Steve McQueen’s thriller ‘Widows’ opens London Film Festival

Actress Michelle Rodriguez poses for photographers upon arrival at the opening of the London Film Festival and the premiere of the film ‘Widows’ in London, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)

LONDON — The London Film Festival kicked off Wednesday with the European premiere of British director Steve McQueen’s whip-smart heist thriller “Widows.”

The film stars Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez and Elizabeth Debicki as women who band together after their husbands are killed in a robbery gone wrong. The Chicago-set movie by the Academy Award-winning, London-born director of “12 Years a Slave” weaves insights about race, money and class in America into a twisting thriller plot.

The 62nd London festival includes the event’s biggest-ever batch of films by women. Organizers say 38 per cent of all films and 30 per cent of the 225 features in the lineup have female directors, an increase on 24 per cent of features in 2017.

Films directed by women include Sudabeh Mortezai’s sex-trafficking drama “Joy”; Karyn Kusama’s police thriller “Destroyer” starring Nicole Kidman; and Sara Colangelo’s drama “The Kindergarten Teacher” with Maggie Gyllenhaal.

The schedule also includes David Mackenzie’s kilts-and-carnage Scottish epic “Outlaw King”; Joel and Ethan Coen’s Western anthology film “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”; Alfonso Cuaron’s Mexico-set “Roma”; Mike Leigh’s historical saga “Peterloo”; and Peter Jackson’s documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old,” which transforms grainy footage from World War I into colour.

Jackson’s film was having its premiere weeks before the centenary of the end of the 1914-18 war in which 20 million people died.

The “Lord of the Rings” director worked with film from the Imperial War Museum, using cutting-edge digital technology and hand coloring to restore and alter the original footage. He paired it with archive audio recollections from veterans of the conflict.

Jackson said the process revealed new details and brought out the humanity of the soldiers.

“They suddenly are human beings just like we are,” he told The Associated Press. “You can see the jokers and the serious ones and the worrying guys and you know, all the different sort of personality types that you encounter today — they were all there and you could see it on their faces.”

The festival closes Oct. 21 with John S. Baird’s Laurel and Hardy biopic “Stan & Ollie.”

Just Posted

More than $25k raised for Red Deer firefighter who is recovering in hospital

‘I think the support he’s getting is because of the person he is’

Lacombe backs Blackfalds stormwater plan

Stormwater management plan will open up more land for development in Blackfalds

Two men facing charges in alleged abduction

RCMP issued alert for woman on Wednesday morning who was found safe later that day

Red Deer RCMP seek public assistance to identify suspect in indecent acts

Red Deer RCMP are looking for a man believed to be responsible… Continue reading

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

Edmonton girl guide sells out of cookies in front of cannabis store on first day

EDMONTON — She’s being called one smart cookie. As people lined up… Continue reading

New vacuum needed: Calgary family adopts three bonded St. Bernard buddies

EDMONTON — Three adult St. Bernards who couldn’t be separated because they’re… Continue reading

Film with Fan Bingbing, Bruce Willis cancelled after tax case

BEIJING — The director of “Air Strike,” featuring Chinese actress Fan Bingbing,… Continue reading

Michael Buble shuts down rumours of retirement from music

LOS ANGELES — Michael Buble is shutting down rumours that he’s going… Continue reading

After Canada legalizes pot, industry eyes rest of the world

MONTREAL — Cam Battley is a top executive at one of Canada’s… Continue reading

Facebook’s election ‘war room’ takes aim at fake information

MENLO PARK, Calif. — In an otherwise innocuous part of Facebook’s expansive… Continue reading

Military to overhaul morale-boosting trips after review finds serious problems

OTTAWA — Canada’s top general is overhauling military morale-boosting tours after an… Continue reading

Police hand out a few hefty fines for allegedly violating Cannabis Act

The celebratory mood that marked the legalization of recreational cannabis lost a… Continue reading

Most Read