Fall Movie Season: What to Expect?

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As this never-ending Hollywood summer movie season keeps chugging along, don't lose faith. There are plenty of Indie and Foreign films worth your time. Cinematic artistry is not dead. Only Hollywood is. I mean, please name me a blockbuster from this summer movie season that you truly thought was great. The closest we got to that was probably Brad Bird's "Incredibles 2" and even that film was disappointing, not even coming close to matching the original. The film I'm most itching for is Tom Cruise's 6th attempt at a Mission: Impossible with "Mission: Impossible - Fallout." Other than that, Hollywood will be stuck in a rut until Fall Movie Season. Telluride, Venice, and Toronto will be beaming with potential Oscar contenders. 

This fall movie season looks decent enough for me, but there seems to be something missing, a lot of these can turn out to be disappointments if the advanced buzz is any indication. The only film with actually no-holds-barred buzz seems to be Alfonso Cuaron and Netflix' "Roma," which was supposed to be at Cannes but you, well, you know the rest of the story... Shot in black and white, the film chronicles a year in the life of a middle-class family in Mexico City in the early 1970s as civil unrest looms.

Damien Chazelle's "First Man" has been screened in quite a few cities for test audiences and the response has been tame but positive. Who knows if this will break through come awards season. Ryan Gosling plays Neil Armstrong, Claire Foy his darling, in a film that depicts the first man-missioned trip to the moon.

Adam McKay's follow-up to "The Big Short," "Backseat," is the story of evil-doer Dick Cheney, as played by a ballooned Christian Bale and also starring Amy Adams, Steve Carell, and Sam Rockwell.

Steve McQueen's "Widows" looks like it'll be a heist movie with "some" political commentary. He hasn't made a movie since "12 Years A Slave," and the cast looks like aces, starring with Viola Davis and Liam Neeson.

Word is that Barry Jenkins' "If Beale Street Could Talk" is an extremely artsy take on the James Baldwin novel set in 1970's Harlem and having to do with a wrongful prison conviction.

James Gray's "Ad Astra" is currently set for a 2019 release, but rumor has it that the film is so good they are thinking of pushing it for the 2018 awards season. festival buzz will likely dictate that final decision.

Yorgos Lanthimos' "The Favourite" was, surprisingly, not at Cannes. The helmer of such controversial fare as "Dogtooth," "The Lobster" and "The Killing of a Sacred Deer" seems to have made a more subtle movie here, which has had Fox Searchlight delaying its festival presence until the fall for full awards exposure. The official synopsis: The close relationship between Queen Anne (Colman) and Sarah Churchill (Weisz) is threatened by the arrival of Sarah's cousin, Abigail Masham (Stone), resulting in a bitter rivalry to be the Queen's favourite.

Jason Reitman already staged an artistic comeback with "Tully" earlier this spring, but, supposedly, "The Front Runner" is supposed to be even better. Chronicling the true story of American Senator Gary Hart's 1988 presidential campaign and the ensuing drama that unfolded when he was caught up in a scandalous love affair, the film sounds like an old-school, by-the-books story, but don't dismiss Reitman just yet, especially when he tackles political satire.

And then, we have films that were supposed to be at Cannes but didn't make the cut. Claire Denis' "High Life" was rumored to be done just in time for Cannes head Thierry Fremaux to take a look-see and decide, but it didn't make the cut. Mike Leigh's "Peterloo" was very much seen but rejected. Bad sign. Ditto Luca Guadagnino's remake of the Argento classic "Suspiria" and "The Outlaw King," David McKenzie's follow-up to "Hell or High Water."

The rest of the fall titles that pique my interest:

Xavier Dolan‘s The Death and Life of John F. Donovan
Harmony Korine‘s The Beach Bum
Jacques Audiard‘s The Sisters Brothers 
Bryan Singer‘s Bohemian Rhapsody
Felix von Groeningen‘s Beautiful Boy
Robert Zemeckis‘s Welcome to Marwen 
Bradley Cooper‘s A Star Is Born
Marielle Heller‘s Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Nicole Holofcener's The Land Of Steady Habits 
Neil Jordan‘s The Widow
Thomas Vinterberg‘s Kursk 
Woody Allen‘s A Rainy Day in New York
Lenny Abrahamson‘s The Little Stranger
Olivier Assayas‘ E-Book aka Non-Fiction

Already mentioned:

Alfonso Cuaron‘s Roma 
Damien Chazelle‘s First Man
Adam McKay‘s Backseat aka Cheney
Steve McQueen‘s Widows
Barry Jenkins‘ If Beale Street Could Talk 
James Gray‘s Ad Astra 
Yorgos Lanthimos‘ The Favourite
David Lowery‘s The Old Man and the Gun
Luca Guadagnino‘s Suspiria
Jason Reitman‘s The Front Runner
David McKenzie‘s The Outlaw King
Mike Leigh‘s Peterloo 
Claire Denis’ High Life