Top five films to see at the London Film Festival

18 October 2017 by
First published: 12 September 2017

Top five films to see at the London Film Festival

Here are the top five films to see at the London Film Festival by a variety of inspirational female directors.

The BFI London Film Festival is one of the most exciting events in the film calendar. It showcases a great breadth of talent from filmmakers, directors, producers and actors. Without doubt, one of the highlights of this year’s festival is Battle of the Sexes. It documents the extraordinary 1970s tennis match where Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs went head to head. The film is surely set to make a huge impact on the festival. With that in mind, here are the top five films to see at the London Film Festival that also celebrate the work of innovative, female directors.

Battle of the Sexes, directed by Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton

Battle of the Sexes gives an in-depth look into the lives of tennis legends Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs as they both prepared for the match of their lives. We watch as Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) strives to achieve gender equality in tennis while also learning about her own sexuality. We also watch male chauvinist Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) as he tries to maintain his marriage with a gambling problem. This film is illuminating and highly entertaining. You know how it’s going to end, but that doesn’t stop the journey there from being extremely enjoyable.

You Were Never Really Here, directed by Lynne Ramsay

Prepare to be thrilled with Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here, which is a dark exploration of the human character. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix as a man struggling with the ghosts of his past and the horrors of his present. Joaquin plays Joe, a former soldier and FBI agent who now utilises his lethal skills to save the unfortunate. Lynne has worked her directorial magic to bring the darkness and grit of Jonathan Ames’ novel to the silver screen and also directed the critically acclaimed We Need to Talk About Kevin.

Dark River, directed by Clio Barnard

Every family has their fair share of drama and the family in Dark River is no different. Drawing on the complexities of sibling relationships, Dark River focuses on brother and sister Joe (Mark Stanley) and Alice (Ruth Wilson) following the death of their father (Sean Bean). Alice has returned home to claim the family farm after a 15-year absence. She understandably clashes heads with her grieving brother and tensions quickly rise between the estranged siblings. This compelling family drama reveals family secrets and brings painful memories to the surface.

The Party, directed by Sally Potter

Have you ever been to a dinner party that was a bit too awkward for your liking? The Party will make you feel almost as uneasy as the guests attending the gathering at the core of the film. Sally Potter’s political satire brings a variety of explosive characters together for an evening fraught with tension and hilarity. Kristin Scott Thomas plays Janet, the newly appointed Shadow Minister for Health. Janet invites an array of individuals into her home to celebrate her new position, completely unaware that a night of mayhem is about to ensue.

Faithfull, directed by Sandrine Bonnaire

Marianne Faithfull has had an illustrious career for over fifty years. The singer, songwriter and actress became an international sensation in the 1960s thanks to her hit song ‘As Tears Go By’. Distinguished actor-director Sandrine Bonnaire has created an immersive documentation of Marianne’s life and career in Faithfull. The film is a compilation of interviews, archive footage and live performances. She’s created an authentic portrait of the woman behind the voice that’s bound to enthral audiences.

The BFI London Film Festival is taking place 4-15 October.

Visit for more information on how to book tickets for events during the festival. 

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Top five films to see at the London Film Festival
Here are the top five films to see at the London Film Festival by a variety of inspirational female directors.