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London Film Festival top picks: ‘Love’

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

In this sun-kissed Australian drama from ‘Coco Before Chanel’ director Anne Fontaine, Naomi Watts and Robin Wright star as a pair of longtime friends, both separated with a teenage son apiece. When this foursome becomes (non-incestuously) intertwined, the two old friends are driven apart – at first. Can each woman make peace with the other’s new relationship? Read more about ‘Adore’
La Belle et la Bête
Cocteau's fairytale set standards in fantasy which few other film-makers have reached. The sequences in the enchanted castle - wonderfully designed by Christian Bérard complete with fantastic living statuary, and dignified by a Beast at once ferocious, erotic and genuinely tragic - are pure magic. Read more about ‘La Belle et la Bête’
Grand Central
Ah, the French. There is a certain je ne sais quoi about their fondness for films about adultery and social injustice, combined here in a nuclear-plant-and-infidelity plot. In this latest blue-collar Gallic drama, ‘Blue is the Warmest Colour’ sex bomb Léa Seydoux gets amorous with Tahar Rahim (‘Un Prophète’, ‘Our Children’), much to the displeasure of her brutish fiancé (Denis Menochet). Read more about ‘Grand Central’
Thy Womb
Shaleha (Nora Aunor) is a midwife who has suffered three miscarriages and is coming to terms with her infertility. But she knows that her husband still wants a child, so – rather altruistically – she goes on a mission to find him a new, young, fertile wife. On the eve of the marriage, however, Shaleha is consumed with jealousy. Read more about ‘Thy Womb’
Vic + Flo Saw a Bear
Two ageing lesbian ex-cons, an intrusive parole officer, and a mysterious woman from the past make up the central characters of this elusive Canadian revenge tale. Victoria and Florence are trying to rebuild their life in the Québécois countryside after a spell in jail, but their newfound domestic bliss soon gives way to cabin fever and mutual suspicion. Read more about ‘Vic + Flo Saw a Bear’

As the title suggests, this strand explores love in all its forms, from a sun-kissed Aussie love rectangle to a work of classic French fantasy, from the troubling visions of Filipino master Brilliante Mendoza to the crusty black comedy of Quebecois director Denis Cote.