Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water.
Sometimes, a bit of fantasy is just what you need. When it is brought to you by the visionary Guillermo del Toro, the after feeling is delicious.
What truly stayed with me in The Shape of Water is that whatever you teach young people will shape what they become and how they treat the world around them. Fear engenders fear, and love engenders love.
Wajib by Annemarie Jacir.
If you are looking for a family drama tackling the meaning of home and tradition versus leaving the nest, look no further than Wajib! Palestinian writer and director Annemarie Jacir delivers a highly enjoyable road movie through the streets of Nazareth, where Abu Shadi drives around with his son Shadi (played by real-life father and son Mohammad and Saleh Bakri) in order to hand deliver invitations to his daughter Amal’s wedding.
Racer and Jailbird by Michaël R. Roskam.
Racer and the Jailbird, directed by Belgian Michaël R. Roskam, opens with young Gino escaping his guardians’ home and angry dogs through wire and running through a Belgian trailer park. The animal has left the cage.
The Guardians by Xavier Beauvois.
Has anyone else seen the Call my Agent episode where Nathalie Baye and Laura Smet, mother and daughter, are offered to do a film together and can’t imagine anything worse? In The Guardians, the quiet and subdued film by Xavier Beauvois in Official Competition at London Film Festival, the two stars are united on screen and gracefully lead their family and friends through the difficult patience-filled times that those who stayed back home during World War I had to endure.
Spoor by Agnieszka Holland.
Spoor: the track or scent of an animal.
It’s been a joy to attend LFF so far without knowing much about what will be shown, and especially to see films from various countries that may not be distributed everywhere. Continue reading
Good Manners by Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra.
The programme did warn me about surprises, but boy did I not expect this! Good Manners, a Brazilian film by Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra, in Official Competition at the London Film Festival, goes from comedy to horror, social, family, friendship and religious drama! Not only does the excellent small cast confidently take this story in every direction possible, but the child actors contribute enormously in grounding its abnormality. Who better than children to remind us of innocent pain and the vulnerability of life?
Kyle Mooney in Brigsby Bear.
Two years ago, there was Room. This year there’s Brigsby Bear.
Director Dave McCavy takes us on the hilarious and very unusual journey of James (Kyle Mooney) who was abducted by a fantasy-loving and mathematically savvy couple when he was only a baby and who is found by the police at 25 years old.