London Film Festival top picks: ‘Journey’

Time Out's critics select five films to look out for in the London Film Festival's ‘Journey’ strand

1/5

Affluent housewife Anna strikes up an unusual friendship with her chauffeur, Fai. Anna’s husband seems to have disappeared after a failed financial deal, and Fai is struggling to get his pregnant wife and young daughter past immigration controls into Hong Kong. The two drive around silently, protected by the sheltered confines of the car.

Read more about ‘Bends’

2/5

Mahamat-Saleh Haroun is one of Africa's most celebrated filmmakers outside of the continent. His latest film, set and shot in Chad, tells the story of a young man with a paralysed leg who dreams of being a dancer and who takes up work with a gang of petrol smugglers.

Read more about ‘GriGris’

3/5

Set over a single drive from Wales to London, the film charts the breakdown of structural engineer Ivan Locke’s mental state following a workplace error. Written and directed by ‘Eastern Promises’ scribe Steven Knight, this looks like a solid Brit thriller with a smart concept and a reliable leading man.

Read more about ‘Locke’

4/5

Short Term 12 is, as its name suggests, a temporary place of residence: a foster home for problem teens in a small US town. The only people for whom it’s a permanent residence are Grace (Brie Larson) and Mason (John Gallagher Jr), carers by day and a couple by night.

Read more about ‘Short Term 12’

5/5

Think ‘Let the Right One In’ minus the vampires: loneliness, bullying, a strange community, and – inevitably – loss of innocence. Sensitive 11-year-old Adrian, abandoned by his parents and anxious after three children in the local town have gone missing, has his life shaken up by the arrival of wild and mysterious Nicole, who moves in across the street.

Read more about ‘The Weight of Elephants’


That’s ‘journey’ in both a literal and figurative sense: yes, there are films here from all over the world, but they’re all united by the theme of travel and discovery. Top picks include a road trip with Tom Hardy, teen indie angst with Brie Larson and postwar trauma with Chadian master Mahamet Saleh-Haroun.

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