Home Red Carpet + Celebrity Images George Clooney & Cindy Crawford + Romola Garai & Viggo Mortensen: London Film Festival

George Clooney & Cindy Crawford + Romola Garai & Viggo Mortensen: London Film Festival

George Clooney stares at a goat (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

Wes Anderson and Bill Murray attend the Fantastic Mr Fox press conference at The 2009 Times BFI London Film Festival held at the Dorchester Hotel on October 14. A show business veteran with about 40 features to his credit, Bill Murray has been around since the mid-1970s. In the U.S., the Saturday Night Live alumnus became a movie star following the success of the lowbrow comedies Meatballs (1979) and Caddyshack (1980), while Ivan Reitman’s comedy-fantasy blockbuster Ghostbusters (1984) made him more of an international name. Yet from then on Murray’s big-screen career would have many more downs (The Razor’s Edge, Quick Change, Larger Than Life) than ups (Scrooged, Ghostbusters II, Groundhog Day). In early 2004, he earned a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his latest upswing effort, Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation.

Photos: Ian Gavan/Getty Images

George Clooney, Bill Murray

Photos: Ian Gavan/Getty Images

George Clooney arrives for the premiere of The Men Who Stare at Goats during the The Times BFI 53rd London Film Festival at the Odeon Leicester Square on October 15.

Photos: Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Neve Campbell

Elisabetta Canalis at the premiere of The Men Who Stare at Goats during the The Times BFI 53rd London Film Festival, held at the Odeon Leicester Square on October 15.

Photos: Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Damian Lewis, Helen McCrory

Photos: Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Ben Kingsley, Daniela Lavender

John Hurt

Romola Garai attends the World Premiere of Fantastic Mr Fox, the Opening Gala event of The 2009 Times BFI London Film Festival, at the Odeon Leicester Square on October 14.

Photos: Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Elisabetta Canalis, George Clooney

Cindy Crawford

Photos: Samir Hussein/Getty Images

Colin Firth at the premiere of A Single Man, directed by Ford, during the Times BFI 53rd London Film Festival at the Vue West End on October 16.

Matthew Goode

A handful of highlights at the 2009 The Times-BFI London Film Festival:

The Road, based on Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, sounds like the perfect Thanksgiving movie:

“An unnamed man (Viggo Mortensen) and his young son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) travel alone through a post-apocalyptic landscape, ravaged by an unspecified catastrophe. Ash and soot hang in the air, it is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is grey. The sky is dark, the cities abandoned and empty, the roads littered with corpses, the countryside deserted save for marauding gangs eating human flesh to survive.”

Appropriately enough, The Road opens in the US on Nov. 25. Mortensen, I should add, is a potential Oscar contender for best actor.

Jan Nemec’s “auto documentary” The Ferrari Dino Girl. As per the festival’s website, “in 1968, [Nemec] filmed the first footage of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia to be smuggled out of the country. It subsequently appeared in television coverage throughout the world as well as in his own film Oratorio for Prague and the Hollywood adaptation of The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Here he recounts how he filmed the material and smuggled it to Austria with the help of a girl called Jana, ‘the Ferrari Dino girl.'”

This Very Instant is described as “a stylish documentary from Spanish filmmaker Manuel Huerga [that] follows Oscar-winning Uruguayan singer-composer Jorge Drexler as he undertakes a short tour in late 2007.”

Drexler won an Oscar for composing the song “Al otro lado del rio” from The Motorcycle Diaries.

Dirigible, Frank Capra’s 1931 adventure melodrama, stars Ralph Graves and Jack Holt as two aviators competing to plant the US flag at the South Pole. A pre-King Kong Fay Wray (above, with Holt) is the girl between. I’ve never seen this one, but if it’s on a par with Flight, then Wray is the extra wheel that should be discarded so Holt and Graves can live happily ever after. (By the way, the extra wheel in Flight was Lila Lee, who deserved more than what she got in talking pictures.)

Print restored by Grover Crisp at Sony-Columbia “as part of a programme to revive all Capra’s forgotten oeuvre at the studio which nurtured him.”

Asli Özge’s Men on the Bridge is “a prize-winning portrait of life in the rapidly changing sprawl of today’s Istanbul, offering resonant and affecting insights in a pacy, punchy, multi-strand narrative.”

According to the festival’s website, “Özge’s wonderfully fresh, insightful portrait of life in today’s Istanbul is equally relevant to London or any rapidly changing metropolis in its reflections on how economics, family, the media, sex, race, tradition and globalisation affect our lives.”

Photos: Courtesy of the London Film Festival

Photos: Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Viggo Mortensen attend a photocall for The Road during the Times BFI 53rd London Film Festival at the Mayfair Hotel on October 16.

Photos: Samir Hussein/Getty Images

Director Cristian Mungiu arrives at the premiere of Tales from the Golden Age at the Vue West End on October 17.

The Times BFI London Film Festival website.

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Greta de Groat -

In Dirigible, Hobart Bosworth totally steals the movie. What a grand old fellow! I found i was pretty much uninterested in everything else that went on, including Fay Wray’s part. I didn’t even remember who the stars were!


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