A guide to the 57th BFI London Film Festival – Part 3
Day 11, Saturday October 19th
12 Years a Slave star Chiwetel Ejiofor also turns up in Half of a Yellow Sun, from writer/director Biyi Bandele, based on the acclaimed novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Set in the 60s, this love story centres on the lives of wealthy twins Olanna (Thandie Newton) and (Anika Noni Rose) who after studying in the UK, return to a newly independent Nigeria and respectively fall in love – Olanna with university professor Odenigbo( Ejiofor) and Kainene with an Englishman who’s come to study arts in the country. But the sisters’ underlying rivalry is interrupted when all four characters are brought together as they’re swept up in turbulence of civil war. It’s a strong debut from Bandele who’s assembled an incredible cast, making it an easy contender come Oscar season.
Day 12, Sunday October 20th
The final day of the festival gets off to a dynamic start with We Are The Best. Transporting us to Stockholm in the early 80s we follow the attempts of two 13 year-old social outcasts and music lovers to form a punk band even though neither of them can play an instrument. Swedish director Lukas Moodysson (Show Me Love) excels once again in creating coming-of- age tales that ring so true to life, this time filling the screen with the energy of punk music.
Now unfortunately, the festival won’t be screening the family classic Mary Poppins (as wonderful as it is) – but you must agree that the premise of Saving Mr. Banks is a charming alternative. It shows us how after 20 years of trying , Walt Disney finally persuades PL Travers, the author of Mary Poppins, to sell him the rights to her book. Add to this the charismatic presence of the film’s two leading stars, Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson and you have the kind of film that Hollywood every so often does well – the one that reminds us the magic that lies in the factory of dreams.
The 57th BFI London Film Festival takes place from 9-20 October. For more info about the full programme go to http://www.bfi.org.uk/lff