BFI London Film Festival 2015 Preview
The 59th BFI London Film Festival boasts a huge 240 films from 72 countries around the world meaning I would have to clone myself multiples times in order to see the full programme in 12 days.
Luckily, my unrelenting appetite for cinema coupled with the ever-increasing cold weather in the UK capital, means I am doing my very best to catch the best the event has to offer.
The festival kicked off with Sarah Gavron's powerful drama Suffragette, which details a group of womans' fight to for the right to vote in post-Great War Britain.
The movie stars Carey Mulligan as Maud, a low paid washer woman who, abused by her employer, joins the struggle spearheaded by the iconic Emily Pankhurst, played fleetingly by treble Oscar winner Meryl Streep.
Mulligan receives stellar support from Helena Bonham Carter and Anne-Marie Duff, who draw Maud into their cause which becomes increasingly more militant as the UK government continue to ignore their pleas for equality.
As a nice contrast to Suffragette, the festival will close with Danny Boyle's Steve Jobs, which explores the personality of one of the 20th century's most dynamic alpha males.
Starring Michael Fassbender as the turtle neck sporting Apple co-founder, the movie is based on Walter Isaacson's biography which has been adapted by Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network).
The story centres on Jobs during three different product launches over a 14 year period. Kate Winslet plays an Apple marketing executive who stands up to the dictatorial innovator.
The rest of the cast includes Seth Rogan playing fellow co-founder Steve Wozniak and Jeff Daniels as Apple CEO John Sculley.
Last year's festival featured an array of award's contenders including the phenomenal Whiplash, World War II drama The Imitation Game and Best Picture Oscar winner Birdman, which was the LFF secret film – which I managed to sneak (politely begged) into.
And many of 2015's selections look set to be in the conversation come Oscar time, including Jay Roach's Trumbo starring Bryan Cranston as the eccentric and brilliant screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who was placed on the Hollywood blacklist during the McCarthy era communist witch hunts.
In Carol, acting dynamo Cate Blanchett stars opposite Rooney Mara, as two woman at either end of a sizeable age gap who start a relationship in the repressed 1950's.
Director Todd Haynes (I'm Not There) has touched on this kind of subject matter before in the excellent and beautifully crafted Far From Heaven (2002).
Another exciting performer Saoirse Ronan (Hanna) stars in John Crowley's Brooklyn as an Irish immigrant torn between a new life in post-war America and her homeland.
Based on Colm Toibin's acclaimed novel, Brooklyn, was adapted by British author Nick Hornby whose previous credits include An Education (2009) which is one the most sophisticated and deft pieces of screenwriting in the last decade.
Actor Ben Foster's portrayal of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong in Stephen Fear's The Program is one of the early front runner's for the Best Actor academy award and has been well received at the festival.
One of the most anticipated features at the event is Yorgos Lanthimos' black comedy The Lobster, which is set in a dystopian future where being single has been outlawed, and has an eclectic cast including Olivia Coleman, John C. Reilly and Colin Farrell.
Director Lanthimos is one of Greek new wave's breakout stars – his previous work, including Dogtooth (2009), has been critically acclaimed.
Another hot ticket is Jacques Audiard's Dheepan, which centers on a former child soldier from Sri Lanka desperately trying to start a life in Paris.
Not only did the film win the Palme d'Or at Cannes, but Audiard's previous work including A Prophet (2009) and Rust and Bone (2012) has established him as one of the best filmmakers in the world.
Personally, the movie which I am most looking forward to is Danish black comedy, Men and Chicken.
Directed by a titan of modern Danish cinema Anders Thomas Jensen, a filmmaker who is actually best known as a writer having penned numerous features most notably Susanne Bier films Brothers (2004), After The Wedding (2006) and In A Better World (2010).
However, his last directorial effort, Adam's Apple (2005), starring Mads Mikkelsen, is quite simply one of the funniest films I have ever seen.
And now ten years later, Jensen returns with what looks like an unofficial sequel to Adam's Apple.
Men and Chicken also stars Hannibal's Mikkelsen as one half of a pair of brothers who are exiled to a strange island community where odd ball behavior, including bestiality and murder, are prevalent.
In my opinion, a black comedy isn't quite authentically dark enough if it doesn't contain a spot of bestiality.
Stay tuned for more BFI London Film Festival news, including reviews.