BFI London Film Festival 2011: ’50/50′

★★☆☆☆ Jonathan Levine’s 50/50 (2011) stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen in a tragic comedy about a young man who discovers he has a rare form of spinal cancer, yet is unwilling to let it ruin his life. It is loosely based on the similar experiences of the film’s screenwriter Will Reiser, who himself suffered…

LFF 2011: ‘Wuthering Heights’

★★★☆☆ Wuthering Heights (2011), Andrea Arnold’s re-telling of Emily Brontë’s classic, is clever and full of passion and intensity; very little of which, unfortunately, is communicated to the viewer. Filmed in a social realist style, the film’s handheld aesthetic blends with close up footage of British flora and fauna as Arnold presents the doomed love…

BFI London Film Festival 2011: ‘Les Enfants du Paradis’

★★★★☆ Labelled the French Gone with the Wind (1939) when it was first released amid the victory celebrations of post World War II France, Marcel Carné’s Les Enfants du Paradis (1945) is a wonderful and rarely-seen slice of 1940s art cinema, and this newly-restored version is a treat for old fans and willing converts. The…

BFI London Film Festival 2011: ‘The Future’

★★☆☆☆ Miranda July’s 2005 surreal debut feature, Me and You and Everyone We Know showcased her enormous potential, with fans of quirky, independent, cinema desperate to see what she’d produce next. Narrated by a caged, injured cat, The Future (2011) expands upon July’s unique ability to capture the difficulties of developing relationships and the awkwardness…

BFI London Film Festival 2011: ‘Sleeping Sickness’

★★☆☆☆ Ulrich Köhler’s latest drama Sleeping Sickness (2011) is a difficult and tiresome film that leaves a sour taste of lethargy and disappointment in the mouth. Set in Cameroon, it focuses on Dr. Velten (Pierre Bokma), who for the past five years has been managing a sleeping sickness programme. His wife and child return to…

BFI London Film Festival 2011: ‘Into the Abyss’

★★★★☆ Werner Herzog returns for the second time this year with another extremely powerful and moving documentary, Into the Abyss (2011). After the success of Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010) earlier this year it was hard to imagine where Herzog would go next, and the German director could not have picked a more radically different…

BFI London Film Festival 2011: ‘The Deep Blue Sea’

★★★☆☆ After an 11-year hiatus, British director Terence Davies returns to screens with his passionately faithful adaptation of Terence Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea (2011) – which closed the 55th BFI London Film Festival – starring the ever-wonderful Rachel Weisz (star of the upcoming The Bourne Legacy [2012]) and Tom Hiddleston (Archipelago [2010]).Rattigan’s play is…

BFI London Film Festival 2011: The best films of LFF

After two-and-a-half weeks of cinema heaven, he 55th BFI London Film Festival came to a close this past Thursday with the UK premiere of Terence Davies’ The Deep Blue Sea. It also marked the final LFF for Sandra Hebron, who steps down as the festival’s Artistic Director after nine successful years at the healm, to…

BFI London Film Festival 2011: ‘Target’

★☆☆☆☆ Russian cinema has a long and rich history of producing exceptional sci-fi movies. From the pioneering silent films of  Protazanov and Zhuravlyov, to the deeply philosophical films of Tarkovsky and Lopishansky, Russia has always used this speculative science based genre to comment on social issues rather than merely forms of escapism. Screening at this…

BFI London Film Festival 2011: ‘Anonymous’

★★☆☆☆ Roland Emmerich – either by his own hand or by Hollywood’s – has been typecast as a multi-million dollar blockbuster director who specialises in depicting post apocalyptic scenarios involving aliens, mutated monster or catastrophic natural disasters. With his latest film, the Elizabethan drama Anonymous (2011), Emmerich seems to have departed from his well-established oeuvre,…

BFI London Film Festival 2011: ‘Miss Bala’

★★★★☆ Miss Bala (2011) is the latest film from Mexican director Gerado Naranjo, starring the stunningly beautiful Stephanie Sigman. Sigman plays Laura, a young woman who struggles to make it in the ‘Miss Bala’ beauty pageant and consequently find herself embroiled in the Mexican mafia. Forced into this nightmarish underworld, Laura is forced to aid…

BFI London Film Festival 2011: Award winners announced

The 55th BFI London Film Festival tonight announced its award winners at a Central London ceremony. Hosted by Marcus Brigstocke, the four awards were presented by some of the most respected figures in the film world, and to some of the most deserving films at this year’s LFF.Best Film: We Need To Talks About Kevin…