54th London Film Festival Launches
The 54th annual London Film Festival opened Wednesday with the U.K. premiere of Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go . The celebrated cast, including Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, and Andrew Garfield were on hand, signing autographs for fans on the red carpet and speaking to reporters despite 45-degree weather. The film, based on the critically acclaimed novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, received a mostly positive reception from critics, although most expressed reservations about it. Indeed, Chris Tilly, the movie critic for News Corp's IGN UK, called it "beautifully crafted yet fatally flawed." Other critics agree that the film impresses from the beginning almost to the end but that the conclusion is ultimately unsatisfying. Tim Robey of the London Telegraph summed up "With such a smart, controlled script you end up wishing the film were a little more radical." And Peter Bradshaw in the Guardian puts his finger on the problem -- if it is one -- by remarking that the movie is simply too English. The ending, he remarks, produces "no flash of horror or vertigo" since "everyone is very English about it phlegmatic, accepting, melancholy." He concludes "The film withholds the explicit fear and passion that another kind of treatment might have aimed for, but it works as a cogent, subdued parable of mortality." The film had a limited run in the U.S. in September, grossing just $1.25 million. It is due to open in the U.K. on Jan. 21.