Screen Talk With Mark Romanek
Why You Should See it: Since the Opening Night Gala, sci-fi fable Never Let Me Go , sold out ages ago, here's the next best thing: a masterclass with the film's director.
Not content with directing Keira, Carey or Spidey, or helming Robin Williams' villainous turn in One Hour Photo , Romanek is a veteran music promo director, whose eclectic clientele ranges from Michael Jackson to Johnny Cash to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Expect insider anecdotes a-plenty.
When And Where You Can See It: Thurs 14th, 21:00, NFT 1 - online booking here
Better Than: Listening to some random loon at Speaker's Corner.
Let Me In
Why You Should See it: With Opening Night sold out, here's your earliest chance to catch a likely hit of the Festival.
Cloverfield director's Matt Reeves' remake of modern horror classic Let The Right One In has already been heralded as that rare thing: an Americanisation that works, with its tale of a lonely teen (The Road's Kodi Smit-McPhee) who befriends a young/old vampire (Chloe Moretz) maintaining the original's balance of scares and sadness.
When And Where You Can See It: Fri 15th, 12:30, Vue Screen 7 - online booking here
Better Than: Cadging leftovers from Smithfield Market.
Why You Should See it: Errol Morris is arguably the greatest documentary maker of his generation, winning an Oscar for Fog of War , his film about the origins of the Vietnam War, and even getting an innocent man released from death row thanks to crime expose The Thin Blue Line .
If that wasn't enough, here Morris takes on a British subject that was a cause celebre for Fleet Street journos in the 1970s: the strange case of a Mormon man allegedly kidnapped and forced to have sex with the beauty queen who had pursued him from the States. Max Clifford, eat your heart out.
Better Than: Getting papped falling arse-over-tit out of some over-priced celeb hang-out.
Everything Must Go
Why You Should See it: Having reclaimed his comedy crown at the box office with The Other Guys , here's a reminder that Will Ferrell is a decent dramatic actor, too.
Following his acclaimed turns in Melinda And Melinda and Stranger Than Fiction , Dan Rush's adaptation of a story by Short Cuts author Raymond Carver sees Ferrell really stretch himself as an alcoholic using a yard sale to justify getting hammered in his front garden. Sounds like a barrel of laughs.
When And Where You Can See It: Fri 15th, 15:00, Vue Screen 7 - online booking here
Better Than: Braving the Oxford Street sales
Why You Should See it: The LFF traditionally offers the UK premiere of the best in World Cinema, especially those that wowed the world's critics at Cannes.
First up this year of the Cannes 2010 graduates is Chinese director Wang Xiaoshuai's well-received family drama, in which a sailor's homecoming doesn't go quite according to plan when he discovers his estranged son has been killed during a hostage crisis.
When And Where You Can See It: Thurs 14th, 15:15, Vue Screen 6 - online booking here
Better Than: Seeing Chelsea's Blues at Stamford Bridge, unless you're a member of Roman Abramovich's barmy army, of course
Why You Should See it: Already one of the hits of Cannes, Mike Leigh's latest is a dependably bittersweet dramedy revolving around the quiet lives of married couple Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen, and their defiantly not-quiet friend Lesley Manville.
Better still, next Monday's (18th) Gala Screening is being simulcast with dozens of cinemas around the country, so you can see Leigh's kitchen-sink realism from within shouting distance of your own kitchen sink.
Better Than: Going to London!
Why You Should See It: A handful of tickets are still available for this biopic of legendary 70s terrorist Carlos the Jackal. At five-and-a-half hours long, it's the best value you can find for your movie pound.
Although made for TV, Olivier Assayas gives it such Scorsese-esque swagger that a theatrical cut will be more widely released in a couple of weeks. The full-length version, however, is the real deal. Bring a cushion.
When And Where You Can See It: Sat 16th, 12:00, Vue Screen 5 - online booking here
Better Than: Attending a Socialist Worker rally
The Bridge Over The River Kwai
Why You Should See It: Chances are, given its seven Oscars, one of the most whistled theme tunes in movie history and the fact it's always on telly, you've probably seen this one already.
Even so, the chance to catch David Lean's landmark war epic and Alec Guinness' greatest screen role (sorry, Obi Wan fans) in restored and remastered digital glory should not be missed.
When And Where You Can See It: Sun 17th, 17:15, Odeon West End 2 - online booking here
Better Than: Walking across the Thames on a windy day.
Why You Should See It: Winner of this year's Camera D'Or - the award for Best First Feature - at Cannes, this is a chance to see a possible future great at the beginning of his career.
Australian emigree Michael Rowe's debut, set in his home town of Mexico City, charts a passionate but brutal sado-masochistic affair. Which, for those so inclined, is probably another reason to see it.
Better Than: Trawling the nightspots for a quickie you know you're gonna regret the next morning.
Why You Should See It: Daniel Burmeister might well be the best director you've never heard of. Perhaps because his no-budget epics are short in sleepy Argentinian villages using amateur casts and crews from the neighbourhood.
This affectionate documentary, charting Burmeister's latest movie, is an antidote to Hollywood blockbusters, reminding us that anybody can make a movie.
When And Where You Can See It: Sun 17, 21:00, NFT1 - online booking here
Better Than: Coercing your mates into filming that East Eng gangster flick you've always wanted to make, geezer.
Why You Should See it: All three screenings this week are sold out, but if you're quick you might bag a seat for the final showing next Monday (18th).
It's not hard to see why this one's been popular. Satarring Hilary Swank as the woman learning law so she can appeal against the murder sentence of her brother (the great Sam Rockwell), who's to count against this being Oscar #3 for Swank?
When And Where You Can See It: Mon 18th, 14:45, Vue Screen 5 - online booking here
Better Than: Getting lairy with the rozzers and getting hauled up in court on a trumped-up charge,
Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields
Why You Should See It: The first of a suprising number of music documentaries playing during the festival, alongside films about Lemmy, Creation Records and even Mott The Hoope (Wikipedia 'em, kids).
This one documents a decade in the live of leftfield legend Stephen Merritt, as he attempts to match 1999's landmark 69 Love Songs album. A must for music-lovers, or indeed anybody trying to find their creative muse.
Better Than: Seeing your mate's band playing to a handful of unimpressed giggers in a pub
Why You Should See It: John Sayles is a maverick even amongst American independent directors, content to push beyond his comfort zone where others are content to stick to the same template.
Here, Sayles tackles the little-known Philippine-American war of 1900, using a variety of languages and a cast combining unknowns with Sayles regular Chris Cooper. A period piece, but - typically with Sayles - one that sheds an interesting light on America's present-day foreign policy.
Better Than: Protesting against the Iraq War outside the Houses of Parliament. Blair's long gone, you know?
Why You Should See It: Pick of the New British Cinema strand this week for which tickets are still available, artist Gillian Wearing's debut blurs boundaries between fiction and documentary.
Borrowing reality show logic, Wearing recruits volunteers via newspaper ads to star in short films of their own devising, intercutting the results with the rehearsal sessisons where they inadvertently lay their souls bare.
When And Where You Can See It: Fri 15th, 14:45, Vue Screen 5 - online booking here
Better Than: Getting accosted by a camera crew in Soho.
Why You Should See It: to remind yourself that James Cameron was not cinema's first visitor to Pandora.
One of the defining films of the silent era, G. W. Pabst's melodrama created a sex symbol for the ages in Louise Brooks' sultry, bobbed Lulu. This sumptuous digital restoration by Berlin's Deutsche Kinemathek proves that, over eighty years on, she's still got it.
When And Where You Can See It: Thurs 14th, 18:00, NFT 1 - online booking here
Better Than: Getting boxed in by irate commuters on a crowded tube train.