Glasgow Film Festival 2020: Our Top Ten Films

Family feuds, apocalyptic absurdism and hard-hitting historical drama – here are our picks from the GFF programme

Feature by The Skinny | 31 Jan 2020

About Endlessness

Swedish absurdist Roy Andersson returns with this eerie, dreamlike and apocalyptic series of vignettes set in a topsy-turvy world. The film won Andersson the Silver Lion for best director at the Venice Film Festival last year; GFF hosts its UK premiere. 

2 Mar, 9pm and 3 Mar, 3.45pm, Cineworld Renfrew St

Martin Eden

Another hit from Venice, Pietro Marcello's adaptation of the Jack London novel follows the sailor-turned-writer as he aims to transcend his humble origins. A vast, multilayered story anchored by an award-winning central performance by Luca Marinelli.

28 Feb, 8.30pm and 29 Feb, 3pm, Glasgow Film Theatre


Oliver Hermanus returns with a masterful film following a young man drafted into military service in early-80s South Africa. What makes life even tougher for our protagonist is that he’s gay, and in the Apartheid era, homophobia goes hand-in-hand with racism. Hermanus’ command of sound and image is virtuosic and wholly enveloping.

2 Mar, 8.45pm and 3 Mar, 1.30pm, Cineworld

Our Ladies

Michael Caton-Jones' adaptation of Alan Warner's novel – which follows six Catholic choir girls from a small coastal town, let loose for a day on a trip to Edinburgh – has been long in the making. There's rambunctious chemistry and some impressively crude banter from its ensemble cast, with some incisive social commentary to be found as well.

28 Feb, 8.40pm and 29 Feb, 1pm, GFT

The Painted Bird

This adaptation of Jerzy Kosinski’s WWII novel has prompted rave reviews, comparisons with the work of Andrei Tarkovsky, and a raft of audience walkouts. Jet-black in both style and substance, by all accounts it's a harrowing but compelling look at one child's journey through a physically and psychologically battered Eastern Europe.

1 Mar, 8pm and 2 Mar, 4pm, Cineworld


Peaky Blinders director Tim Mielants makes his big screen debut with Patrick. The eponymous lead works as a handyman at a naturist retreat, hit with the one-two punch of his father's death and the theft of his favourite hammer. A mixture of deadpan comedy and family drama, starring Belgian actor Kevin Janssens and Jemaine Clement.

27 Feb, 3.30pm and 5 Mar, 6.15pm, Cineworld


Persepolis writer-director Marjane Satrapi is back with another graphic novel adaptation, this time taking on Lauren Redniss' biography of Marie Curie. Rosamund Pike stars as the Nobel Prize-winning physicist; the film follows her career, and the enduring legacy of her work.

6 Mar, 6pm and 7 Mar, 1.30pm, GFT


Glaswegian filmmaker Peter Mackie Burns follows up the brilliant Daphne with another nuanced portrait of a life in freefall. In this case, a Dublin dock worker begins experimenting with his sexuality with a younger man while his home and work life slowly implode. Burns once again shows himself to have a deeply cinematic eye for capturing existential malaise.

27 Feb, 8.30pm and 28 Feb, 3.45pm, GFT

The Truth

Shoplifters director Hirokazu Kore-eda makes the move to Europe with an all-star cast. Catherine Deneuve plays an old-school Hollywood diva, confronted by her estranged daughter (Juliette Binoche) and son-in-law (Ethan Hawke) who have a bone to pick over Deneuve's less-than-truthful memoirs.

3 Mar, 6.15pm and 4 Mar, 3.45pm, GFT

Women Make Film

Mark Cousins' new film is an epic in every sense of the word. The five-part, 14-hour documentary explores cinematic history exclusively through the gaze of women filmmakers. From visual style and characterisation to genre films and cinema's approach to life and death, Cousins aims to reshape and redefine our cinematic canon. 

6, 7 and 8 Mar, various times, Cineworld