Blethyn first rose to international fame with her Oscar nomination as Best Actress in Mike Leigh’s Secrets & Lies in 1996. Two years later she was nominated again, this time as Best Supporting Actress for the film Little Voice.
Then she has worked twice with honorary festival guest Rachid Bouchareb – and both films will be shown at the festival.
In her first collaboration with Bouchareb, London River, she plays a woman who looks for her daughter in the chaotic aftermath of the London bombings of 2005. But during the search she is befriended by an African muslim searching for his son. Neither was close to their children, which is manifested in neither knowing their kids were living together.
Then we will show their most recent collaboration, Two Men in Town, where they are joined by three other Academy nominated actors in Forest Whitaker, Ellen Burstyn and Harvey Keitel.
In the film Blethyn plays parole officer Emily who just moved to a small town in New Mexico, near the Mexican borders. Soon she befriends one of her clients, William (Whitaker), who just got out of jail and is not allowed to leave the state. But he will struggle to stay out of jail, both because of his quick temper and also because his former colleagues are everywhere, trying him to get him back in the game. Then there is the cop who imprisoned him in the first place (Keitel) – who is more than willing to do so again.