Ten movies to see at London Film Festival 2012

Mike P Williams

London Film Festival kicks off its 56th annual extravaganza on 10 October, which is packed with world premieres, documentaries and exclusive films unavailable anywhere else. As usual, it is highly anticipated by both the public and industry critics alike.

With the success of last year and its debuts with the likes of 'Shame' and 'The Descendants', here is a rundown of the top ten to look out for at this year's event:

Ernest and Celestine

After the cult success of Stephane Aubier's last film, 'A Town Called Panic', 'Ernest and Celestine' is the story of a society where bears rule the over ground and mice are driven into an underground existence. A quirky premise indeed. Neither understand one another, as both bear and mouse live in fear of one another until a chance encounter brings Ernest (a street-busking bear) and Celestine (a tooth-stealing mouse) together in a fantastical, adorable world, as the pair form a friendship that'll genuinely warm your heart, not to mention the animation is wonderfully stylistic, too.

Rust and Bone

'The Dark Knight Rises' and 'Inception' offered Marion Cotillard a platform to break Hollywood, but stars in this independent French entry alongside Matthias Schoenaerts, about a whale trainer (Cotillard) who is devastated when a life-changing accident alters things forever, and the pair embarks on an emotionally taut and intriguing drama.

Robot and Frank

Set in the near future, Frank (Frank Langella) is struggling to cope alone as his Alzheimer's gets worse, which forces his son (James Marsden) into purchasing some hired help for him in the form of a Peter Sarsgaard voiced robot butler. 'Robot and Frank' has an enormous heart and deals excellently with the onset of the illness, as well as themes of companionship, loneliness and belonging.

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Judging by the inspiring trailer and immense praise this has received so far in early reviews, 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' looks set to be one of the most inspiring, beautiful and imaginative films of 2012. Fronted by child star Quvenzhané Wallis, it could end up being one of the festival's highlights.


After gaining huge praise for his directorial debut 'Gone Baby Gone' and Boston-based follow up 'The Town', Ben Affleck's current feature is perhaps his most ambitious yet. Based on the true story of the daring 1979 mission of a CIA team that pose as a film crew to rescue six Americans from hostile Iran, it certainly has all the ingredients for a tense, action-packed thriller. Affleck's third film promises to emulate the success of his first two, especially with a cast that includes John Goodman, Bryan Cranston and Alan Arkin.


One of the most anticipated screenings is Michael Haneke's latest drama that promises some of the brilliance we've seen from the director over his career with other acclaimed movies such as 'Hidden', 'The White Ribbon' and 'Funny Games'. Already some critics are hailing it as the film of 2012, so watch this space.

End of watch

Any fans of 'The Shield' will instantly notice the similarities in the trailer for this raw tale of how two cops (Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña) become marked for death after a routine traffic stop and seizure. Similar in style and intensity to the outstanding TV series, expectations are high from David Ayer, the writer of 'Training Day'.


Starring 'Amores Perros' and 'The Motorcycle Diaries' actor Gael García Bernal, 'No' is a drama focusing on the 1988 Chilean referendum, where advertising executive René attempts to defeat General Pinochet after being appointed by his opposing coalition to front a 'no' campaign in an attempt to overthrow the dictator.

Seven Psychopaths

From the genius that brought us 'In Bruges' comes the latest offering from Martin McDonagh, which boasts as all-star cast including Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken and Woody Harrelson. Guaranteed oddball hilarity is bound to ensue, as the trailer demonstrates.

Room 237

Fans of Stanley Kubrick and his masterpiece 'The Shining' will be more than satisfied with this fascinating documentary that addresses some of the theories behind the 1980 film. They range from the absurd to the unbelievable, with each one proving an interesting and informative picking apart of the classic horror film.