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Home Blog Latest Best. LFF. Ever? 2013 London Film Festival line-up revealed
Best. LFF. Ever? 2013 London Film Festival line-up revealed Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Thursday, 05 September 2013 07:07

The 2013 London Film Festival announced its line-up yesterday and it may just be the best line-up the festival has ever had.

It's become tradition now for some to complain about the fact that the festival acts as a round-up of the year's other festivals, mopping up the best bits from Cannes, Venice and Toronto. This year, no one seems to mind. Why? Because almost every one of those films has been receiving four and five star ratings. I don't just mean from Heat magazine, that benevolent bestower of five star accolades, I mean rave reviews across the board. The 2013 LFF programme is so good, in fact, that I can only sum it up using my new favourite Instagram account.

Here are the top 10 things I'm most excited about.

Tom Hanks

It began with the announcement of Tom Hanks opening and closing the film with pirate thriller (not the good kind) Captain Phillips and Disney biopic Saving Mr. Banks. We already knew about both, but it's promising pair of bookends.

Excitement level:

12 Years a Slave

That was followed up by the inevitable announcement of the new Steve McQueen film, 12 Years a Slave. After Hunger and Shame, it was no surprise that the Michael Fassbender and Chiwetel Ejiofor-starring drama would take a bow at the BFI's flagship fest. The news that Fassbender will not be in attendance is a shame (ha!) but this looks intensely powerful stuff.

Excitement level:

Inside Llewyn Davis

A man, a cat and a guitar. It may not sound like much but add in Carey Mulligan and the Coen Bros - another LFF favourite - and you have a seriously interesting prospect.

Excitement level:

Labor Day

Kate Winslet in a film about a depressed mum? Sign me up! Not just because Winslet is always worth watching but because this is directed by Jason Reitman. Up in the Air. Thank You for Smoking. Young Adult. Reitman's proven he can do no wrong.

Excitement level:

Under the Skin

Scarlett Johansson as an evil alien preying on hitchhikers in Scotland? My desire to see Jonathan Glazer's horror is only topped by my fear of actually sitting down to watch it.

Excitement level:

Don Jon

Joseph Gordon-Levitt joins the ranks of actors who have headed behind the camera for his directorial debut, Don Jon. And while this is the Gala screening for the Laugh string of films, he's not kidding around, writing it, starring in it and even hiring Scarlett Johansson to appear in it too. As for the getting addicted to porn part... well, I wouldn't rule it out.

Excitement level:

The Epic of Everest

One of the things the BFI does best is restore and preserve its archives - which is why I love the Treasures strand of the festival. Its big gala screening is a restoration of The Epic of Everest, the official film record of the 1924 expedition to climb the mountain , directed by Captain John Noel. Even more astonishing, the film will have a new score from Simon Fisher Turner that will feature found sounds, Nepalese instruments and electronic music. My ears are already tingling.

Excitement level:

Blue Is the Warmest Colour

Abdeilaf Kechiche's lesbian drama won the Palme d'Or this year in Cannes - and, interestingly, had its award given jointly to the director and his leads, Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux. They apparently spent 10 days to shoot one sex scene, which lasted 10 minutes in the finished film; the kind of juicy detail that should get this drama enough attention to wow yet more audiences.

Excitement level:


The film I want to see the most at the LFF, Alfonso Cuaron's sci-fi, full of terrifying isolation and long shots, looks like one of the most harrowing things I'll see this year. I'm psychologically scarred just from watching the trailers. The thought of the BFI screening it on an IMAX screen in 3-D has me hyperventilating already.

Excitement level:

Everything else

That's just nine films out of a total 234 - and we still haven't got anywhere near the other big hitters, from Stephen Frears' Philomena (starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan) to the return of Alexander Payne with roadtrip Nebraska and Only Lovers Left Alive, Jim Jarmusch's flick starring Tom Hiddleston as a vampire. Then, of course, there's Kill Your Darlings, starring Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg alongside Dane DeHaan, Ben Foster, Michael C. Hall and Elizabeth Olsen. Which I would've mentioned already if I wasn't busy wiping the drool off my face. All that AND a performance from Michael Nyman, a documentary about Marvin Hamlisch, Ari Folman's follow-up to Waltz with Bashir, James Franco's As I Lay Daying, Kelly Reichhardt’s Night Moves, Alain Guiraudie's Stranger by the Lake, Anne Fontaine’s Adore and two animated films with meatball protagonists? October can't come soon enough.

Well, except for the part where I have the chance see Gravity. Excitement level:

The London Film Festival runs from Wednesday 9th October to Sunday 20th October. Find out more at the official website - http://bfi.org.uk/lff - and be sure to take a picture of your face afterwards.