London Film Festival 2014

In Features by Beth Webb - Events Editor

Festival favourites and Oscar hopefuls make the meat of this year’s London Film Festival programme. Continuing its multi themed line up for the third year, the festival will consist several strands, bringing UK, European and world premieres to the capital.

The opening night film was announced last month in the form of The Imitation Game (Main Picture), Morten Tydum‘s account of English mathematician Alan Turing. With a cast boasting some of the best British talent, led by Benedict Cumberbatch and including Keira Knightley, Mark Strong and Matthew Goode, this is a homely change in direction from last year’s opening film Captain Phillips, and one of several significantly war based entries.

Domestic highlights also include the UK premier of Mr Turner, Mike Leigh‘s latest on the elder years of British painter J.M.W. Turner, which earned its star Timothy Spall the award for Best Actor at Cannes this year, and Yann Demange’s ’71, starring strong up and comer Jack O’Connell as an abandoned British soldier finding his way to safety in a hostile Belfast. Also premiering at the festival is Testament of Youth, an adaptation of the hugely popular bestseller released to commemorate World War I on its 100th anniversary.

The programme holds several additions which are expected to weigh heavily on next year’s award season. Foxcatcher, Bennett Miller’s sinister wrestling biopic starring Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffolo and a particularly dark turn from Steve Carrell received an excellent reception at Cannes and makes its UK premiere here.  Big names can also be found in Fury, which receives its European premiere and is the festival’s closing film. Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf and Logan Lerman head David Ayer’s historic account of a sergeant named Wardaddy (Pitt) leading his men behind enemy lines. And Reese Witherspoon takes to the road in Wild, an adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir and the follow up to Jean-Marc Vallée’s Dallas Buyer’s Club.

Independent highlights are to include Cannes darling Xavier Dolan’s Mommy, which falls into the festival’s Dare category, Jason Reitman’s Men, Women and Children starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Garner and Jean-Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language, which is to be shown at the BFI IMAX in 3D.

The festival runs from the 8th to the 19th of October, with booking details and the full programme found at the festival site here.

Check out some of the trailers for the films showing at the London Film Festival 2014 below.