Red Carpet Roster; Hot Tickets; Book Now

Article excerpt

Byline: NICK RODDICK

THE LONDON FILM FESTIVAL Selected cinemas across London

THE first wave of the BFI's evercomplicated booking system opens today for next month's London Film Festival, which has one of its best-ever line-ups. Members get priority on tickets for now but everyone else would be advised to be ready with their choices from next week. The big films tend to sell out fast so it's time to study the programme. Here are our recommendations:

FANTASTIC MR FOX

Roald Dahl's take on the British countryside as filtered through the febrile cinematic brain of Wes Anderson (The Darjeeling Limited) should please the Animal Liberation Front as much as the Berkeley Hunt. Voices include George Clooney, Meryl Streep and Bill Murray.

THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS

A useful corrective to all those earnest Hollywood films about Eye-rak, with Clooney (again) playing a "psychic warrior" who messes with the minds of assorted evil-doers. Based on the book by Jon Ronson, with Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey also having a lot of fun.

THE ROAD

Aussie John Hillcoat and London playwright Joe Penhall bring Cormac McCarthy's apocalyptic novel to the screen. Hollywood tried to sanitise it but McCarthy backed them all the way. Viggo Mortensen stars.

PRECIOUS

Indie hit from Sundance about an obese American teen who is pregnant for the second time at 16 after being raped by her mother's boyfriend. Director Lee Daniels doesn't flinch but he knows he's making a movie, not a case study. The performances are knockout -- even Mariah Carey's.

NOWHERE BOY

Sam Taylor-Wood makes her feature debut with this life of Lennon: the early years. Very early, since it's mostly about John, his auntie Mimi and his mum. Our hero also meets Macca and discovers rock'n'roll.

BRIGHT STAR

Jane Campion's lavish but curiously unengaging film about the relationship between the poet John Keats and his neighbour Fanny Brawne was a hit in Cannes and features stand-out performances by Ben Whishaw as Keats and Abbie Cornish as Fanny. …