Top 10 Fall Films Worth Shouting About
Fall Movie Season is here! Finally after all those endlessly lackluster summer movies, so loud and filled with mind-wasting special effects, it’s once again, time for the good stuff. Each year I peruse Entertainment Weekly’s Fall Movie Preview, plucking out the films that have Oscar buzz, actors in non-conventional roles, or cinematic sounding breakthroughs. Of course as Sasha Stone over at Awards Daily always reminds us, this early in the race it’s just a guessing game. You can watch the trailers, look at the posters and read the synopsis but choosing a top ten list is based more on a gut feeling. So here are the ten films I expect to help me fill out my very currently empty best of the year list.
#10: About Ray
Starring: Naomi Watts, Elle Fanning, Susan Sarandon
By the end of 2015, America might be on Transgender overload from the media. About Ray is only one of many transgender films hitting cinemas this fall. BUzz has been building around the film which debuts at Toronto over the weekend. The trailer dropped a few days before and it seems to focus on Watts mother-figure the most. Depending on screentime and how they campaign both Fanning and Watts are likely to be inconsideration for this socially relevant and seemingly powerful drama.
#9: I Saw The Light
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olsen
A musical biopic of Hank Williams, actor Hiddleston (Thor), learned to sing and play guitar for the film. I hope I Saw the Light manages to find a new way to present the history and life of a famous musician the way Love & Mercy did earlier in the year. Through his few roles outside the Marvel universe, Hiddleston has already proved quite an impressive range. Opens in theaters Nov 27th, but will premiere at the Austin Film Festival Oct 29 – Nov 5.
#8. The Danish Girl
Already creating awards buzz for his performance portraying the first man to have transgender surgery, last years best actor winner Redmayne will once again be the talk of the season in The Danish Girl. However it’s his co-star Alicia Vikander who has turned heads all year long in Ex Machina, The Man from UNCLE, and Testament of Youth. Just based on the riveting trailer, both actors will likely earn nominations for their roles under the direction of Oscar winner Tom Hooper (The Kings Speech). Nov 27 in theaters.
Disaster movies outside of the summer months are something almost unheard of. Whats even more interesting is the all star cast. Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur works outside the Hollywood system and has already been noted for putting his impressive cast in very difficult questions and altitude. Everest’s true story might do for hiking the famed summit, what The Impossible did for that family vacationing before the tsunami. I expect it to be a grip your seat style experience that sheds light on various facets of humanity. Hits theaters Sept 18.
Goodbye summer sequels & franchise blockbusters, Greetings intellegence and original ideas.
#6. In the Heart of the Sea
Moved from summer to Fall/Winter, Ron Howard’s epic Moby Dick story is his first big budget film since 2009. Besides Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean films, wide open sea films are scarce and my generation hasn’t had the Moby Dick story on the big screen. Howard knows how to infuse life into large scale projects like Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind or westerns like The Missing. Typically when a studio moves a film to a different date I worry, however with this one, I think they know they have a monster hit and maybe even an awards contender on their hands. Hits theaters Dec 11.
Starring: Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio del Toro
Director Denis Villeneuve’s last film Prisoners was a thriller of pure dark brilliance and offered it’s cast some of their best work. I expect the same from his latest Sicario which already generated Oscar buzz for Blunt coming out of Cannes. There are more fall films with women in non-traditional lead roles than I can remember. Blunt who is interchangeable between comedy and drama, has yet to land that first Oscar nomination, but word is Sicario might be too dark for the Academy’s taste. The trailer hints at the dark material which even the director admits had him nervous. In theaters Sept 25.
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Robert Redford, Bruce Greenwood, Dennis Quaid
One of two films Blanchett will be cruising awards season with. In Truth she plays controversial news producer Mary Mapes involved in the Dan Rather scandal that led to his departure from CBS. Redford plays the disgraced evening news anchor in a film that had to relocate to Sidney, just so Blanchett could be involved. With no trailer, or even a poster, it’s pedigree and subject matter that lands this one so high on the list. Oct 16th in theaters.
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Meryl Streep, Brendan Gleeson
Buzz out of late summer festivals say Mulligan gives the performance of her career. Already an Oscar nominee and delivering a pretty incredible performance earlier this year in Far From the Madding Crowd, Mulligan is already at the top of the performance list. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, since the trailer is emotional enough to bring tears. Suffragette is written, directed and starring mostly women in a film about women’s issues. Oct 23 in theaters.
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara
Already an award winner, Mara took home the best actress trophy at the Cannes film festival while Carol was one of the most buzzed about films. From director Todd Haynes, the adaptation of Talented Mr. Ripley authors book of the same name will likely land in a few Oscar categories with it’s vintage style and the two co-leading performances. The Weinstein Company is distributing this one which means Harvey has to decide which actress will campaign in lead and supporting. Blanchett’s most recent second Oscar might hurt her awards chances. In theaters Nov 20.
#1. The Martian
Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Chewitel Ejiofer, Kristen Wiig, Sean Bean
Sure it’s drawing comparisons to Interstellar with Damon and Chastain in both films, also people are curious to see if director Ridley Scott can direct something great again. The trailer is so explosive and with the recent fascination on Pluto, America is once again looking up. It’s hard to find a more well assembled, diverse, ensemble cast this fall season, whether or not this turns out to be an awards film, The Martian looks to have all the elements that make up a good film. I am betting everything on the films power to move and inspire the audience. Oct 2 in theaters.