BFI London Film Festival 2019 Week Two – DCM’s Reviews

    Author Phil Jones

The 2019 BFI London Film Festival came to a close on Sunday evening, after another fantastic year featuring the best and most interesting films set to hit UK cinemas in the coming months. Once again DCM staff share their thoughts on the best picks from the latter half of the festival:

Marketing Assistant Phil Jones had the following to say about The Aeronauts:

Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones are reunited for the first time since the Academy Award-winning The Theory of Everything in this surprisingly gripping adventure. Based upon the fascinating but fairly thin story of Amelia Wren and James Glashier’s quest to go higher above the earth than ever before, the film shines as the balloon flies further and further away from Victorian society and towards climates that would not be out of place in The Revenant. One for thrill-seeking cinemagoers.

Agency Manager Korrine Eshun enthuses about Just Mercy:

Can I offer you a tip if you plan to watch 2020’s Just Mercy? Pack the tissues! Never have I sat in a cinema where an audience has wept so freely, but there is seemingly no other reaction afforded a person when watching this film than anger based tears. Destin Daniel Cretton propels this film to brilliance with his determination to not shy away from showing the true horrifying affects that awaiting death for a crime not committed can have on a man A true standout from the festival! 

Korrine was equally taken with Little Monsters:

There’s something immensely gratifying in watching an actor play against stereotype and do it fantastically well! Where we are much more used to her dramatic turns in films like 12 Years A Slav eand this year’s Us, Lupita N’Yongo shines in a comedic role. Drawing on her action background from Black Panther, she embodies the very definition of a modern heroine to the core. With its enigmatic comic book gore and fantastically ironic use of the Taylor Swift song, ‘Shake It Off’, this is great fun and the perfect counterprogramming to the wholesome Last Christmas released on the same day!

And pleasantly surprised by Harriet:

Whilst she may be an outsider, do not let the (albeit deserved) buzz surrounding Rene Zellweger’s portrayal of Judy Garland in Judy allow you to forget or underestimate the powerhouse performance from Cynthia Erivo in 2020’s Harriet. Partnering the stellar performances with the chillingly beautiful soundtrack, which includes a hauntingly poignant use of Nina Simone’s ‘Sinnerman’, and Erivo’s gospel vocal talents as she recites recognizable hymns to call the slaves to freedom will leave you thinking about this film long after the credits have rolled.   

Category Director Antonio Garcia highly recommends one of the festival’s most talked about films, The Lighthouse:

Robert Eggers’ 2015 directorial debut The Witch heralded a horror revival in cinemas and a shift in attitude towards the potential quality of a much-maligned genre – he returns to similar territory with another haunting, claustrophobic, period piece set in the late 19th century on a remote storm-swept island off New England.

The island is home to the titled Lighthouse of the film and it’s two keepersplayed by Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe both giving arguably career best performances, transformed with deep Atlantic-fishing accents and a grizzly-troubled look to match – what follows is a trip down the rabbit hole, a funny, deeply unsettling and hypnotic decent into madness as they fight to survive the extreme conditions and the disturbing secrets the island slowly reveals. Their feuding interactions are electric aided by ominous foghorn like sound-design and a vintage 35mm black and white picture truly transporting the viewer in a way only cinema can.

It’s an exhausting experience and there’s a lot to unpack with many mythical-horror analogies and images that will be seared into the brain long after the credits end – both actors should pick up award nominations while Eggers deserves equal recognition for his unique and original vision.

For more information on the London Film Festival, click here.