EXCLUSIVE: BFI’s 57th London Film Festival – Hot Picks & Must Sees

It’s the most anticipated film festival on the calendar, the London Film Festival is here again. Now, If only I was invited to the gala eh? Oh well, better luck next time!

If you’re thinking of going, then check out my mix of the biggest must-sees as well as the best from the new freshmen across the cult, sonic, journey, debate, thrill, love, dare, family, experimental and documentary genres; you know, the stars of tomorrow.

12 Years A Slave.

Those from the black community across the global diaspora weren’t too happy with films such as Django Unchained and Lincoln. However, the history of the past of slavery has also got many divided, ignorant, aware as well as enlightened of the roots of freedom, accomplishment and fight. With this in mind, Steve McQueen returns with 12 Years A Slave  where the subject on such a difficult topic among the black community is addressed in full swing….definitely not in the way in the previous films I can assure you, but on the basis from the memoirs of Solomon Northrup, a violinist who thought was free but deceived, beaten and sold back into the lowest occupation that just considered such an affluent, flamboyant, talented, strong, creative race as animals. Nevertheless the topic of slavery is always be a cause of discussion.

Don Jon

Looking for some laughter? Then you should check out Don Jon (protagonist real name is Jon Martello); played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt who also screen-writes the film. He’s one multi-talented fella! Anyways back to the film…Don Jon is one hot fella — he’s living the life of a bachelor. With his work-out-gym routine to get them gains (i.e. muscles), cool pad and the sickest ride that would make all the ladies’ eyes twinkle, the  brother is enjoying the single life. However, as the saying goes ‘everything is not what it seems’ and just like the rest of us, Don Jon has a secret of his own…it’s a dirty one that has left him non-emotional and obsessed with perfection in the opposite sex…until he begins to fall in love, a feeling that he never felt with his guilty pleasure. Scarlett Jonhnson plays the love interest that stole Don Jon’s heart. So if you’re looking for a laughter-with-heart then this film will surely do the trick, as reality and fantasy in our evolving digital age are being explored.

Mystery Road

Another hot thriller from down under (Australia). Aboriginal cop Jay Swan’s (Aaron Pedersen) homecoming begins with his first investigation into a local teenage girl’s murder. As the racial tension, division and body count begins to loom, the clues, inquiries and answers into the social divide is closer to home. This is Ivan Sen’s risky but quiet-dark suspense move into a controversial topic about the natives and the Western civilians of Australia.

We Are The Best!

A film adaptation of Coco Moodysson novel under the directional eye of Lukas Moodysson.

13 year olds Bobo and Klara refuse to believe that punk is dead and they both continue to live their anarchist ideals. Despite the circumstances of a prank leaving them at a local youth club rehearsal studio, they begin to toy around with the idea of forming a band — even though urm…they can’t play anything instruments! So they invite loner Hedvig, who can play a classic guitar really well. Do they become megastars in 1980s Stockholm? You just to wait and see.


Want something different? Then check out this monochrome film about a World War II orphan Anna. At first she was brought up as a novice who was preparing to take the vows-of-chastity and celibacy in 1960s Poland. Eventually, taking on the advice of her Mother, Anna meets free-spirited intellectual aunt Wanda, who is secretly suppressing her painful memories of the past with sex and booze. The film looks into the harsh realities of their family’s dark secret of their Jewish ancestry that was once swept under the rug. In this film Pawel Pawilkoski explores the limit of faith and identity as Anna must make a personal decision after her  true ‘roots’ has been unveiled.

The Lunchbox

This Bollywood ‘what if’  love story by Ritesh Batra looks into Mumbai’s lunchbox delivery work service. Housewife Ila (Nimrat Kaur) sends a lunchbox to her husband, which ends up to the wrong man named Saajan (Irrfan Khan), who is an soon-to-be-retired bank clerk. A way to a man’s heart is through his stomach — so he begins to eat the amazing delicacies! After a while, Saajan begins to feel guilty and sends a note back to Ila to amend the mistake. With her husband not noticing any difference at all with the lunchboxes, both Saajan and Ila continue this non-seen-long-distance love with the lunchbox deliveries.  Aww, the sweet love!

This post would go on forever with my selections. Therefore, in order not to give too much away, the following films would just be trailers — leaving you to guess what the films  about and how it ends.

Trap Street

Cutie And The Boxer


So Young


Half Of The Yellow Sun

One Day When The Rain Falls

Enough Said




Mother of George

Twenty Feet From Stardom



The festival is begins today till the 20th of October. So go on bfi.org.uk/lff to get more listintgs of other interesting movies and events. Browse the programme and BOOK your tickets!


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