Edinburgh 2018: British Talent on Show in Opening and Closing Films

Writer; London/Tokyo (@seven_cinemas)
Edinburgh 2018: British Talent on Show in Opening and Closing Films

Edinburgh International Film Festival is set to return on 21 June, and with the opening and closing films now announced, it seems they're all set to shine a spotlight on British filmmaking.

Scottish actress Kelly Macdonald stars in opening night gala feature Puzzle, in which she plays a bored housewife who comes out of her shell through the world of competitive jigsaw puzzling. Macdonald stars opposite Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi) in the US drama from director Marc Turtletaub.

"Puzzle is the closely observed portrait of Agnes, who has reached her early 40s without ever venturing far from home, family or the tight-knit immigrant community in which she was raised by her widowed father. That begins to change in a quietly dramatic fashion when Agnes receives a jigsaw puzzle as a birthday gift and experiences the heady thrill of not only doing something she enjoys, but being very, very good at it.

After years of concerning herself exclusively with the needs and wants of her husband Louie and sons Ziggy and Gabe, Agnes has found something that she wants to do. Stepping out of her domestic bubble to pursue her new hobby, Agnes meets Robert, a wealthy, reclusive inventor who immediately recognizes her talent and recruits her as his partner for an upcoming world jigsaw tournament. Each day she spends out in the world, puzzling and conversing with Robert, takes Agnes further along on the road to a new understanding of herself and her strengths. With that understanding come new insights and an assertiveness that finds her speaking out on her own behalf and pushing back against the assumptions and routines that have until now defined her role in her family. Ultimately, Agnes will decide for herself what comes next."

UK comedy favourite Rob Brydon (The Trip) stars in closing film Swimming with Men alongside Rupert Graves (V for Vendetta), Jane Horrocks (Little Voice) and Thomas Turgoose (This is England). The comedy feature sees Brydon lead a group of all-male synchronised swimmers, as the ramshackle group escapes the daily grind to make an unlikely bid for championship greatness.

"Faced with a full-blown mid-life crisis, accountant Eric (Brydon) joins an all-male group of synchronised swimmers and discovers that making patterns in a pool can, for a couple of hours at least, give him escapism from the bumps in his work and marriage. Initially keeping their personal lives in the locker, the ramshackle squad and coach Susan slowly begin to reveal their inner lives, as well as their paunches. But can they get their routines, not to mention their lives, in sync as they embark on an unlikely journey to Milan to compete in the World Championship?"

Last year Edinburgh opened with Francis Lee's outstanding debut God's Own Country and this year's sizeable programme promises further treasures from both the UK and abroad.

Full details on the festival and its programme can be found here

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