53rd Times BFI London Film Festival

A dapper George Clooney was at the forefront of the sizeable Hollywood contingent trooping down the red carpet in Leicester Square last night for the world premiere of Wes Anderson’s animated screen version of Roald Dahl’s children’s classic Fantastic Mr Fox.

Joining Clooney and director Anderson on stage before the screening at the Odeon Leicester Square were their compatriots Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Wally Wolodarsky and Anderson’s brother Eric (all members of the film’s voice cast).  In the nick of time, however, Anderson was able to introduce “two people who do have British passports” –  “national treasure” Jarvis Cocker (who has a small role and sings a song) and Felicity Dahl, the writer’s widow and “the woman who brought the spirit of Roald Dahl to the film”.

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This Transatlantic crossover runs into the movie itself, a quirky stop-motion animated tale relating the efforts of Clooney’s Mr Fox to outwit a trio of farmers. The good guys, the heroic, quick-witted, dashing animals are all American, while the bad guys, the grasping, trigger-happy farmers (headed by Michael Gambon’s mean Mr Bean), are all English. Make of that what you will.