This fall looks rather promising, but how do you know what to see? Here I’ve complied the top 11 films I’m looking forward to most this fall. I’m sure one or more of these will turn out to be duds, but at least for now, they’ve piqued my interest.
Click the title to view the trailer.
12. Shutter Island
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Okay this is a cheat because this got pushed to a February release. Which means it’s either bad (doubt it) or the studio wants to make money in an off season.
11. Where the Wild Things Are
Directed by Spike Jonze
Because Jonze’s first two films are two of the best movies I’ve seen in the last decade (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation). (Oct. 16)
10. The Informant!
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Because Matt Damon playing a dipshit, with Soderbergh behind the camera, is bound to be uproarious. I don’t care if it’s based on a true story, I’m game for anything. (Sept. 18)
Because I guess I have to see what all the hype’s about. (Dec. 11)
8. A Serious Man
Because it stars no one you’ve ever heard of, and because I’ve never seen a bad Coen brothers films. (Oct. 2)
7. The Lovely Bones
Directed by Peter Jackson
This is either going to be great, or just… too much. I’m not a terrible fan of Jackson’s, but I’m hoping it highlights the best parts of the book (and conveniently leaves out the novel’s overly didactic messages). (Dec. 11)
Directed by Jim Sheridan
Because Sheridan doesn’t make too many films, but when he does, I pay attention. (See My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father, The Boxer, In America). Plus, the trailer looks crazy intense. (Dec. 4)
5. The Road
Like The Lovely Bones, this is either going to be amazing, or just awful. I’m hoping for the former, anchored by the always solid Viggo Mortensen. It’s a real gamble, though. (Oct. 16)
Directed by Clint Eastwood
Because Eastwood’s last seven films have been brilliant. Because Morgan Freeman plays Nelson Mandela (Oscar, anyone?). Because Clint Eastwood is directing Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela. Get it? (Dec. 11)
3. The Tree of LifeDirected by Terrence Malick
Because Malick has only made four films in the past four decades. Which means he’s made four masterpieces over the past four decades. I’m hoping this one, which stars Sean Penn and Brad Pitt (who took over after Heath Ledger died), is his fifth. (Dec. 25)
Directed by Rob Marshall
Because I hate musicals, but this one looks (and sounds) incredible. Also because it stars people with names like Day-Lewis, Cotillard, Cruz, Kidman, Dench, and Loren. And you know your going to pay $10+ to see Daniel Day-Lewis sing. (Nov. 25)
1. Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
Directed by Lee Daniels
I’m cheating again. In fact I’ve already seen Precious, twice, at Sundance this past January. But I couldn’t be more excited for everyone else to finally see it. The content is off-putting (an obese, illiterate, twice-pregnant urban teenager tries to discover if any good can come from her shit life), but the movie is, quite simply, one of the most empowering films I’ve ever seen. You’ll be hearing more about Precious from me in November, but keep this one on the brain. It’s a knockout. (Nov. 6)
And 10 more for good measure, listed chronologically.
Bright Star earned strong buzz from Cannes, with Jane Campion (The Piano) at the helm. (Sept. 18)
Capitalism: A Love Story is Michael Moore’s new documentary. Not a Moore fan? Me either, but he’s a damn fine filmmaker. (Sept. 23)
The Boys are Back may put Clive Owen in the running for an Oscar. (Sept. 25)
More than a Game is a documentary about LeBron James’ successful high school basketball team. Think Hoop Dreams with a famous person. (Oct. 2)
New York, I Love You won’t be as good as Paris, je t’aime, but I’m interested. (Oct. 16)
The Men Who Stare at Goats is a slight comedy starring Geroge Clooney, directed by his producing partner, Grant Heslov (the wiseass, Middle Eastern CIA agent from True Lies). (Nov. 6)
Fantastic Mr. Fox is a spot-motion film by Wes Anderson. Wes Anderson? Cartoon? I’m there. (Nov. 13)
Broken Embraces is the new collaboration between Pedro Almodovar and Penelope Cruz. (Nov. 20)
Sherlock Holmes should bring some fun to the fall seriousness. Or it could be another Guy Ritchie dud. (Dec. 25)
Up in the Air is from Juno director Jason Reitman starring a mildly serious George Clooney. (Dec. date TBA)