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The films everyone’s going to be talking about this awards season

The BFI London Film Festival always showcases the most Oscar-worthy films of the winter, but this year’s crop is just spectacular.

You might just discover your favourite film of all time at this year’s London Film Festival. Screenings are taking place between 10-21 October at venues across the capital, including Vue West End – here are our top picks:

THE FEMINIST THRILLER: Widows

Why see? Because it has everything. The story - four bank robbers’ widows team up to finish the job - is based on a brilliant 1983 British TV drama, updated by Gillian ‘Gone Girl’ Flynn. The director is 12 Years A Slave’s Steve McQueen and the rock-solid cast includes Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Daniel Kaluuya and Liam Neeson.

Widows is out 9 November - find out more here

London Film Festival

THE HAPPY-SAD BUDDY MOVIE: Stan & Ollie

Why see? Steve Coogan plays Stan Laurel and John C Reilly plays Oliver Hardy – but at the end of their careers, when they were reduced to playing half-empty English theatres. As likely to make you cry as laugh, this heartfelt look at male friendship could make a whole new generation love Laurel & Hardy.

Stand and Ollie is out 11 January 2019 -  find out more here

THE REGAL CAT-FIGHT: The Favourite

Why see? With Olivia Coleman’s lusty Queen Anne swearing, puking and trying to get off with her maids, this turns costume drama on its head. Naive servant Emma Stone becomes her majesty’s favourite and puts lady-in-waiting Rachel Weisz on the warpath. With out-there director Yorgos Lanthimos in charge, this should be spectacular. Coleman’s already won best actress at Venice Film Festival for the role.

The Favourite is out 4 January 2019 - find out more here

London Film Festival

THE DAD-SON TEARJERKER: Beautiful Boy

Why see? Because Steve Carell doing serious is nothing new but it’s always compelling. This is the true story of a dad whose sensitive son tries to destroy himself with drugs – and you just know Carell’s going to give an incredibly powerful performance. Rising star Timothee Chalamet plays the son and both are on course for their second Oscar nominations.

Beautiful Boy is out 18 January 2019 - find out more here

THE POLITICAL MESSAGE: Peterloo

Why see? Because this is one of the defining moments in British democracy but it’s still remarkably little-known. Mike Leigh’s epic portrayal of the 1819 massacre of peaceful protesters in Manchester is being called visceral and immersive as well as intensely relevant.

Peterloo is out 2 November - find out more here

London Film Festival

THE OSCAR-WINNER’S FOLLOW-UP: If Beale Street Could Talk

Why see? Because Moonlight won an amazing three Oscars last year and anything director Barry Jenkins does now is a must-see. Based on a novel by literary giant James Baldwin, this sees a hopeful black couple’s life torn apart by a false accusation. If it’s as emotionally real as Moonlight, it’ll be incredible.

If Beale Street Could Talk is out 18 January 2019 - find out more here

THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL DRAMA: The Front Runner

Why see? Because when did you last see Hugh Jackman play a straight and weighty role? He’s a revelation in this true story about Gary Hart, the Democratic Party’s shoo-in for the 1988 Presidential election... until the media got wind of a scandal. This was where our sleaze-obsessed era began.

The Front Runner is out 25 January 2019 - find out more here

THE LEGEND’S LAST FILM: The Old Man and the Gun

Why see? Because Hollywood giant Robert Redford says he’ll retire after this ‘mostly true’ story about an OAP robber who’s escaped jail 16 times and plans one last heist with his silver-haired mates Danny Glover and Tom Waits. Promising a good-humoured, autumnal vibe, this is directed by David Lowery – who did the offbeat A Ghost Story last year.

The Old Man and the Gun is out 7 December - find out more here

London Film Festival

THE BIG REMEMBRANCE EVENT: They Shall Not Grow Old

Why see? Getting its world premiere at the London Film Festival, this is the World War One film Peter Jackson always wanted to make. Using veterans’ voices and unseen footage not just colourised but turned into high-definition 3D, it should be the most immersive WW1 documentary ever. Just in time for the big centenary.

They Shall Not Grow Old is out 16 October - find out more here

THE CULT HORROR CLASSIC: The Fog

Why see? Because if you grew up in the 80s there’s a good chance John Carpenter’s ghost/slasher mashup was the first properly scary film you saw. That would have been on blurry VHS, though. Now restored to pin-sharp 4K, it’ll give a new generation a mortal dread of condensation.