of colour, the excellent Stephanie Beatriz. She is raped on her way home from work drinks and the film follows her trying to come to terms with what happened and learn how to live her life again.

7. The Killing of a Sacred Deer

This psychological thriller narrowly missed a 5/5 because I didn’t really love the ending, I thought it got a bit too weird. Besides that, I thought the rest of the movie was so freaking awesome. Dark, twisted, and with a scary psycho performance from Barry Keoghan and solid leads from Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell.

8. Thoroughbreds

Olivia Cooke and Anya Taylor-Joy are two of the most promising actresses coming up in Hollywood in my opinion, and Thoroughbreds just proves that. Taylor-Joy is Lily, who is paid by Amanda’s (Cooke) mum to tutor her in the hope they will rekindle their friendship. During this time, they concoct a plot to kill Lily’s stepfather and they rope in local drug dealer Tim, the late Anton Yelchin.

9. Brawl in Cell Block 99

You always think of Vince Vaughn as the funnyman so it was cool to see him kicking ass in this brutal thriller. He is put in prison after a drug deal goes wrong. While inside, his pregnant wife is kidnapped, and the only way she will be freed is if he kills someone in another prison. It is mental, but lots of fun.

10. Good Time

This started off very strong but I lost interest by the last few scenes because it descended into chaos and a lot of shouting and swearing. The rest of the movie is quality though and very funny. Robert Pattinson proves his acting credentials here, for sure.

 

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I just want to add that I missed quite a few movies that I was really excited for and expected to be in the top 10. They are – Battle of the Sexes, Journey’s End, Gemini, On Chesil Beach, and Loveless.

****************************************************************

Here are the rest of my reviews listed in order of their star ratings.

FOUR STARS:

Thelma

Downsizing

You Were Never Really Here

The Lovers

The Party

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

Loving Vincent

120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)

Stronger

The Meyerowitz Stories

Mudbound

Breathe

 

THREE STARS:

Dark River

Happy End

***************************************************************

I technically went to a screening of Angels Wear White but I fell asleep so I thought it would be best not to review it!

I also went to a few LFF related events, and you can catch up with them here:

Mudbound premiere

The Meyerowitz Stories premiere

Jake Gyllenhaal Stronger Q&A

The LFF Awards

 

Thanks for following my coverage of the 2017 London Film Festival! See you again next year!

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  1. […] was one of my highlights from the London Film Festival but it won’t please everybody. It is very indie and not much happens but it is such a rich, […]

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