Andy's 10 Most Anticipated Movies of Fall 2018
Good movie season is upon us! Of course, there have already been tons of great movies this year. But we all know this is the time of year where studios release the films they are going to push during awards season. You won't find on this list any of the anticipated movies I already mentioned on my list from January, movies like Hold The Dark, The Predator, Dragged Across Concrete, Widows or Suspiria. But you will see more that were off my radar back then. All these movies are set to be released before December! I have mixed feelings about some of them- but these are the ones that at the very least pique my curiosity about how they will turn out.
A Star Is Born (Oct. 5th, Dir. Bradley Cooper)
Bradley Cooper makes his directorial debut in this third remake of this classic fame and romance narrative. The last one was made in 1976 and starred Kris Kristofferson and Barbara Streisand- here Cooper stars alongside Lady Gaga, as the veteran singer and the young starlet (who looks pretty out of character), respectively. I felt quite skeptical about this for a while, but the trailer really sold me on it. Cooper's voice sounds great, and he has enlisted trusted and reliable songwriters like Jason Isbell and Luke Nelson (Willie's son) to help with the music. Plus Sam Elliot and Dave Chappelle round out the supporting cast.
Beautiful Boy (Oct. 12th, Dir. Felix Van Groeningen)
May the time of Timothee Chalamet brood on forever- as the early buzz suggests that the young actor has already locked down another Best Actor nomination for Beautiful Boy. In it he plays Nic Sheff, a young addict, and Steve Carrell plays his father David, who struggles to set boundaries and support his son through the all consuming turbulence of addiction. It is based on memoirs from the two real life Sheffs. This is another film where the trailer got me- the kind where you know that it is absolutely going to destroy you when you see it. And for that, I can't wait.
First Man (Oct. 12th, Dir. Damien Chazelle)
Thank god that the La La Land debates are behind us, so we can get back to focusing on what a quality filmmaker Damien Chazelle is. This is his first project that is explicitly non-music oriented- and yet, this Neil Armstrong biopic looks like it deals with many of the same themes as Whiplash and even La La Land. The driving force of competition, the insanity and the dire costs of trying to be the best, even if the stakes are life or death, and the looming spectre of failure on the horizon. Whiplash showed us what an adrenaline junkie Chazelle really is, and this looks right in line. Ryan Gosling returns to star.
Halloween (Oct. 19th, Dir. David Gordon Green)
We are gonna need one of those memory wipe devices from Men In Black before we see this movie, because it serves as a direct sequel to the original 1978 John Carpenter masterpiece. Just imagine those 9 other movies never existed. I have had a hard time getting that through my head, but it should be easy enough considering how good it looks- and with Jamie Lee Curtis and John Carpenter are both back, with genre hopper Green in the director's chair (and Danny McBride co-writing?). It is also set to have its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, which can only mean that producers Carpenter and Jason Blum have the upmost faith in how their product turned out.
22 July (Oct. 19th, Dir. Paul Greengrass)
I should no longer allow myself to be surprised by Netflix, but they have clearly put a lot of skin in the game for fall releases. This is one of three Netflix titles that you will see on this list- directed by a veritable inventer of the genre of action docudrama (Bloody Sunday, Captain Phillips, United 93), this seems firmly in the director's comfort zone. It is a dramatization of the horrific terror attacks of July 22nd, 2011 that took place in Norway, where one deranged man killed dozens of people in two different incidents. I remember when it happened and it was gut-wrenching to hear about then. I know that Greengrass, whose United 93 proved that there was a graceful and respectful way to depict recent horrors onscreen without dumbing them down, is the right person to tell this story. Though one question I have is, what will become of another film- a Norwegian production- about the same events, U-July 22, which premiered earlier this year at Berlinale. No U.S. release has been set as of yet, so it will be interesting to compare the two one day.
The Girl In The Spider's Room (Nov. 9th, Dir. Fede Alvarez)
For years, rumors abounded about the sequel to David Fincher's 2011 adaptation of the Stieg Larsson phenomenon, with no real movement. It seemed like it would never get made- then, following his low budget horror hit Don't Breathe, the Urugyan director Fede Alvarez (also director of Evil Dead) was tapped for the project, with Claire Foy (The Crown, First Man) taking Rooney Mara's place as private investigator/avenging angel Lisbeth Salander. Also starring is every great European actor we seem to have now, like Claes Bang (The Square), Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread), Sverrir Gudnason (Borg Vs. McEnroe) and Sylvia Hoeks (Blade Runner 2049). This is not to mention the Americans Cameron Britton (Mindhunter) and freakin' Lakeith Stanfield! Damn. This seems like a better match of material to director too, as Fincher's sleek, cool direction made for a good tone but failed to really capture the griminess of the story. This film skips the other two novels in Larsson's trilogy and starts fresh with the first follow up, written by David Lagercrantz. It feels like a fresh start, and a cool opportunity for a fresh young talent to play with some bigger toys. Claire Foy will blow all of our minds, if the trailer has anything to say.
Outlaw King (Nov. 9th, Dir. David Mackenzie)
This is the second of three Netflix titles on here. This one from the director of Hell or High Water and Starred Up, who has the high art hyper-violent depictions of brooding masculinity genre on lock these days. Chris Pine returns to work with his High Water director, starring as Robert The Bruce, the titular outlaw king of Scotland who led a rebellion against England back in the middle ages. The previewmakes this thing look Game Of Thrones-battle level epic and expensive, and makes me thankful that companies like Netflix are willing to pour some money into getting pictures like this made. You may remember the character of Robert The Bruce from Braveheart, where he was played by Angus Macfayden. I don't really know how this connects with the events depicted in that film (stupid timelines!), but I like thinking of this as an unofficial sequel to Braveheart. Aaron Taylor-Johnson also returns, with long hair like he boasted as his skeezy character in Nocturnal Animals, giving me hope that skeezy long-haired Aaron Taylor Johnson is a thing we can expect to see from now on.
The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs (Nov. 16, Dir. The Coen Brothers)
The last of the three Netflix titles on this list is an anthology western by the freakin' Coen brothers. It was hard to believe that those heroes of American film, and skeptics of the television format were coming to the streaming site for their latest project- but as we learned a couple of months ago, what originally appeared to be a limited-series anthology western project is actually a singular anthology western film! It still feels surprising that they would skip the theatrical release (it may still play in select theaters, but most people will just see it at home), but it certainly gives the streaming giant more and more legitimacy. I love a good anthology film, and the Coens have certainly spent time in their western sandbox before. I am chomping at the bit for this.
Creed II (Nov. 21st, Dir. Steven Caple Jr.)
A sequel to the second best of all the Rocky movies looks quite promising, and seeks to build on the new legend in the making of Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan). This time, he's going against the son of the man who killed his father, Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren, in his first big non-Expendables or Universal Soldier film role in quite some time). I have some questions about how this will play out considering Sylvester Stallone's lingering sexual assault allegations that were recently unearthed- in fact I am slightly surprised he remained on the project. We will have to wait and see how that plays out. Another, less loaded question, is whether Caple jr. can fill the rather large shoes left by Ryan Coogler. He probably won't be able to, but there's still plenty of hope for this to be a quality sequel.
If Beale Street Could Talk (Nov. 30th, Dir. Barry Jenkins)
Barry Jenkins made a huge splash with 2016's Moonlight, the queer black coming of age love story that stole millions of hearts in one of the worst years of the decade. He has made an impressively quick turn-around with this adaptation of a James Baldwin novel, set in 1970's Harlem, about a young black couple caught up in the horrors of a racist criminal justice system. I imagine it will touch a lot on themes such as the great migration and the new Jim Crow era of mass incarceration. It boasts an impressive cast of newcomers and veterans, including Regina King, Stephan James, Kiki Layne (a name I think we will be hearing a lot of this fall), Diego Luna, and Pedro Pascal.