Tim Burton's animated feature will have its world premiere at Fantastic Fest
The BFI London Film Festival has enjoyed mixed fortunes with its opening night slot in recent years. They lucked out in 2008 and 2009, securing highly anticipated world premieres in "Frost/Nixon" and "Fantastic Mr. Fox," attracting unprecedented international media attention to a festival that had never been noted for such publicity coups: its chief purpose, after all, is to bring the highlights of Cannes, Venice, Toronto and the like to local film buffs who don't have the luxury of festival-trotting for a living.
It was an exciting development, but it couldn't last: for the last two years, former LFF director Sandra Hebron kicked off the festival with films that had already premiered in Toronto. And while "Never Let Me Go" was a respectable choice -- if a bit on the glum side for curtain-raising duties -- last year's choice of Fernando Meirelles's dismal, critically savaged "360" (which only recently slumped in and out of US and UK cinemas) was calamitous.
In that respect, Hebron set her Australian successor, Clare Stewart, a pretty low bar to clear. Happily, one needn't have seen "Frankenweenie" to know that she's done so pretty comfortably.