My Top Ten Tips for the 62nd BFI London Film Festival…

Some of these I’ve seen in advance, at festivals such as Cannes or Venice, others I’ve just heard about from buzz and chatter, and others I just like the sound of and are worth catching because you might see their director or stars do Q&A sessions afterwards – that’s the special atmosphere of the LFF.

You’ve got to pick The Favourite – should be a major Oscar contender, with delicious performances from Olivia Colman as bilious Queen Anne and a pitched battle for her favours between Rachel Weisz ’s Lady Marlborough and Emma Stone’s scheming scullery maid.

Keira Knightley in Colette

I’m really looking forward to Can You Ever Forgive Me (featured image), a true crime story of a celebrity biographer who hits on a get-rich-quick scheme – Melissa McCarthy is, I’ve heard, amazing in the lead role in what’s already looking like a very heated Best Actress Oscar race…

Talking of which – could it be ’s time to return? She’s knockout in Colette, the French feminist writer in louche belle époque era Paris with Dominic West.

As for best actor – what about Hugh Jackman playing Gary Hart in The Front Runner, a political satire based on real events about the man who could have been President, but for morality and sexuality biting back.

And decide for yourself on Suspiria – italian maestro Luca Guadagino and his muse Tilda Swinton will be in town to present their spooky, bone-cracking tale of a Berlin Wall era ballet school and the hidden power struggles within… with a debut film score form Thom Yorke … 

Jessie Buckley in Wild Rose

Can’t wait to see Jessie Buckley in British film Wild Rose alongside Julie Walters as she dreams of leaving her Glasgow life to become a country music star.

And who isn’t salivating for director Barry Jenkins follow up to Oscar winner Moonlight? If Beale Street could Talk is an adaptation of a James Baldwin novel, and is the Love Gala. Prepare to swoon, from what I hear…

You’ve just got to see ROMA from Alfonso Cuaron, the london-based Mexican film maker behind Gravity is back on earth, back in his native Mexico City for a childhood memoir in dreamy black and white, about the maid who raised him and his unruly siblings in the well-offfamily home in the suburb called Roma…

Juli Jakab in Sunset

In the Official Competition, do flock to Birds of Passage, a sort of Scarface meets National Geography tale of drugs in the Amazon jungle. Hungarian film Sunset will blow you away and leave you reeling; while Italy’s Happy as Lazzaro is an out of this world tale of innocence and exploitation in modern-day Italy.

In the First Film section, vying for the prestigious Sutherland Award, look out for Belgian gem Girl about a transgender dancer; and I hear great things about Cathy Yan’s Dead Pigs, a Shanghai-set culture clash comedy. Also intriguing me is Holiday, a Turkish gangster tale set in the holiday town of Bodrum.

If Docs are your thing – and they’re very much where it’s at these days – you have to catch What You Gonna Do When the World’s On Fire, as poetic as you can be about racism in New Orleans; while  Young and Alive deals with modern terrorism head on through Parisians affected by the Bataclan attacks; also very French-soudning is John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection, focusing on the Super brat in the French Open final v Ivan Lendl in 1984 – sort of Zidane but with tennis – I can be serious….