For the past two weeks London has played host to films from all over the world at the 63rd London Film Festival. While Alejandro Landes’ Monos - the stunning Columbian child-soldier film, described as Apocalypse Now meets Lord of the Flies, took home the top prize of 'Best Film', there have been plenty of other highlights from the festival. Here are just a few of ours (there are too many to mention)...
Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Looper director Rian Johnson returns with a smart, dark, witty take on the 'whodunnit' murder mystery, completely reinvigorating what has become a by-the-numbers old-fashioned genre. Ana de Armas and Daniel Craig (as you've never seen him before) lead a star-studded cast including Chris Evans delivering a performance that could almost be described as the anti- Captain America. This is possibly the most fun you'll have at the cinema all year!
Taika Waititi really is a force to be reckoned with - surely no-one else would have been able to secure financial support for a film primarily about a young Nazi fanatic with an imaginary friend of Adolph Hitler (although Thor: Ragnarok must have helped things along). And yet Waititi manages to balance the tragedy of WWII with comedic moments in a way that is both hilarious and heart-breaking - proving himself to be a true auteur. Bring tissues.
As a black and white film, shot in Academy ratio featuring only two characters as they descend into madness, Robert Eggers' latest outing may not be as accessible as 2015's The Witch - but this is a masterful and hypnotic piece of filmmaking. Willem Dafoe disappears into his character like only Dafoe can, and Robert Pattinson exorcises any memories of shimmering vampires once and for all.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Based on the 1998 Esquire article 'Can You Say... Hero?', Can you Ever Forgive Me? director Marielle Heller brings the legendary children's presenter Fred Rogers to the big screen via the medium of the ever-lovable Tom Hanks. Who else could play such a beloved figure? But this is no standard Hanks performance - while always reliable he embodies Mister Rogers in a way that is so transformative that nominations are almost guaranteed when awards season arrives.
A film adaptation of civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson's bestseller following the true story of his fight for justice for Death-Row inmate Walter McMillian. Powerful, infuriating and, at times, difficult to watch - Michael B. Jordan continues to impress in everything he turns his hand while Jamie Foxx reminds everyone just why he has that Oscar.
Written by: Anna Wilczek