Name dropping in London

London Film Festival pulls in the stars

by empire |
Published on

Film fans will be spoilt for choice at the stars who are turning up for the 43rd London Film Festival, which this year runs from 3 – 18 November. The festival opens with the UK premiere of Ang Lee’s western saga Ride With the Devil. Director Lee will be fly in from China to be at the opening, together with the movie's principal stars Tobey ‘Pleasantville’ Maguire and the singer Jewel. The closing gala of American Beauty, starring Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening, promises to be equally glittering. Along the way the festival will take in over 150 movies, including The Cradle Will Rock – Tim Robbins’ acclaimed drama, starring Robbins’ wife Susan Sarandon and Emily Watson, Being John Malkovich with John Cusack and Cameron Diaz and the animation feature The Iron Giant. Highlights of the British contingent at the festival include the new Mike Leigh movie, Topsy Turvy, which last week won principal star Jim Broadbent the Best Actor Lion at the Venice Film Festival and Tube Tales featuring a host of Brit talent including Ewan McGregor, Denise Van Outen, Jude Law and Bob Hoskins. I’m particularly pleased with our Galas,’ said Festival Director Adrian Wooton, ‘and the fact that we have directors such as Mike Leigh, Tim Robbins, Jim Jarmusch, Spike Lee and David Lynch all joining us. ‘We’re also very excited that Susan Sarandon, John Malkovich, Greta Scachi, Ray Winston, Mira Sorvino and Sean Penn are also hoping to be with us.’ Turning out to support today’s press launch of the festival were James Wilby, Ray Winstone and the stars of the new Michael Winterbottom film Wonderland - Ian Hart and John Simm. Asked by Empire Online about this week’s news that Miramax boss Harvey Weinstein had bought Human Traffic for reports of up to $1 million, Simm said it was all news to him, ‘but if that means more people get to see it, then it’s brilliant. That’s what I think – fantastic!’ Look out for a more detailed report on the festival later in the week.

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