I always look forward to the films coming out in the fall. It is usually when the independents get more of a chance to shine and gear up for Oscar season. This fall brings a wealth of interesting new titles. Below are the films I’m the most eager to see:
DRIVE (Film District) Sept. 16th
Ryan Gosling stars as a Los Angeles wheelman for hire, stunt driving for movie productions by day and steering getaway vehicles for armed heists by night. Though a loner by nature, Driver can’t help falling in love with his beautiful neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan), a vulnerable young mother dragged into a dangerous underworld by the return of her ex-convict husband Standard (Oscar Isaac). Winner of the Best Director Award at the Cannes Film Festival, this modern day noir looks fantastic! Gosling continues to work with top notch talent and is really building a solid, lasting body of work.
TAKE SHELTER (Sony Classics) Sept. 30th
Plagued by a series of apocalyptic visions, a young husband and father questions whether to shelter his family from a coming storm, or from himself. Michael Shannon excels at playing disturbed characters. Witness his Oscar nominated turn in REVOLUTIONARY ROAD or on BOARDWALK EMPIRE if you don’t believe me. This film also stars fast rising actress Jessica Chastain (TREE OF LIFE, THE HELP). A friend of mine caught an advance screening of this the other night and raved about it.
BLACKTHORN (Magnolia) Oct. 7th
It’s been said (but unsubstantiated) that BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID were killed in a standoff with the Bolivian military in 1908. In BLACKTHORN, Cassidy (Shepard) survived, and is quietly living out his years under the name James Blackthorn in a secluded Bolivian village. Tired of his long exile from the US and hoping to see his family again before he dies, Cassidy sets out on the long journey home. I have always enjoyed a good western and cling to hope that the genre will be revived on a more consistent basis. This film looks really sprawling and epic—-as any good western should be.
MY WEEK WITH MARILYN (Weinstein) Nov. 4th
Colin Clark, an employee of Sir Laurence Olivier’s, documents the tense interaction between Olivier and Marilyn Monroe during production of TTHE PRINCE AND THE SHOWGIRL. While I couldn’t find an official trailer yet, I did find a video below about the making of this film. Playing a real life person, particularly an iconic movie star is always a slippery slope. That said, Michelle Williams is one of the best young actresses working today and I’m dying to see her pull this off. When Cate Blanchett played Katharine Hepburn in THE AVIATOR, she demonstrated (to Oscar winning effect no less) than it is possible to pull off a full bodied transformation instead of a simple impression. Here’s hoping that Williams can do the same. Kenneth Branagh is also generating buzz for his performance as Sir Laurence Olivier. I can’t wait!!!!!
THE ARTIST (Weinstein Co.) Nov. 23rd
Hollywood 1927. George Valentin is a very successful silent movie star. The arrival of talking pictures will mark the end of his career. Peppy Miller, a young woman extra, becomes a major movie star. This black and white silent film took the Cannes Film Festival by storm winning the Best Actor Award and a distribution deal with The Weinstein Company. While something like this might be a tough sell with the general public, I’m pretty obsessed with silent films and I’m thrilled to hear that one will be released in 2011!!! The trailer for this film looks really beautiful. Opening day can’t come soon enough for me!
CARNAGE (Sony Classics) Dec. 16th
Tells the story of two sets of parents who decide to have a cordial meeting after their sons are involved in a schoolyard brawl. Based on the play “God of Carnage” this film adaptation is directed by Roman Polanski and stars a trio of Oscar winners Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster and Christoph Waltz along with nominee John C. Reilly. You can’t go wrong with a cast like this.