The 63rd BFI London Film Festival has gripped movie buffs throughout London over the past few weeks, with exclusive European and World premieres from the biggest and brightest talents of Hollywood gracing the banks of the Thames. DCM has had a strong presence throughout the Festival, and our staff have put together some thoughts and recommendations around some of their highlights from the opening week.
Research & Insight Manager Michael Tull had the following to say about Hope Gap:
Annette Bening and Bill Nighy star in writer-director William Nicholson’s very personal story of the breakdown of his parents’ marriage. Set on the beautiful East Sussex coast, the film picks up in the final days of Edward and Grace’s marriage when grown-up son Jamie (played by Josh O’Connor) returns at his father’s request. Finding himself stuck in the middle Jamie has to navigate the conflicting sides of divorce – a relieved father set free from the shackles of unhappiness and a mother shocked by the betrayal of the husband she still believed loved her – while also processing his own feelings about the family breakdown. Bening, Nighy and O’Connor all deftly navigate the emotional and humorous moments in Nicholson’s script and the film never dwells on the bleak or placing blame, instead striking a sympathetic balance between its lead characters and the search for hope in the midst of sadness.
Agency Manager Korrine Eshun had nothing but praise for The Peanut Butter Falcon:
What’s the first rule… Go and see this film! In a world filled with gloomy political upheaval and as we move into the grey and wet weather of winter, The Peanut Butter Falcon is the much-needed feel good film we need to bring up everybody’s spirits. Set against the backdrop of a quiet, fishing village in North Carolina, the type of America you don’t often see in film, The Peanut Butter Falcon tells the story of Zak, a 22-year-old man with Downs Syndrome who longs to become a professional wrestler, and the journey he takes to get there, accompanied by Shia LaBeouf’s Tyler and fleeing Dakota Johnson’s carer on a mission. It’s the chemistry between the film’s two leads that drives this film and gives audiences all the feels they could possibly need. Just as quickly as you’re laughing at an attempted river crossing or a comedic wrestling match, you’re blindsided by an emotional clanger that turned our movie theatre from laughing to silence in seconds. At its core, the film is almost the movie incarnation of the term ‘keep calm and carry on’ – an ode to anyone who’s had a dream and been told by someone, by society, that their dream is impossible! If you need a good pick-me-up, this is the film for you!
Korrine had similar praise for Waves:
Is it too early to call a film a contender for stand out film of 2020? If not, then I’m calling it now – Waves will be one of the best films of next year! A film of two halves, Waves tells the story of a seemingly perfect family in America over the course of a few months. Acclaimed up and coming director, Trey Edward Shults is a man with a clear vision and what he does with that is almost create two completely different films in one. Throughout the first half, there seems to be a constant feel of movement. The camera moves constantly, circling the characters, zooming in and out and following the characters at times in perfect rhythm with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ dizzying score. Compare that to the second half and there are much longer still shots, the activities that Emily partakes in are much calmer. The film hints at the age-old question of how much of an impact nature vs. nurture has on our lives and with the same home to return to each night, there must be something that drives the siblings down such different paths, with the soundtrack being one of the key factors that plays into this. For me, of all the films at this year’s festival, this was the one not to miss!
Marketing Assistant Phil Jones had the following to say about Jojo Rabbit:
Taika Waititi continues to be one the funniest and most original directors working in Hollywood, delivering a biting satire of fascism and the futility of war, wrapped up in a coming of age love story. Taika has the most fun of his career as Jojo’s imaginary-friend version of Hitler, and the gags continue to hit even as the subject matter becomes more and more uneasy. A future standout of 2020’s awards season for sure.
The 2019 London Film Festival continues throughout the rest of the week, with upcoming highlights including the always exciting surprise film on Wednesday evening and the Tom Hanks-starring A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood on Saturday night, with the festival coming to a close on Sunday evening with Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman.
Check out the programme for the final days of the festival here.