Day 9 of the BFI London Film Festival didn't tout much at all in the way of glitzy premieres or Oscar hopefuls (just Werner Herzog's tech documentary Lo and Behold), but Day 10 came bounding out with a diverse selection of films for sure.
Our picks include Amy Adams' latest attempt at an Oscar (Nocturnal Animals), the highly controversial snubee for the Best Foreign Film Selection (Aquarius), not to mention the world premiere of a daring new British thriller (The Ghoul) and a delightful Finnish horror film (Bodom) sure to shock and amuse in equal measure.
Here's our coverage from days 9 and 10 of the BFI London Film Festival...
5. Nocturnal Animals
The second feature from fashion designer and writer-director Tom Ford (A Single Man) may not reach the highs of his debut, but it's still a beguilingly odd psychological thriller packed with strong performances and beautiful images.
The less you know about the twisty narrative is surely for the better, though know that it riffs playfully on narrative and meta-narrative in wholly transparent fashion (sometimes to its own detriment).
This is an actor's film and, somewhat unsurprisingly, they elevate decent material: Amy Adams is a chilly delight as a distant art gallery owner reflecting on her failed marriage, while Jake Gyllenhaal plays her ex-husband and also the fictional character of a novel manuscript her husband sent to her. Best of all, though, is Michael Shannon as an hysterically dour detective who passes through the film like a force of nature, stealing every scene he's in.
Rating: It doesn't live up to Ford's 2009 debut, but Nocturnal Animals is still delightfully bizarre, gorgeous work and thanks to Shannon's performance might even score an Oscar nomination. 7/10