It’s hard to believe that the summer movie season is coming to an end. As the dog days drag on, there will be a small slump in the box office while studios gear up for the next phase of the year in movies. Meanwhile, fall festivals are announcing lineups as distributors try to figure out their marketing strategies. The industry will have the chance to catch a breath, but then it’s back to business for the long-haul awards season that always comes with twists, turns and surprises. Here’s a look at a handful of projects that are worth buzzing about this fall.
5. ‘The Favourite’ - November 23
Yorgos Lanthimos (“The Lobster”) has never made a bad movie. All of his works are surreally and brilliantly absurd while being radically different from each other. In his latest, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone play Sarah Churchill and Abigail Masham, a friend of Queen Anne’s and her new servant who fight for the Queen’s attention in 18th century England. Nothing about this sounds like anything he’s done before, but it will surely fit within his singular vision of modern absurdism. Hopefully Stone’s star power will attract those who have not yet converted and potentially steer this film into the awards conversation.
4. ‘A Star Is Born’ - October 5
Every generation gets their own “A Star Is Born.” First there was the Janet Gaynor version in 1937, followed by Judy Garland’s in 1954 and finally Barbra Streisand’s in 1976. Now it’s Lady Gaga’s turn. Written, directed and starring Bradley Cooper alongside Gaga in her first major film role, it tells a story as old as time: A musician helps a singer find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his career into a downward spiral. I have high hopes for this movie in an era where musicals tend to do great business at the box office. It also doesn’t hurt that Gaga seems to be coming at this with singing and acting chops that remind one of the legendary Streisand herself.
3. ‘First Man’ - October 12
This one has an Oscar-nominated biopic written all over it. Following his epic Best Picture snub for “La La Land,” young director Damien Chazelle returns with his movie about Neil Armstrong’s dangerous space mission and first walk on the moon in 1969. Reteaming with reliable leading man Ryan Gosling, the trailer also hints at the strenuous relationship between Armstrong and his wife, played by popular television star Claire Foy (Netflix’s “The Crown”). Whatever the outcome, this is a likely contender that should have considerable commercial appeal as well.
2. ‘Suspiria’ - November 2
Luca Guadagnino, fresh off last year’s highly-acclaimed “Call Me by Your Name,” is releasing his adaptation of Dario Argento’s classic horror masterpiece, “Suspiria.” With an extended running time and addition of several new characters, this modern retelling might be less of a straightforward reboot than an expansive companion piece. Starring Tilda Swinton, Dakota Johnson, Chloё Grace Moretz and Mia Goth, the story centers around a talented American dancer who arrives at a prestigious academy in Berlin only to find that it is filled with dark secrets and strange disappearances. Guadagnino is a master of style and tone, so this film will look gorgeous even if it disappoints. Here’s to hoping “Suspiria” is the horror event of 2018.
1. ‘Widows’ - November 16
Five years after “12 Years a Slave” took home Best Picture, Steve McQueen is back behind the camera. “Widows” is a crime drama that features an all-star ensemble cast including Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Colin Farrell, Daniel Kaluuya, Jon Bernthal, Jacki Weaver, Liam Neeson and Robert Duvall. When four robbers are killed in a heist attempt, their wives step up to finish the job. Co-written by Gillian Flynn (“Gone Girl,” “Sharp Objects”), the tone of the story is so gritty and unrelenting that the trailer alone sent chills down my spine. Whether or not this movie falls on the more commercial or awards side of the spectrum, I can’t wait to see what McQueen does with his high-caliber source material and crazy good cast.
Don’t forget about “Beautiful Boy”, “Boy Erased,” “Burning,” “The Front Runner,” “Mandy,” “Mid90s,” “Shoplifters,” and “Wildlife.”
Edited by Siena DeBolt | firstname.lastname@example.org