64th Edinburgh International Film Festival casts a spell with The Illusionist

Edinburgh Film Festival

The 64th Edinburgh International Film Festival gets underway tonight with the UK premiere of The Illusionist, the magical new animated movie from Sylvain Chomet.

Chomet’s the inspired Belgian director who made the marvellous Belleville Rendez-vous, that charmingly offbeat black comedy about a plucky grandmother and dog going to the rescue of a kidnapped Tour de France cyclist. Based on an un-produced script by Jacques Tati, Chomet’s new movie promises to be equally beguiling.

The festival climaxes in 12 days time with Third Star, a tragic-comic buddy movie from BAFTA-winning short film maker Hattie Dalton starring Tom Burke, Benedict Cumberbatch, JJ Feild and Adam Robertson.

Toy Story 3 in 3D

Highlights in between include the UK premiere of Toy Story 3 in 3D, featuring the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and Joan Cusack; Werner Herzog’s curiously titled My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done; Steven Soderbergh’s documentary about legendary writer and performer Spalding Gray, And Everything Is Going Fine; and Cherry Tree Lane, a new thriller from London to Brighton director Paul Andrew Williams.

22 Bullets - Jeno Reno stars in this hard-boiled French thriller

Other films to watch out for are Mr Nice, Bernard Rose’s biopic of infamous drug runner Howard Marks, starring Rhys Ifans in the lead role; chic French rom-com Heartbreaker starring Romain Duris and Vanessa Paradis; and 22 Bullets, a hard-boiled Gallic thriller in which Jean Reno’s ex-outlaw is left for dead with the titular slugs in his body.

Last year’s festival gave early outings to Kathryn Bigalow’s The Hurt Locker, Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank and Lars von Trier’s controversial Antichrist. Wonder which films everyone will be talking about after this year’s event.

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