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Five actors stealing the limelight at the Edinburgh Film Festival

A few Hollywood faces and some of our fave Brit actors stood out at the annual Edinburgh Film Festival

By Trevor Johnston

Newly appointed artistic director Mark Adams brought a glitzier, more audience-friendly approach to this year’s Edinburgh Film Festival, which closed on Sunday. After smashing the box office at home, Pixar’s latest animation ‘Inside Out’ arrived in the Scottish capital for its UK premiere to open the festival. What followed was a mix of Hollywood glamour and homegrown talent. Here are the actors who set Edinburgh buzzing

© Graeme Hunter

1. Robert Carlyle

Film Drama

Is it symbolic of Scotland’s growing self-confidence that Edinburgh opened with the directorial debut of ‘Trainspotting’ scene-stealer Robert Carlyle? He also stars in serial-killer comedy ‘The Legend of Barney Thomson’ (out on July 24) as a meek Glasgow barber ‘with nae patter’. Still, the best Scots film in show was ‘Big Gold Dream’, an affectionate, authoritative doc on Edinburgh’s influential but under-the-radar post-punk music scene.

2. Charlotte Rampling

Film Drama

Director Andrew Haigh carried off Edinburgh’s biggest gong, The Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature, for his marriage drama ‘45 Years’ (released on August 28). He’ll no doubt be thanking star Charlotte Rampling, who is simply incredible as a woman who goes into a tailspin when major revelations emerge about her husband (Tom Courtenay), the night before their forty-fifth wedding anniversary. The final scene’s a jaw-dropper.

Elizabeth Banks on the set of Roadside Attraction's LOVE AND MERCY.
© Francois Duhamel

3. Elizabeth Banks

Film Drama

Directing ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ showed that she has ambitions behind the camera, but Elizabeth Banks is on a roll in front of it too. She plays a steely detective in Amy Berg’s sombre child-kidnapping drama ‘Every Secret Thing’, and is the absolute standout as a car saleswoman who helps stricken Beach Boy icon Brian Wilson rebuild his life in the subtle, sensitive and utterly moving biopic ‘Love & Mercy’. Out on July 10.

Rhys Ifans in Len and Company
© Patricia Seaton

4. Rhys Ifans


With four films at the festival, the Welshman’s gangly form was omnipresent at Edinburgh. Dearest to him was Kevin Allen’s energetic adaptation of Dylan Thomas’s ‘Under Milk Wood’, a heady, immersive blend of succulent language and imaginative visuals (out on October 27). But the real surprise was ‘Len and Company’, a Canadian indie pic in which Ifans hits a career peak as a grumpy English rocker who’s reached a career and family stalemate.


5. Amy Poehler

Film Animation

Edinburgh bagged the UK premiere of Pixar’s brilliant new animation ‘Inside Out’ (out on July 24). The film inventively steps inside a young girl called Riley’s head, as her emotions – Fear, Joy, Anger, and Sadness – jostle for control. Funny woman Amy Poehler is truly delightful as Joy, who battles to retain centre stage. The sight of hip bearded festivalgoers wiping away the tears as they filed out of the cinema is one of the enduring images of Edinburgh 2015.


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