The Small World of Sammy Lee – a London classic given a restoration, starring Anthony Newley ducking and diving around Soho to get some dosh together.
Lion – I’ve yet to catch this heart warmer starring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman, but one hears good things and potential awards are in the frame.
The Last Laugh – Food for thought and laughter, a doc asking how to make jokes about taboos, particularly the Holocaust. Includes interviews with Mel Brooks, Larry Charles, Rob Reiner, Sarah Silverman and Harry Shearer.
The Ghoul – under the wire but buzzy British title, a thriller from Gareth Tunley (a Ben Wheatley alumnus) about a detective investigating a mysterious double murder.
Lady Macbeth – superb, breakthrough performance from Florence Pugh in a superb, low budget tale of passion and cold-eyed ambition from director William Oldroyd. It’s my tip for the Sutherland Award.
George Best: All By Himself – world premiere for a doc about the maverick footballer, which should be a cut above considering it’s produced by John Battsek and directed by Daniel Gordon, the team behind the recent Zola Budd/Mary Decker doc The Fall.
Have You Seen My Movie…? My find of the festival is Paul Anton Smith’s artful doc about the highs and lows of watching movies, comprised of clips from over 1000 other movies. The cast includes De Niro, Di Caprio, Woody Allen, Jean Pierre Leaud, Eva Green, Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey Bogart…
Nocturnal Animals – Tom Ford’s return is a classy, brutal thriller within a thriller, starring Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Shannon
Prevenge – Alice Lowe’s film, which I’ve been banging on about for a while, finally reached London audiences, who are in for a ride of weird laughs as a pregnant mother is overtaken by her foetus’ murderous impulses.
Trespass Against Us (pictured) – a feature debut for club visuals supremo Adam Smith, a tough and thrilling ride through the British countryside, set among a traveller community, in which Michael Fassbender wants to get out of the grip of his Dad, Brendan Gleeson.
Chi-Raq – I still haven’t seen Spike Lee’s musical take on Aristophanes transposed to the streets of Chicago, and I’m very excited about it.
Aquarius – a chance to catch the imperious Sonia Braga on the big screen in this very fine Brazilian film about a woman refusing to move flats for developers.