Featured: Looking Forward To a Rich Fall Movie Season
For this particular post, I’m not going to be ranking my most anticipated since we’ll be doing that on Episode 185 of the InSession Film Podcast. However, here are some titles coming out this fall that I’m very much looking forward to, which sounds really great on paper. A lot of people were disappointed with the summer movie season, but the fall looks promising and should make up for what the summer gave us.
This weekend will be begin the fall season and the film that will kick things for us is Derek Cianfrance’s The Light Between Oceans. Early reviews for the film has been mixed, but several people have already reached out to me to forewarn me about the film’s potent emotional undercurrent. For those who listened to Episode 176, you’ll know that I wear my emotions on my sleeve and it sounds like this film is going to destroy me. Good or bad, I at least have that to look forward to this weekend. Also coming out in September are the biopics Sully and Snowden. Clint Eastwoond, in my humble opinion, hasn’t made a good film in awhile but I am keeping hope for Sully. The trailers look great. Disney’s Queen of Katwe also hits theaters later this month and there is some early awards buzz surrounding Lupita Nyong’o and her performance for that film. The final weekend of September sees Peter Berg’s Deepwater Horizon starring Mark Wahlberg. I haven’t seen much marketing for that film, so it should be interesting to see how that plays out. That same weekend sees Andrea Arnold’s new indie, American Honey, which has been getting good reviews from early screenings. The last film of note for September is one of my most anticipated of the entire year, and that is John Michael McDonagh’s War on Everyone. Most of us will probably see it in October, but it technically has a limited release date of September 30. Mark that one down on your calendar folks.
As we move to October, the first weekend gives us Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation, which has had a crazy year in terms of hype for this film. Coming out of Sundance, this film was put on a very high pedestal, but given Parker’s recent rape scandal, things have shifted quite a bit. This is one of those instances where we may have to separate the man from the art. The Birth of a Nation looks like a very important film that will be hard to ignore. Also coming out that same weekend is Emily Blunt in The Girl On A Train. Later on in October is one of our most anticipated films of the fall and that is Gavin O’Connor’s new film, The Accountant, starring Ben Affleck. I’m a big fan of O’Connor’s work and this film looks utterly incredible. It may surprise a lot of people. October will also see Jonás Cuarón’s Desierto. The last project that Cuarón worked on was that little film back in 2013, ya know, called Gravity. Desierto is obviously much smaller in scale but looks well made. Another filmmaker that I look forward to seeing is Kelly Reichardt, who has a new film called Certain Women. Reichardt is a talented director and this film sounds really compelling. Most people weren’t too high on Park Chan-wook’s English-language debut Stoker, but I was a big fan. His latest film The Handmaiden sees him return back to his Korean roots and he’s proven himself there, so I’m fine with that. The last one I’ll mention for October is a new documentary from Terence Malick called Voyage of Time. I think I was the only one who kind of liked Knight of Cups, but hey, I’m sure Voyage of Time will be worth your time.
Early November will feature Marvel’s Doctor Strange, which is a film I’m getting more and more excited for. Benedict Cumberbatch is always a treat and I’m excited to see what Marvel does with this new era of the MCU. Jeff Nichols has already had a stellar year with Midnight Special earlier this year but also coming out in early November is his film Loving. Subjectively speaking, it’s doubtful that anything will top Midnight Special for me personally but Loving will get more awards attention. And knowing Nichols, it will all be very much deserved. The last time we saw Ang Lee, he won an Oscar for Best Director. Well, he’s back with a new film called Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, which sounds really interesting. The film also stars one of my favorites working today in Kristen Stewart. Later on in November, we are welcomed back to the world of Harry Potter in the spinoff film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Despite what you think of the trailer, if you’re a fan of this world, it’s just exciting to know we get to visit it again. The film is also directed by David Yates, who arguably did the best work in the original Harry Potter series. For that reason, I can’t wait for Fantastic Beasts. Also out in November is Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester By the Sea, another Sundance film people raved about earlier this year. There is awards talk surrounding Casey Affleck’s performance as well, which doesn’t surprise me given his talent. The last weekend of November is something else. First up is Disney’s new film Moana. As much as we love Pixar, the last five years have been dominated by Disney Animation and Zootopia reminded us of that earlier this year. I expect that trend to continue with Moana. Gracing the big screens that same weekend is Robert Zemeckis’ Allied, starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard. Also worth noting for the last weekend of November is the indie film, Lion, starring Rooney Mara and Dev Patel. To top off November is both Brendan and I’s #1 most anticipated film of the year, and that is Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival. All the way back in January, when it had a different name and we hadn’t seen any footage yet, we still raved about this project. Villeneuve is a director who is batting 1.000 for us and has made some incredible waves the last few years. The trailer for Arrival only confirmed our suspicions. It looks fantastic.
December isn’t technically “fall” but since we are given a short preview of the rest of the year, we like to include it. I especially have to mention it becuase the first weekend of December is Damien Chazelle’s La La Land and holy crap does that film look amazing. Words cannot describe how excited we (and the world) are for that film. Also coming out in December is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and we all know what were getting into with that film. Should be a lot of fun though. To date, we haven’t seen any trailers for Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt’s new film Passengers. That is not a good sign, especially since that film has a somewhat significant budget behind it. Pretty soon Sony is going to have to kick things in high gear for that film. December will also feature Justin Kurzel’s Assassin’s Creed starring Michael Fassbender. I really enjoyed that duo last year in Macbeth, so here’s to hoping they can change the fate of the video game genre. I’m mixed on the trailer but here’s to hoping for the best. Peter Berg’s second film this year with Mark Wahlberg, Patriots Day, is also slated for a December release. As for some indies in December, Stephen Gaghan’s new film Gold is worth noting. It stars Matthew McConaughey, Bryce Dallas Howard, Edgar Ramírez and Toby Kebbell. Also coming in December is John Lee Hancock‘s The Founder, starring Michael Keaton. If rumors are true, Keaton could possibly see awards attention as well. You remember that Martin Scorsese guy? Well, he’s back with a new film called Silence that sounds awesome.
The last film I’ll mention here is J.A. Bayona’s A Monster Calls. The trailer for this film is one of the best I have ever seen, period. Regardless of how the final product turns out, the trailer for A Monster Calls is so beautiful and poignant, telling its own grand story of a boy learning to cope with tragedy. It looks wonderful and I cannot wait. My expectations for this film is probably too high, to be honest, but boy did the trailer move me.
I’m sure I’ve missed a lot of names and titles but this will give you a descent look at what this fall will look like. And as I mentioned, on paper, it sounds really fantastic. I’m not sure how the “bigger budget” films will fare this fall but the indie and awards film look very promising. That said, what fall films are you looking forward to the most?