As public booking opens this week, the London Film Festival gears up for its biggest seller: the Surprise Film. Last year, the surprise was a fat man with a beard. Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story was actually a decent documentary, but it was hardly the Wild Thing the room wanted or expected. As seasoned LFF-ers groaned at the "surprise", Cilla Black was in the back with Sandra Hebron laughing her ginger arse off.
So how do you go about following that? Hunt through the UK release schedule and pick out all the big festival-friendly films that haven't made the LFF's line-up. But there are some you can discount straight away. Tron Legacy? No way. Narnia's Voyage of the Dawn Treader? Not before the Queen - that's this year's Royal Premiere in November. And Meet the Parents: Little Fockers? Well, there are better reasons for me to shoot myself, so fate won't let that one happen.
Then there are other candidates, like Monsters, but after its high profile slot at Film4 FrightFest, it won't grace the capital again before its delayed December release. Deathly Hallows wouldn't want to dent its box office impact. The Tourist has a high profile December release for its stars to focus on. Burke and Hare is too close to release. And as for the long-awaited Paul? That would be just a little too out of the blue.
So what stands a good chance of surprising everyone this year? Well, there's talk of December's Love and Other Drugs (a viagra rom-com from Edward Zwick) and even Paul Haggis' The Next Three Days (out next year - already press screened), but here are some of the films I think are more likely to be on Sandra's shortlist.
Following it's People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, The King's Speech trailer has now turned up online.
Directed by Tom Hooper, it stars Colin Firth as King George VI, who reluctantly takes the throne when his brother Edward abdicates. But he has a problem: a stutter. Considered unfit for the job, he takes on a speech therapist to help him find his voice before leading the country to war.
Also starring Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush, Guy Pearce, Timothy Spall and Michael Gambon, Hooper's historical drama has got itself a massive amount of buzz as awards season looms. Judging by the trailer, it's not far off the mark. At the very least, Colin Firth's performance will easily earn a nomination.
The King's Speech comes out in the UK next January and will be showing at the London Film Festival. Check out the trailer over at Yahoo! or read on for the video.
You know how it is. You're out rock climbing. You meet a man. He looks a lot like James Franco. James Franco's pretty hot. He asks you to plummet to certain doom and see his secret cave pool. And, of course, you agree.
That's pretty much what happens in this new clip from 127 Hours, Danny Boyle's true-life tale of Aron Ralston. The incredible trailer already gave us a glimpse of Aron's new-found friends (Kate Mara and Amber Tamblyn if you were wondering) but now you can enjoy their water-soaked company for an extra couple of minutes. Then you can worry later about Aron getting his arm stuck under a rock and being trapped in a Utah canyon until he... well, you know.
127 Hours has been blowing away festival audiences in Toronto, with standing ovations and crowd buzz the likes of which haven't been since since Slumdog - oh, wait. With only a few weeks to go before Danny Boyle closes the London Film Festival on Thursday 28th October, the excitement is through the roof. And breaking through the neighbour's front door.
127 Hours is released in UK cinemas on Friday 5th November. Check out the trailer over here, see the full LFF line-up, or read on for the new clip, courtesy of Cinema Blend - thanks Cinema Blend. Thinema Blend.
Following the announcement of the London Film Festival line-up, Icon have released a new trailer for Let Me In. The remake of Swedish horror Let the Right One In, which looks increasingly awesome, is starting to take its own form.
Starring The Road's Kodi Smit-McPhee, it sees bullied kid Owen befriended by new neighbour Abby (Chloe Moretz), a 12 year old who turns out to be a vampire. So naturally the two form a very close bond. And lots of dead bodies turn up.
So far, so similar to Tomas Alfredson's beautiful original. Kodi even looks like Swedish kid Kåre Hedebrant. But what the new trailer gives us a better idea of is the introduction of a cop who's investigating the murders. Presumably linking in as the policeman who visits Owen's school, he soon cottons on to the scale of the situation: "There's a whole lot more than what's been going on around here. This goes way back. Other states, other cities..."
Writter and directed by Matt Reeves, the remake promises to "take audiences straight to the troubled heart of adolescent longing and loneliness". Judging by this trailer and the chilling clip that surfaced last week, Let Me In will most likely do just that.
Let Me In will screen on Thursday 14th October at the LFF. It opens in cinemas on Friday 5th November. Read on for the new video.
There's a strong positive buzz forming around Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go. Adapted from the Booker-shortlisted novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, Romanek's drama looks even better thanks to this new trailer, which turned up online at the Guardian.
Starring Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield, the movie follows a group of students at the mysteriously idyllic Hailsham, a boarding school with a sinister plan for their futures. As they prepare for the wider world and grow out of childhood, the students soon find themselves torn between the love they feel for each other and the reality they must soon face.
Supported by Sally Hawkins and Charlotte Rampling, the strong cast are all ready for the Toronto International Film Festival, followed by the opening slot at the London Film Festival in October. The film will then hit UK cinemas on Friday 21st January next year.
Read on for the full trailer. Then go check out the rest of the LFF line-up over here.
The 54th BFI London Film Festival has officially been launched. And we were there to discover the line-up/annoy people by tweeting/eat free food. The good news is that the programme is pretty exciting, with Black Swan, The American and Let Me In leading the way alongside opener Never Let Me Go and closer 127 Hours. The bad news? There were no croissants left.
With 197 feature films scheduled over the festival's two weeks, the 2010 LFF will see stuff shipped in from 67 countries (including the USSR, the official place of production for the archive showing of the brilliant Man with a Movie Camera).
The highlights for homegrown talent include the return of Ken Loach with Route Irish and Mike Leigh with the acclaimed Another Year, but also Tom Hooper's The King's Speech (starring Colin Firth), Peter Mullan's intriguing Neds, and the debut of Andy DeEmmony, whose West Is West follows up East Is East.
Subtitled quality comes in the shape of Takashi Miike's 13 Assassins, the mental Jan Svankmajer's surreal Surviving Life, and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Biutiful. There's also a chance to see the controversial Palme d'Or winner, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.
Other notable inclusions include The Kids Are All Right and Richard Ayoade's directorial debut Submarine. Meanwhile, the clearly insane Kaboom from Gregg Araki will vary things up a bit, as will Will Ferrell's dramatic turn in Everything Must Go.
But most exciting of all are Anton Corbijn's George Clooney thriller The American, Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan and Matt Reeve's remake of Let the Right One In - on the big screen, the footage for that really does look impressive.
The London Film Festival runs from Wednesday 13th to Thursday 28th October. The full programme is on the festival's official site - check it out and share your excitement. Then come back and enjoy our non-stop coverage when the whole thing kicks off.
For now, here's a picture of the sexy free bag handed out at the launch. It had free chocolate in it, which was great. But it would have been better if it contained a croissant...
For those easily scared, the very words "Guillermo Del Toro Presents" make your skin crawl. Mostly with excitement. The new video for the latest in Del Toro's presentational line, Julia's Eyes, will make them very happy. And scared.
Directed by Guillem Morales, Julia's Eyes stars Belen Rueda, who was also leading lady in Juan Antonio Bayona's The Orphanage. Judging from the promo trailer, either Del Toro knows that woman can work those chills, or he's just really good at picking directors who share his twisted brainwaves.
Rueda plays Julia and her twin sister, Sara. When Sara dies, Julia decides it's mysterious enough to warrant an investigation. But Sara was blind, and as Julia's eyes degenerate from the same condition, she begins to see more in the murky darkness that surrounded Sara before her suspicious death.
Not your usual audience-focussed teaser, this promotional video takes you a good three-quarters through the movie's jolts, so be warned of some serious spoilerage. On the other hand, it also makes Julia's Eyes look like another excellent horror movie from Del Toro's production team. Not that we're surprised by that. It does say Del Toro on the tin.
Julia's Eyes premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival next month, so we may well get it at the LFF. You can catch the promo over at Collider, or read on for the full video.
It's finally here folks. All you trailer spotters can relax, because the first trailer for 127 Hours has finally hit the internet. And, in case you didn't expect this, it looks awesome.
Danny Boyle's true life tale tells of what happened to Aaron Ralston (James Franco) when he was out climbing mountains and riding bikes and stuff. The main sticking point being his arm getting trapped. Under a rock. In a canyon. For (you guessed it) 127 Hours.
The editing, soundtrack and camerawork all sing Danny Boyle's name out of the screen at you, although how much of a change of pace there'll be once Ralston actually gets stuck is another matter; while hanging there, Ralston left video diaries every day, and Danny's spoken before about how keen he is to harness that YouTube-style behaviour of recording life.
As for Franco, there's every indication that he's up for it, even though there's no sign of that penknife amputation yet...
127 Hours hits US cinemas on Friday 5th November, and is the closing film at this year's LFF. We'll give you more on it then. For now, head over to Apple to see the trailer, or read on for the full video.
"I had the craziest dream last night, about a girl who was turned into a swan..."
Natalie Portman's on freaky voiceover duty in the trailer for Darren Aronofsky's upcoming movie, Black Swan. Giving an unsettling edge to an interesting tale, what first looked like a dull ballet picture has sprung into life as a dark thriller.
Portman plays Nina, a New York ballerina who is pushed by her mother into the competitive world of professional dance. As her company prepares Swan Lake for the new season, director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassell) casts Nina instead of incumbent prima ballerina Beth (Winona Ryder) as the lead. But as she is required to master both the innocence of the White Swan and the sensuality of the Black Swan, a rival appears for Nina's part: Lily (Mila Kunis). Cue twisted rivalry and bad things happening.
As the two dancers compete for the role, Nina starts to embrace her dark side - think smashed mirrors, trashed dressing rooms and probable mental breakdown. With some eerie soundtrack work from the legendary Clint Mansell, Darren Aronofsky's drama looks like an agile and disturbing beast; a modern, unique take on All About Eve crossed with Rosemary's Baby.
Black Swan opens in the US on Friday 1st December, so we'll get it in the UK sometime next year. With an unpredictable project again turning good, expect another tour de force from the director of The Wrestler. Also expect it to feature at some point during the London Film Festival - it's been doing the rounds at Venice and Toronto, and is getting some very positive buzz.
Check out the trailer for yourself over at Apple. Or read on for the full video.
Danny Boyle's 127 Hours will close the London Film Festival on Thursday 13th October.
The true-life tale of mountaineer Aron Ralston, who ends up stuck to a wall with his arm trapped under a rock, has been selected for the Closing Gala of the LFF, now in its 54th year.
An experienced climber, Ralston (played by James Franco) leaves video messages every day as he's trapped there with no hope of rescue. Eventually, he ends up taking the only course of action open to him: hacking his arm off.
Boyle commented: "The LFF played a vital role in the journey of Slumdog Millionaire and it's great to be bringing new work here and renewing a happy partnership. I can't wait to unveil the new film and I hope it provides a worthy climax to what will hopefully be two weeks of great movies for our city."
The Festival kicks off two weeks earlier with Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go. The full line-up will be announced on Wednesday 8th September. Check back then for the latest LFF updates - we'll make sure we sneak you into all the snazziest events.