The View From Here

London Film Festival -- our final round-up

Michael Bonner

Here's our look at the best films from this year's London Film Festival...

The real pleasure at the LFF is seeking out its hidden gems. Here are 10 of this year’s best…

California Dreamin’ (Endless)
A train of US Marines are stopped en route to Kosovo by a Romanian station-master. Fraternisation and then tragedy ensue.

Don’t Think About It
Valerio Mastandrea, all hangdog charm, is a past-it Italian punk star, forced into responsibility when his respectable relatives crack.

Echo
Kim Bodnia (Pusher) is a loving but unstable father on the run with his son. Uncomfortably tense viewing, as he teeters on the edge.

Chop Shop
In New York’s “Iron Triangle” of dodgy garages and junkyards, 12-year-old Alejandro fends for himself and his prostitute sister.

Grace Is Gone
John Cusack’s soldier wife is killed in Iraq. In shock, he takes their kids on a road trip.

Alexandra
Alexandra visits her Red Army grandson in Chechnya. Filmed in war-wrecked Grozny, looking as petrified and lost as Pompeii.

La Zona
A teen robber from the slums finds himself trapped in a Mexico City gated community straight out of JG Ballard.

The Unpolished
From Germany. Adolescent Stevie tries to escape slack, drug-dazed commune life with her wild parents.

Juno
Witheringly sarcastic Juno, 16, gets pregnant, and picks yuppies Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman to adopt her baby. Sweet, scatological fun.

Days and Clouds
A middle-class Italian couple hit the rocks when he loses his job. Epic and emotional, like a soft-hearted Ken Loach.

NICK HASTED


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