What to watch at LFF 2019

This week I attended the launch of the BFI London Film Festival 2019 and as always there were a number of films that have caught my attention.

Here are some of my highlights from this year’s line up, as well as some of the stars and directors you’re likely to see at LFF 2019.

Opening Film: Armando Iannucci does Dickens with The Personal History of David Copperfield. I’m really excited to see such a strong British film open this year’s Festival. I’m also excited to see Peter Capaldi and Iannucci working together again. At the launch we saw a short clip featuring Dev Patel’s David Copperfield, Capaldi’s Mr Micawber, some bailiffs and a roast chicken which made me giggle – a lot!

Closing Film: Scorsese, De Niro, Pacino, Pesci – The Irishman has some pedigree. The film is described as a grand scale epic examining the influence of organised crime in post-war America. Currently, Scorsese and De Niro are expected to walk the red carpet for its UK premiere.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood stars Tom Hanks as Mr Rogers, a legend of American kids TV. It’s directed by Marielle Heller, who made last year’s Can You Ever Forgive Me which propelled Richard E Grant to an Oscar nomination. Can Heller push Hanks to that elusive third golden statuette? I can’t wait to find out.

Jojo Rabbit is the latest indie from new Hollywood favourite Taika Waititi. Set during World War Two, an awkward young German boy whose only ally is his imaginary friend Hitler has his naïve patriotism tested when he meets a young girl who upends his world views. I will watch pretty much anything Waititi does, so I am very much looking forward to this.

Le Mans ’66 (or Ford vs Ferrari as it’s titled in the US) stars Matt Damon and Christian Bale in a study of friendship that shaped 1960s motor racing. Already critics are saying Bale could be an awards season contender for his role in the James Mangold directed film.

Marriage Story is, according to some critics, already the film to beat this awards season. Directed by Noah Baumbach, it stars Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson as a couple slowly breaking up. Laura Dern adds more Star (Wars) power as a divorce lawyer. Currently, Baumbach, Driver and Dern are all expected at the film’s LFF screening.

Western Stars is a documentary following the recording of Bruce Springsteen’s latest album of the same name. It’s described as hybrid of concert documentary and memoir. Springsteen opted to make the film instead of touring the album, bringing the live music experience to the big screen. What’s even more exciting is that The Boss himself is due to attend the film’s gala screening at LFF.

Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney in a dark comedy together? I’m already there. The pair star in Bad Education, a black comedy about the single largest public school embezzlement scandal in history. Hugh Jackman is expected at the film’s screening.

Other films to watch out for include The King, a take on Henry V starring LFF darling Timothee Chalamet who is expected to hit the red carpet alongside fellow cast members Joel Edgerton, Ben Mendelsohn, Sean Harris and Lily-Rose Depp.

Steve Coogan returns to the LFF red carpet for the gala screening of his latest comedy, Greed.

Keira Knightley is expected to promote her new thriller Official Secrets about a key moment in the history of the Iraq conflict.

Those are just a few highlights from this year’s line-up, there are hundreds more films to pick and choose from – both feature length and shorts.

This year’s BFI London Film Festival takes place 2nd to 13th October and as always there’ll be plenty of coverage on GirlonFilms.net.

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