LONDON: Never let me in

Posted by · 6:35 pm · October 14th, 2010

In a year that has seen me give over more of my time than is strictly sensible to covering the Cannes, Venice, Berlin and Edinburgh programmes, there’s something oddly disconcerting about attending a festival in my home city. Admittedly, the atmosphere is dampened by the fact that many of the London Film Festival’s biggest drawcards […]

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THE LONG SHOT: What becomes of the broken-hearted?

Posted by · 2:19 pm · October 14th, 2010

(A day later than usual — apologies.) After the London Film Festival raised its curtain last night with a typically flashy European premiere for Mark Romanek’s “Never Let Me Go,” this morning’s papers and breakfast TV reports have been busy with chatter about what Britfilm’s two it-girls, Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley, were wearing; how […]

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Mike Leigh celebrates “hidden city” of London

Posted by · 3:52 pm · October 11th, 2010

My attention was drawn to this article last week, but since the London Film Festival kicks off this week (and Mike Leigh’s “Another Year” will be competing for top honors there), now seems an appropriate time to link to it. Picking up on the role England’s capital city has played in a number of Leigh’s […]

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London fest honors Boyle, announces award shortlist

Posted by · 6:49 am · September 29th, 2010

The 2010 London Film Festival only kicks off in two weeks’ time, but with press screenings having started on Monday, I’m already feeling the festival spirit. (Those of you who follow my Twitter feed may have noticed some 140-character reviews trickling through.) Without a major world premiere like “Frost/Nixon” or “Fantastic Mr. Fox” in this […]

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‘127 Hours’ to close London Film Festival

Posted by · 4:38 am · August 13th, 2010

Last year, London Film Festival organizers managed to secure a pair of world premieres — “Fantastic Mr. Fox” and the John Lennon bio “Nowhere Boy” — to open and close proceedings. This year, they haven’t been so lucky, bookending the festival’s 54th edition with two hot tickets from Toronto instead. With that said, they’re still […]

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‘Never Let Me Go’ to open London Film Festival

Posted by · 4:00 pm · August 5th, 2010

Previously a handy catch-up festival for locals who had missed out on the major premieres of Cannes and the like, the London Film Festival raised its profile significantly in the last two years by opening with major world premieres — “Frost/Nixon” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” They haven’t quite managed to repeat the trick a third […]

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Ones to watch at Sundance 2010… maybe

Posted by · 3:11 pm · December 2nd, 2009

I always get a curious thrill from looking down the list of films selected to compete at the Sundance Film Festival — the 2010 batch of which has just been announced by festival directors John Cooper and Trevor Grath. You know there are at least one or two titles there that we’ll all be talking […]

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11/3 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 9:07 am · November 3rd, 2009

• Documentary filmmaker whose work inspired the book “The Men Who Stare at Goats” seeks brutal vengeance for being “airbrushed” out of the film. [The Independent] • Jeff Wells sings the praises of “A Single Man” actor Nicholas Hoult. [Hollywood Elsewhere] • David Poland talks to honorary Oscar recipient Roger Corman. [Movie City News]

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10/30 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:03 am · October 30th, 2009

• Brian Lowry on how The Ten is an Oscarcast producer’s nightmare. [Variety] • With Hugh Jackman out, Jeff Wells thinks the Oscars need to skew younger with their host. [Hollywood Elsewhere] • The producers of “London River” launch a deserved Oscar campaign for Brenda Blethyn, despite still lacking US distribution. [Notes on a Season]

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SHORT TAKE: “Nowhere Boy” (**1/2)

Posted by · 5:17 pm · October 29th, 2009

London Film Festival A bright, slight, mostly enjoyable portrait of the formative years of John Lennon, artist-turned-filmmaker Sam Taylor-Wood’s “Nowhere Boy” opens with a nudge-nudge tease, as the singular opening chord of “A Hard Day’s Night” reverberates through the theater over a shot of the 18 year-old Lennon running to school. That single-second strum, however, […]

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‘Nowhere Boy’ trailer

Posted by · 7:07 am · October 29th, 2009

Sam Taylor-Wood’s debut feature has its world premiere tonight as it closes out the London Film Festival. I’ll have a short take up for you later today, but for now, here’s the trailer. (I’ll say this much: Kristin Scott Thomas’s recent run of form remains unbroken.)

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“We’re going to be fine.”

Posted by · 9:10 pm · October 28th, 2009

Those of you who enjoy it when Kris and I butt heads over one film or another — as on the two occasions this past week alone that I’ve been unceremoniously fired — will be disappointed to hear that an entente cordiale has arrived in the shape of “A Serious Man.” (Ironic, really — since […]

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‘A Prophet’ wins top prize at London Film Festival

Posted by · 4:50 pm · October 28th, 2009

I always knew Anjelica Huston and I were of a like mind. As I reflect on the 60-odd films I’ve seen the London Film Festival, which draws to a close tomorrow, Jacques Audiard’s French Oscar contender “A Prophet” stands comfortably taller than anything else I’ve seen … and given the standard of this year’s LFF […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Mind your language

Posted by · 3:38 pm · October 28th, 2009

You might not be aware of it, but the competition is already formally under way in Oscar’s most perennially problematic category, Best Foreign Language Film. For almost two weeks now, official Academy screenings of the longlisted contenders in the race have been in progress, and will continue through January, until all 65 titles have been […]

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LONDON: Not so ‘Precious’

Posted by · 7:30 pm · October 26th, 2009

At this early stage in the awards race, I’ve been getting along unusually well with every major contender I’ve encountered: “The Hurt Locker,” “An Education,” “Up in the Air,” along with darker horses like “Bright Star” and “A Single Man,” have all been pleasing, giving me hope that this would be one of those rare […]

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10/26 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:16 am · October 26th, 2009

• Steve Pond chimes in on the rarity of tandem Oscarcast producing teams. [The Odds] • Peter Knegt reports from a women-in-film panel at London fest. [indieWIRE] • David Poland sits down with Paul Schneider to talk “Bright Star.” [Movie City News]

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LONDON: Exploding girls on trains

Posted by · 4:00 pm · October 25th, 2009

Not my most successful day at the London Film Festival today, as a communication error kept me out of the fest’s final “Samson and Delilah” screening — vexing partly because it leaves a significant gap in the collective review I had planned to do of multiple foreign Oscar contenders next week, but more simply because […]

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LONDON: Another prophet

Posted by · 11:40 am · October 24th, 2009

Back in early September, which feels longer ago than it probably should, regular commenter Chris offered the following (non-Oscar-related) prediction: You need to see “A Prophet”, I saw it two days ago, and it’s such an amazing film. I don’t know if this makes any sense, but I’m predicting it to be on Guy Lodge’s […]

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