BFI London Film Festival 2014 – Day Seven
Now this is what I’m talking about, a full day of film festival fun, two movies (it would have been three but Xavier Dolan’s Mommy was ‘sold out’ by the time I got there) and another press conference, all cantering around this jazzy little number;
Fantastic movie, pure and simple. Incredible, committed performances, evasion of the expected mentor/pupil genre traps (the film has a Sundance rather than say a Warner Spotlight vibe) and a narrative which fulfils its emotional waypoints. Just to join the choir on stating the bleedin’ obvious but J.K. Simmons is 100% an absolute lock for a Best Supporting Actor nomination, and he was quite the charmer at the post screening press conference over at the Mayfair Hotel;
So just about enough time to wolf down a sandwich before tearing the pavement up back to Shaftsbury Avenue for the second screening of the day, Greg Araki’s hard edged fairy tale White Bird In A Blizzard;
This was an unexpected treat, I’m glad I took a risk as other options were on the menu. It’s no masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination but as a well baked blend of Douglas Sirk and John Hughes it works as a coming-of-age tale within an eerie mystery. After her turn in The Descendants and a reasonable anchor in the mediocre Divergent franchise Shailene Woodley is going from strength to strength, and if nothing else the film has a period specific soundtrack – 1988 to 1991 – which seems to have been directly culled from I and my mates playlists of that period; The Jesus & Mary Chain, Echo & The Bunnymen, New Order, The Cure, Depeche Mode and most esoterically This Mortal Coil. Twice.