London-y Films To See In November

By Londonist Last edited 41 months ago
London-y Films To See In November

The clocks have gone back and the darkness is settling in. If you can’t beat it, join it, in the snug of your local cinema. November sees numerous 2015 London Film Festival highlights going on general release so, if you missed out last month, you can now feast on an array of quality productions already tipped as 2016 awards season contenders. The only problem is which to choose first...


Burnt: London set

Director: John Wells
Certificate: 12A
Release Date: 6 November 2015
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Omar Sy, Daniel Bruhl, Matthew Rhys, Uma Thurman, Emma Thompson

The career resurgence of the original West London boho girl continues unabated. Ms Miller underwent training from the newly cuddly Marcus Wareing, no less, for her role in Burnt. Bradley Cooper (above) stars as a bad boy, enfant terrible sweary-chef (no idea where they could have Gordon inspiration for that character) who quits Paris to try for a third Michelin star right here in London. Tip: after 90 minutes ogling scram, you’d best have dinner reservations lined up for afters.

Brooklyn: 2015 London Film Festival Gala

Director: John Crowley
Certificate: 12A
Release Date: 6 November 2015
Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Emory Cohen, Jim Broadbent, Julie Walters

A chaste 1950s romance between a naive, sensible Irish immigrant girl and respectful New Yoik Italian boy might sound as dull as a wet weekend in Clapton but, with strong lead performances, lovely period detail and a sparkling supporting cast, Brooklyn is uncynical and surprisingly endearing. The fabulous Julie Walters shamelessly steals every scene as a permanently outraged mother-hen landlady. The screenplay was penned by London's own Nick Hornby.

Kill Your Friends: London talent, London set

Director: Owen Harris
Certificate: 18
Release Date: 6 November 2015
Stars: Nicolas Hoult, Craig Roberts, James Corden, Tom Riley, Joseph Mawle, Georgia King, Ed Skrein, Jim Piddock

Essentially American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman set loose in Britpop era London, Kill Your Friends follows the (mis)adventures of a psychopathic, music-hating A&R executive who employs murder as a career advancement tool. Starring Nicholas Hoult, with teeth shattering levels of violence it’s not for the fainthearted, but the caricatured, fictional pop stars he represents may make you look at your 1990s CD collection in a whole new light.

The Lady In The Van: London set, 2015 London Film Festival Gala

Director: Nicholas Hytner
Certificate: 12A
Release Date: 13 November 2015
Stars: Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings, Frances De La Tour, Roger Allam

If you were lucky enough to catch Dame Maggie Smith’s fabulous stage performance of The Lady In The Van, may we remind you it took place in 1999. Yes, in the last millennium, we’re not sugar-coating it. For you (sickeningly youthful) millennials, National Treasure and living personification of a hot buttered crumpet, Alan Bennett, allowed an eccentric homeless woman, Miss Shepherd, to live in a parked van on his front drive in Camden for 15 years. The Lady In The Van is the warm, witty and emotional account of his experience. Essential viewing — read our full review here.

Steve Jobs: 2015 London Film Festival Closing Night Gala

Director: Danny Boyle
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 13 November 2015
Stars: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels, Katherine Waterston, Michael Stuhlbarg

Fresh from Macbeth, the mighty Fassbender’s 2016 Oscar campaign revs up another notch with his second anti-hero in as many months. Unlike 2013’s Jobs, which portrayed the Apple founder in reverentially glowing terms, Steve Jobs pulls no punches in its depiction of the borderline sociopathic tendencies that marred his tech genius. With a sharp, eminently quotable script from Aaron 'The Social Network' Sorkin, it’s not exactly comfortable viewing, but it’s certainly eye-opening.

The Fear Of 13: 2015 London Film Festival Best Documentary Nominee

Director: David Sington
Certificate: TBC
Release Date: 13 November 2015
Stars: Nicholas Yarris

Nominated for Best Documentary at the LFF, The Fear Of 13 is perhaps less a traditional doc and more a one-man play. Protagonist Nick undertakes a 90 minute monologue, describing to an unseen interviewer off screen his real life experience of being wrongly accused of murder, sentenced to death and spending 23 years on Death Row until finally proving his innocence. As much a testament to self belief, resolve and the power of words, Nick is a compelling and charismatic storyteller who raises as many questions in the audience’s minds as he answers. Utterly fascinating.  

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Director: Francis Lawrence
Certificate: TBC
Release Date: 19 November 2015
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks

One of the only out-and-out blockbusters on release this month, J-Law finally frees herself from franchise shackles as the last instalment of The Hunger Games, thinly stretched into two maximum money making parts as now seems de rigueur, hits town. Expect more glossy sets, girl-power action and frankly rather disturbing levels of violence for tweens. Kids these days...

Mr Calzaghe

Mr Calzaghe: London Talent

Director: Vaughan Sivell
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 20 November 2015
Stars: Joe Calzaghe, Enzo Calzaghe, Michael J Fox, James Dean Bradfield

You may think of boxing supremo Joe Calzaghe as a Welsh boy through and through, but he was actually born in Hammersmith then uprooted to Wales as a tot. London’s loss was our Celtic cousin’s gain as he became the longest reigning super middleweight world champion in history. Biopic Mr Calzaghe was filmed in London, Wales, NYC, Las Vegas and Sardinia, with cinematic aspirations well above those of your usual, prosaic doc.

Black Mass: London Talent, 2015 London Film Festival Gala

Director: Scott Cooper
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 27 November 2015
Stars: Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Joel Edgerton, Dakota Johnson

The once-golden Mr Depp has recently proved box office kryptonite. Black Mass looks set to reverse this trend. The gritty, intense and oppressive biopic of real life Boston crime lord Jimmy ‘Whitey’ Bulger, it pays stylish homage to the classic 70s crime epics of Scorsese et al. Sporting a disconcerting fake hairline and perma-sneer, Mr Depp tones down his penchant for facial tics and tricks and instead delivers a performance of terrifying suppressed menace. Hammersmith lad Benedict Cumberbatch is effective casting as his equally high cheek boned but morally superior brother.

Carol: 2015 London Film Festival BFI Fellowship Award

Director: Todd Haynes
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 27 November 2015
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Kyle Chandler

The deserved winner of the 2015 BFI Fellowship, the regal Cate Blanchett is in a talent class of her own. In Carol, she plays a bored, rich and glamorous 1950s society woman who initiates an affair with a lower class, younger shop girl. It’s a showcase for Blanchett, who was born to wear red lipstick and smoke cigarettes with an insouciant glamour that laughs in the face of lung disease. Dreamy, languid and with emotionally complex performances as well as being beautiful to look at, it has ‘awards season’ written all over it.

By Ruth Sloss

Last Updated 31 October 2015