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London Film Festival 2022: The biggest films from 'Matilda' to 'Glass Onion'

London Film Festival highlights include Causeway, Glass Onion, and Enys Men. (Apple/Netflix/BFI)
London Film Festival highlights include Causeway, Glass Onion, and Enys Men. (Apple/Netflix/BFI)

The UK’s most prestigious film festival returns fully in person again this year. Now on its 66th edition The BFI’s London Film Festival opens on the 5 October with Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical and will be closing on the 16th with Rian Johnson’s Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.

Alongside official competition titles, LFF will also be featuring some of the most hotly-anticipated titles of the year, including Luca Guadagnino’s Bones and All, Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale and Noah Baumbach’s White Noise which all premiered at Venice Film Festival earlier this year

Presenting a vibrant programme accessible form London and across the country, here are just some of the other titles likely to leave their marks at this year’s LFF.

Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical

Alisha Weir as Matilda Wormwood in Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical. (Sony Pictures)
Alisha Weir as Matilda Wormwood in Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical. (Sony Pictures)

Emma Thompson heads a stellar cast as Miss Trunchbull in what promises to be a dazzling spectacle. Opening the festival with a bang, this star studded musical is both an adaptation of Dahl’s much-loved children's book as well as the West End show composed by Aussie comedian cum composer Tim Minchin.

Directed by Matthew Warchus (Pride), Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical also stars Alisha Weir, Lashana Lynch, Stephen Graham and Andrea Riseborough and will be distributed by Sony Pictures in the UK on 25 November, 2022.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Netflix)
Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. (Netflix)

After premiering at the 47th Toronto International Film Festival last month, the sequel to Rian Johnson’s critically acclaimed murder mystery comedy Knives Out (2019) has been chosen as the closing film for this year's LFF.

Read more: Daniel Craig returning for two Knives Out sequels

Director Johnson and cast members Daniel Craig, Janelle Monae, Edward Norton, Kathryn Hahn, Kate Hudson and Leslie Odom Jr. are all expected to show up for the closing night gala on 16 October.

Empire of Light

Empire of Light (Searchlight Pictures)
Micheal Ward and Olivia Colman in Empire of Light. (Searchlight Pictures)

Following his BAFTA Best Film winner 1917 (2019), director Sir Sam Mendes returns with what some are calling his most personal film yet. Starring Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward, Tom Brooke and Colin Firth, Empire of Light recounts a love story that takes place in an English coastal cinema during the 1980s.

The film opened at the Telluride Film Festival last month to mixed reviews, but is sure to still be in the running for some awards later in the year.

Living

Based on Ikiru by Akira Kurosawa, Living stars Bill Nighy as a man determined to wake from his slumber and make a mark on the world. With a screenplay from award-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of the Day, Never Let Me Go, Klara and The Sun) and directed by Cape Town born filmmaker Oliver Hermanus (Moffie), Living also stars Aimee Lou Wood, Alex Sharp, Tom Burke.

She Said

(from left) Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) and Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) in She Said, directed by Maria Schrader. (Universal Pictures)
Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) and Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) in She Said, directed by Maria Schrader. (Universal Pictures)

Perhaps one of the most hotly anticipated films of the festival, She Said tells the story of the two brilliant New York Times investigative journalists who broke the story behind Harvey Weinstein’s serial abuse of women in Hollywood.

Sure to be on many award voters lists later in the year, the film stars Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan and is directed by Maria Schrader from a screenplay by Rebecca Lenkiewicz. Patricia Clarkson, Andre Braugher and Jennifer Ehle aslo star. The film will be distributed in the UK by Universal Pictures and will be released in November.

Allelujah

Ross Tomlinson (Gerald) conducts the hospital choir in Allelujah. (Pathé/BBC)
Ross Tomlinson (Gerald) conducts the hospital choir in Allelujah. (Pathé/BBC)

Jennifer Saunders, Russell Tovey, David Bradley, Derek Jacobi and Dame Judi Dench star in Richard Eyre’s adaptation of Alan Bennett’s acclaimed play about a hospital for the elderly. Allelujah had its debut at TIFF last month and will be released here in the UK by Warner Brothers early next year.

Causeway

Jennifer Lawrence in
Jennifer Lawrence in "Causeway," premiering November 4, 2022 on Apple TV+. (Apple)

Could Jennifer Lawrence be heading for a second best actress Oscar for her role in Lila Neugebauer’s Causeway? Lawrence stars as an injured US army Afghanistan veteran who returns home where she undergoes a slow and painful process of rehabilitation.

Read more: Stars who lost their Oscars

The film also stars Brian Tyree Henry (If Beale Street Could Talk) and is being released by Apple TV+ on in November. Both Lawrence and Henry received high praise for their roles when the film opened in Toronto last month.

My Policeman

Harry Styles and Emma Corrin in My Policeman. (Prime Video)
Harry Styles and Emma Corrin in My Policeman. (Prime Video)

This adaptation of Bethan Roberts’ 2012 novel by the same name is the second film to star pop sensation Harry Styles this year. While much has been written about his role and the frankly ridiculous drama surrounding Don’t Worry Darling, there has been little to no hysteria surrounding the release of this small, yet perfectly formed period drama.

Directed by Michael Grandage, My Policeman also stars Emma Corrin, Gina McKee, Linus Roache, and Rupert Everett. It tells the story of a closeted married gay police officer in 1950 Brighton.

Enys Men

The Volunteer (Mary Woodvine) in Enys Men. (BFI)
The Volunteer (Mary Woodvine) in Enys Men. (BFI)

Acclaimed Bait director Mark Jenkin returns with a film that was selected to be part of the official competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Shot on grainy 16mm, this chilling folk horror is set in 1973 on an uninhabited island off the Cornish coast and stars Mary Woodvine (Bait), Edward Rowe (Bait) and Flo Crowe. Enys Men is part of the LFF official competition.

Blue Jean

Blue Jean (Altitude)
Blue Jean (Altitude)

Blue Jean is perhaps the biggest surprise of this year's film festival season and what is likely to be on the running for Best British Film at this year’s BAFTAs. Georgia Oakley’s quiet and soulful drama tells the story of a closeted PE teacher who struggles with her identity during Thatcherite Britain and during the implementation of Section 28.

Blue Jean stars Rosy McEwen, Kerrie Hayes and Lucy Halliday and is part of the First Feature Competition at this year’s festival.

Ticket for the London Film Festival are on sale now.

Watch a teaser trailer for Sam Mendes' Empire of Light