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BFI 49th London Film Festival

Movie list created by Max the Movie Guy Avatar

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Opening Gala

Following City of God with his first (largely) English language film, Fernando Meirelles proves an inspired choice to direct screenwriter Jeffrey Caine's adaptation of John Le Carré's acclaimed novel, bringing modernity and visual brio to the multi-layered and deeply affecting story.

In a remote area of Northern Kenya, passionate human rights activist Tessa Quayle (Rachel Weisz) is found brutally murdered. Her travelling companion, a local doctor, appears to have fled the scene, and the evidence points to a crime of passion. Sandy Woodrow (Danny Huston), Sir Bernard Pellegrin (Bill Nighy) and the other members of the British High Commission assume that Tessa's husband, their mild-mannered and unambitious colleague Justin Quayle (Ralph Fiennes) will leave any investigation of the matter in their hands. But haunted by remorse and stung by rumours of Tessa's infidelities, he begins to look in to what took her to the region where she was killed. What he discovers is a trail of conspiracy and corporate greed which has claimed innocent lives and will threaten his own.

At the heart of The Constant Gardener is a series of contrasts, encapsulated in cinematographer César Charlone's strikingly beautiful images - vivid red hues for the vibrancy of Kenya, chilly blues and greys for London. The film's non-linear structure moves freely between times and places, constructing the retrospective love story between Justin and Tessa with tenderness and a palpable sense of intimacy, thanks to the very fine performances of Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz. The supporting cast are strong too, including the ever impressive Bill Nighy as the suavely insidious Pellegrin. Topical and socially relevant, The Constant Gardener is not just the most original adaptation of a Le Carré novel we've seen, it's a visionary piece of film-making in its own right.

Sandra Hebron

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Closing Gala

The confrontation between renowned newscaster Edward R. Murrow and Senator Joe McCarthy during the 50s is skilfully reconstructed in this tense political thriller, elegantly directed by George Clooney.

Murrow made a name for himself early in his career with a series of rooftop broadcasts from London during the Blitz. After the war he and his team of reporters moved into television, with their CBS weekly show See it Now produced by Murrow and Fred Friendly. In 1954, at a time when many Americans were fearful of speaking their minds, Murrow took on Senator Joe McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee in a now legendary broadcast. McCarthy responded by accusing Murrow of being a communist.

To the film's great credit, Murrow is portrayed less as a heroic figure than as a journalist of integrity and courage trying to do his job and keep his programme ratings up whilst airing his concerns about the government's activities. Clooney's approach to film-making here is as democratic as the subject deserves, favouring group compositions and fluid camerawork, and whilst David Strathairn gives an outstanding performance as Murrow, he's amidst a strong ensemble which includes Frank Langella, Robert Downey Jr, Patricia Clarkson and Jeff Daniels (Clooney takes the part of Fred Friendly, and films himself with a complete lack of vanity). With its expressive black and white cinematography, Good Night, and Good Luck. expertly captures the climate of cold war paranoia in all its grey conformity, and the monotone palette smooths the inclusion of archive footage of McCarthy himself. The film's theme of the news media's responsibility to speak the truth to and about the powers of the day is not so much timely as timeless, and all credit to Clooney for the cinematic boldness he brings to it.

Sandra Hebron
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Gala Films and Special Screenings

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People who added this item 334 Average listal rating (172 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.5
The Child (2005)
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People who added this item 806 Average listal rating (486 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.3
Hidden (2005)
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People who added this item 1154 Average listal rating (662 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.6
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People who added this item 498 Average listal rating (319 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.4
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People who added this item 2861 Average listal rating (1755 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.9
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Film on the Square

People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 5.7
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People who added this item 15 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 6.6
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People who added this item 120 Average listal rating (62 ratings) 5.2 IMDB Rating 5.5
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People who added this item 85 Average listal rating (37 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.7
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People who added this item 144 Average listal rating (63 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.6
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People who added this item 152 Average listal rating (98 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.1
Election (2005)
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People who added this item 1691 Average listal rating (978 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.4
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People who added this item 168 Average listal rating (97 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.6
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People who added this item 43 Average listal rating (23 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
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People who added this item 230 Average listal rating (131 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.4
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People who added this item 149 Average listal rating (54 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.9
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People who added this item 119 Average listal rating (63 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.6
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People who added this item 69 Average listal rating (35 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.7
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People who added this item 169 Average listal rating (87 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.6
Lonesome Jim (2005)
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People who added this item 140 Average listal rating (60 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.6
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People who added this item 490 Average listal rating (223 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.4
Manderlay (2005)
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People who added this item 294 Average listal rating (203 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.8
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People who added this item 139 Average listal rating (72 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.8
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People who added this item 659 Average listal rating (349 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.8
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People who added this item 33 Average listal rating (18 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.1
Rize (2005)
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People who added this item 502 Average listal rating (296 ratings) 5.6 IMDB Rating 0
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People who added this item 82 Average listal rating (46 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.4
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People who added this item 148 Average listal rating (62 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7
Three Times (2005)
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People who added this item 172 Average listal rating (83 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.1
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People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 6.4
Ultranova (2005)
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People who added this item 233 Average listal rating (127 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.5
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New British Cinema

People who added this item 7 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 7.5
Black Sun (2005)
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People who added this item 573 Average listal rating (291 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.9
Mirrormask (2005)
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People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.5
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People who added this item 82 Average listal rating (39 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 5.8
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 2 IMDB Rating 5.9
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web.archive.org/web/20051107011250/http://www.lff.org.uk/films.php?
The (almost) complete programme for the 2005 LFF.

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BFI London Film Festival (17 lists)
list by Max the Movie Guy
Published 2 years, 11 months ago



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