BFI London Film Festival Highlights

30 films lighting up the capital...

The Imitation Game

The Film
Benedict Cumberbatch kicks off the 58th London Film Festival with a biopic of WWII codebreaker Alan Turing.

Why we’re excited to see it

Cumberbatch, Keira Knightly and a moving real-life story about a wronged British war hero, The Imitation Game also marks the English language debut of Norwegian Headhunters director Morten Tyldum.

Fury

The Film

Brad Pitt. Shia LaBeouf. In a tank.

Why we’re excited to see it

David Ayer ( End Of Watch ) brings gritty, grimy, gory realism back to the war movie with a story about a stranded Sherman stuck behind enemy lines. It’s Saving Private Ryan on wheels.

Foxcatcher

The Film
Two professional wrestler brothers (Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo) strike up an unusual, dangerous relationship with an eccentric millionaire (Steve Carrell) who starts training them for the Olympics.

Why we’re excited to see it

A sprawling family tragedy billed as a slow-burning psychological thriller, Bennett Miller’s studied, menacing follow up to Moneyball sees his A-list cast playing against type – with the oddball plot hiding more secrets than Carrell’s prosthetic nose.

Whiplash

The Film

Miles Teller crosses drum sticks with his bullish music teacher (JK Simmons) in a film about obsession, humiliation and DRUMMING.

Why we’re excited to see it

Winning both the Grand Jury and the Audience prizes at this year’s Sundance Film festival, Whiplash is already the indie film to, err, beat this year.

Men, Women & Children

The Film

Jason Reitman ( Juno, Up In The Air ) looks at the way phones, tablets and Facebook are messing up our relationships in a smart comedy-drama starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Garner.

Why we’re excited to see it

Because we’re already fed up with people using their phones in the cinema…

Wild

The Film

Reece Witherspoon attempts a 1,100-mile hike across the Pacific Crest Trail.

Why we’re excited to see it

Mixing emotional flashbacks, stunning landscape cinematography and a one-woman performance from Witherspoon, director Jean-Marc Vallée follows up Dallas Buyers Club with another hot tip for the awards season.

Testament Of Youth

The Film

An adaptation of Vera Brittain’s classic WWI memoir follows her emotional journey from Oxford University to the field hospitals of France.

Why we’re excited to see it

The centrepiece gala of the festival, Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Emily Watson and Hayley Atwell star in a sweeping period romancer that’s British film's Great White Hope of the year.

Mr Turner

The Film

Mike Leigh’s biopic of English Romantic painter, JMW Turner.

Why we’re excited to see it

As if the return of Mike Leigh isn’t reason enough to be excited, Timothy Spall picked up a Best Actor award at Cannes for his portrait of the artist – making Mr Turner a career milestone for two of Britain's biggest names.

The Salvation

The Film

A Danish Dogme Western starring Mads Mikkelson as an ex-soldier who stands up for his family against the wrong man.

Why we’re excited to see it

Looking as grand as it does grim, Kristian Levring’s hate-fuelled revenger also boasts Eva Green as a mute Native American assassin (who probably takes her top off a lot).

Winter Sleep

The Film

A retired actor leads a dull life running a hotel in the remote Cappadocian mountains, until a kid throws a stone at his car and messes up his routine.

Why we’re excited to see it

Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s claustrophobic, daring chamber piece won the Palme d’Or at Cannes – following up Once Upon A Time In Anatolia with another sparce, scathing slice-up of the male psyche.

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