53rd BFI London Film Festival

I’m just back from the press launch of this year’s Times BFI London Film Festival and I’m still reeling from the dizzying lineup of films. Festival director Sandra Hebron unveiled the programme this morning, revealing the astonishingly diverse selection of world and international premieres that are going to be showcased in cinemas across London from 14th – 29th October. With a total of 191 features and 113 shorts in the schedule, including 15 world premieres, 23 European premieres and 146 UK premieres, it’s going to take me a while to digest the treasures in store. In the coming weeks I’ll be endeavouring to get to grips with the full range of what the festival has to offer, but in the meantime here are some of the films that caught my eye during the 30-minute clip reel shown at the Odeon Leicester Square this morning.

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Fantastic Mr Fox  – the world premiere of Wes Anderson’s animated screen version of Roald Dahl’s children’s classic is the festival Opening Night Gala. (Wed 14, Thu 14 & Sat 17 Oct)

Bright Star - Ben Whishaw & Abbie Cornish star as John Keats and Fanny Brawne

Bright Star – Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish star in the Centrepiece Gala, Jane Campion’s costume pic about the love of romantic poet John Keats for Fanny Brawne. (Mon 19, Tue 20 & Wed 21 Oct)

An Education - Peter Sarsgaard & Carey Mulligan star in the period movie based on Lynn Barber’s memoir

An Education – Peter Sarsgaard & Carey Mulligan star in the period movie based on journalist Lynn Barber’s memoir of her teenage years in early 60s London – and her seduction by an older man. (Tue 20, Wed 21 & Thu 22 Oct)

A Serious Man - Michael Stuhlbarg stars in the black comedy from the Coen Brothers

A Serious Man – The Coen Brothers are back with a playful black comedy starring Michael Stuhlbarg as a Midwestern university professor whose life starts to unravel. (Tue 27 & Wed 28 Oct)

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Nowhere BoySam Taylor-Wood‘s hotly anticipated movie about John Lennon’s early years is the Closing Night Gala. (Thu 29 Oct)