After a pretty mellow summer, there’s plenty to look forward to in fall 2018’s cinema! From Oscar-winning directors to unlikely pairings, this fall offers a wide array of movies that aim to please blockbuster crowds and independent junkies alike. Hopefully they all follow through! Here are the ten movies I’m personally looking forward to the most, starting from the bottom:
10. “The Old Man & the Gun” – (currently out) Sept. 28th
It’s Robert Redford’s last movie. It’s the first time he’s ever shared the screen with Sissy Spacek. But for me, it’s director David Lowery that attracts me to see this picture. Lowery doesn’t have much of a resume yet, except for the fact that he directed the best film of 2017, and possibly one of the best films ever made. He helmed last year’s “A Ghost Story,” a bleak and artistic drama that questions our beliefs on the afterlife – and the people we leave behind. Based on that one film, I’m willing to take a chance on anything Lowery gets his hands on.
9. “22 July” – Oct. 10th (Netflix)
Perhaps the most controversial film set to release this year, “22 July” has already sparked debate and backlash. Chronicling the horrific attacks that occurred in Norway on July 22nd, 2011, this film doesn’t look like it will pull punches. From the trailer, it appears to focus on the factors leading up to the mass shooting at a youth summer camp that claimed 69 lives (more died in an explosion before the shooting), as well as the story of a survivor. This is not a documentary. This is a dramatization of the attacks, and therein lies the controversy. “U – July 22” is the Norwegian film based on the events, and was released earlier this year, so some ponder the reason for an English remake. Others are upset that a film is even being made in the first place. Director Paul Greengrass is no stranger to controversy, making harrowing films such as “Captain Phillips” (2013) and “United 93” (2006), the latter focusing on the 9/11 terror attacks a mere five years after they occurred. However, Greengrass is a magnificent director, and his most contentious films happen to be his best; “United 93” is proof. “22 July” will release on Netflix but will have a limited theatrical release.
8. “Colette” – Sept 21st (currently out/limited)
I’ll pretty much see anything with Keira Knightley. Her work has been severely underrated over the past decade, especially her terrifyingly brilliant performance in David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method (2011). But I’ll go on. “Colette” centers on the story of Gabrielle Colette (Knightley), a French novelist most popular for writing the book Gigi in 1944. The film focuses on how Colette’s husband, played by Dominic West, robs her of writing credit by having her work published under his name. It’s an appropriate film for the current era, and it combines gender politics with a love for authentic literature. It’s tailored for an English major, and did I mention Keira Knightley is in it?
7. “Bad Times at the El Royale” – Oct. 12th What looks like a Quentin Tarantino-esque caper, “Bad Times at the El Royale” is appealing based solely on its star power. Jeff Bridges leads the eccentric cast as a man posing as a priest, staying for a night at the El Royale, a hotel that borders California and Nevada. Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson, Nick Offerman, and Chris Hemsworth also star, as the mysterious guests all collide on one fateful night. I’m most interested to see Jon Hamm, as I’ve only been exposed to him and the genius of Mad Men fairly recently, and it’s time he gets decent exposure in cinema, especially after his role in this summer’s Tag (Jeff Tomsic). Though he is comfortable in comedy, his best work lies in drama (see any episode of Mad Men for reference). For the movie itself, “Bad Times” looks creepy and quirky in the best ways. What’s not to like?
6. “Beautiful Boy” – Oct. 12th
Based on the memoirs of David and Nic Sheff, “Beautiful Boy” promises to be an emotional drama about the dangers of drug addiction and how it tears families apart. I’ve purposely avoided doing much research until I’ve seen the movie, as I hope that Steve Carell (playing the father, David) and Timothee Chalamet (as Nic, the addicted son) can create a compelling story on their own. The second trailer released only a few weeks ago, and it looks phenomenal, if not just a little Hallmark-y. Carell surprised everyone with his sinister dramatic performance in 2014’s Foxcatcher (Bennett Miller), and Chalamet is a promising young actor, wowing audiences with his work in last year’s “Lady Bird” (Greta Gerwig) and especially in “Call Me By Your Name” (Luca Guadagnino). As long as it’s better than the dismal “Life Itself,” I’m happy.
5. “Widows” – Nov. 16th Director Steve McQueen has not released a feature film since his Best Picture winning “12 Years a Slave” back in 2013. McQueen always has an eye for raw, gritty detail within intense settings, so his next film being a thriller is interesting, to say the least. Focusing on a group of women who need to pay off their deceased husbands’ criminal debts, “Widows” looks to be edge-of-your-seat suspenseful while still coming across as a powerful drama. Viola Davis leads the pack, with fellow outstanding castmates Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, and Daniel Kaluuya trailing behind. Watch the first trailer and try not to get chills at the end as Davis points a gun with frightened eyes.
4. “Bohemian Rhapsody” – Nov. 2nd I’ll predict it now that this Freddie Mercury biopic will score at least an Oscar nod for Best Actor – if not a win. Rami Malek is already drumming up Oscar buzz for his performance as the Queen front man. And that may be the biggest understatement of the year. Malek was cast in late 2016, and the first set photos of him had people believing he was the definite choice to play Mercury. Not only does it look like Malek will deliver, but the film itself looks promising as a solid musical drama that chronicles Mercury’s multiple personal battles: drugs, rigid record executives, and the battle with AIDS that ended his life.
3. “Venom” – Oct. 5th Though I’m one of the few people on planet earth to not hate Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man 3” (2007), I agree that it’s time for supervillain Venom receive a decent film. Though anticipation for hard-core comic book fans is low, and we know it’s all-too-possible to mess up a supposedly dark superhero film, I can’t deny that the design of Venom looks fantastic. Plus, Tom Hardy plays Eddie Brock, the host for the Venom symbiote, and he has the track record of always delivering unbelievable performances. And it doesn’t worry me that the film isn’t R rated, because extra brutal violence or language won’t necessarily make a film better. It’s just an attempt to be “edgy.”
2. “First Man” – Oct. 12th Damien Chazelle. Need I say more? After the success of his first feature, “Whiplash” (2014), and the monumental love for “La La Land” (2016), I can hardly wait for his third probable awards-deserving “First Man.” Starring Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong and chronicling his personal journey as he strives to be the first man on the moon, “First Man” promises to be stylistic as a space exploration movie but also emotional as a hard-hitting drama. The question is: will Chazelle incorporate jazz? Also, if you’re planning on boycotting the film because it doesn’t show the actual planting of the flag on the moon, please reconsider until you’ve seen it. I highly doubt it’s a propaganda piece. If I’m wrong, well, this will be a bigger disappointment than any film I’ve seen this year.
1. “A Star is Born” – Oct. 5th When I first heard about this ambitious project, I had my small doubts. Lady Gaga is starring in a feature film, with Bradley Cooper alongside her and behind the camera as director! However, early reviews from the Venice Film Festival report that “A Star is Born” is the film to see this year, and also the film to beat come awards season. It seems to have a bit of the “La La Land” (2016, Damien Chazelle) effect; it has universal acclaim before it has even hit the theaters, and small time critics and test audiences love it. This is the 4th remake of the classic story, but that doesn’t bother me. It’s made for a different generation with every remake. My only worry is that it’s an ambitious directorial debut for Cooper, but hey, everyone starts somewhere! Why can’t it be a hit? When I saw the main trailer released in early June, I was hooked. “A Star is Born” looks incredible, and I can’t wait to see it in a few days.