The best movies to watch from London Film Festival


As the (popcorn) dust settles on this year’s event, here’s our critic’s round-up of the films we didn’t have space to preview.

Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths

Alejandro G. Iñárritu‘s latest is as bizarre as it is self-indulgent. Full of visual metaphor and absurd humour, this three-hour, character-driven epic about a frustrated documentarian is at times beautiful, devastating, hilarious and aggravating. It all comes together as one of the longest and most divisive films on the festival circuit. Worth seeing to know what all the fuss is about. In cinemas on 18th November, on Netflix from 16th December

Enys Men

Cryptic and haunting, Mark Jenkin’s Cornish folk-horror is a symbol-rich love letter to eerie fare of the 70 and 80s such as The Wicker Man and The Blood on Satan’s Claw. Enys Men is an exercise in pure analogue form, yearning for a time of flickering tape, film-grain and free-associative narratives. A nostalgic dream that becomes a bizarre nightmare. In cinemas January 2023

Blue Jean

Blue Jean is exactly the kind of film we need right now: a direct confrontation with Britain’s bigoted past. A kitchen-sink drama about a lesbian schoolteacher, set in 1988, in the wake of Section 28 (the bill that banned discussion of homosexuality in schools), Blue Jean is a reminder that beneath nostalgia is a truth composed of pain and rage — and, given today’s moral panic over trans identity, a poignant tale on the power of cultural intolerance. In cinemas 10th February 2023


Saim Sadiq’s debut is a beautiful, queer film aching with the scars of social repression. A devastating drama set in Lahore, Pakistan, that follows a young backup dancer as he falls for a transgender musician, in the face of his conservative father. The rare film that respects its trans protagonist unconditionally, granting her joy, without skimping on the harsh reality of discrimination. Joyland is brilliant. In cinemas 24th February 2023

Medusa Deluxe

Written and directed by British newcomer Thomas Hardiman, Medusa Deluxe was one of the biggest surprises of LFF. When a stylist is murdered at a regional hairdressing competition, leaving the contestants pointing fingers, scissors fly and tempers soar. The result is one of the most sharply written, bitchiest and straightforwardly hilarious films of the entire festival. A sheer delight made even better by incredible performances. Oh, and it’s all shot in one take, too. Release TBC

Watch a hand-picked selection of the best new films from around the world, exclusively on BFI Player until 23rd October

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