London Film Festival 2012 Starts Today: Five Films To Watch!

The BFI London Film Festival is a great chance to see the movies everyone will be talking about, before they’re officially released in the UK.

It all kicks off tonight with the Frankenweenie gala screening (more on that below), which is being premiered across the country in various cinemas, at the same time as the London premiere

Here are our top picks of this year’s fest:

Argo already has Oscar buzz, with Ben Affleck stepping behind the camera to direct, as well as star. George Clooney sadly stays offscreen as a producer for this one, but the story is enthralling enough as it is. Based on a true story, Ben stars as a CIA agent in Iran during the 1979 Iranian Revolution, given the task of freeing six Americans stuck in the Canadian embassy under the pretext of producing a completely fake sci-fi film. You couldn’t make it up.

Tim Burton’s fab animated movie Frankenweenie kicks off the LFF this year, starring Winona Ryder, Martin Landau, Catherine O’Hara and Martin Short. It’s an extended update of one of his short films from 1984, about a boy who brings his pet dog back to life – the stop-motion tale is intriguing and superbly executed. Perfect for October!

Celeste & Jesse Forever is co-written by (and co-stars) actress Rashida Jones, with a plot about a divorcing couple trying to remain friends. It’s beautifully shot, poignant, and equal parts comedy and drama. Andy Samberg, Elijah Wood, Emma Roberts and Ari Graynor also star.

Two of our favourite super-stylish actresses, Christina Hendricks and Elle Fanning, star in Ginger And Rosa, which centres on the friendship between Elle and newcomer Alice Englert’s characters in 1960s London. Annette Bening and Alessandro Nivola also star in Sally Potter’s film.

End Of Watch stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a cop threatened with murder in this found-footage film. Anna Kendrick, Michael Pena, Magic Mike‘s Cody Horn and Ugly Betty‘s America Ferrera make up the rest of the cast. It’s not always easy to watch… but Jake in a uniform? Sign us up.

Other must-mentions: Bridesmaids star Chris O’Dowd is front and centre in The Sapphires, John Hawkes turns in an unmissable (and Oscar-worthy) performance in The Sessions, Frank Langella is wonderful in Robot & Frank, Rust And Bone stars the exceedingly hot Matthias Schoenearts and Marion Cotillard, plus Hyde Park On Hudson, Beasts Of The Southern Wild, and Amour. BS