The year may be far from over but it is rapidly coming to a close. Sometimes with all the movies coming out, it can be easy to forget about some of the ones you most wanted to see. Below is a list of the ten films I’m most psyched for in the last quarter of the year.
There are some movies like The Tragedy Girls that I would love to have on but since it has no distribution or release date I had to leave it off. The movies I chose were ones that had a firm release date. The movies below are the ones that I am unreservedly excited for, not the only ones, but the ones who made the cut.
Battle of the Sexes – (Dir. Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris) Sep.22:
A movie about the legendary tennis match with Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) and Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) feels immediate and ripe for our current climate. Carell seems to have found a unique fit for his brand of comedy; a sort of clueless oaf you want to both strangle and hug. While Emma Stone who’s long been a talent may have finally found a movie that allows her to actually act. In the hands of Dayton and Faris (Little Miss Sunshine), who have shown themselves capable of walking fine lines, I have little doubt that Battle of the Sexes will be a wonderful prickly emotional beast.
The Florida Project – (Dir. Sean Baker) – Oct. 6:
Sean Baker (Tangerine) is a shining cinematic talent little heard of by the mainstream public and rarely talked about in movie punditry. Perhaps with casting Willem Dafoe will finally gain him the recognition he so clearly deserves. A movie about economic displacement wrapped up in a coming of age tale. Baker’s movies have a warmth and empathic humanity to them which makes me more than a little hopeful.
Marshall – (Dir. Reginald Hudlin) Oct. 13:
Chadwick Boseman is a superstar. The only problem is most of the country hasn’t figured that out yet. He’s played Jackie Robinson in 42 as well as James Brown in Get On Up. Now he plays Thurgood Marshall in a movie that, if the trailers are to be believed, is less a biopic and more like something from the mind of Walter Mosley. No matter, with Boseman as the lead, we’re sure to get a dynamic and fierce performance worth the price of admission alone.
The Foreigner – (Dir. Martin Campbell) Oct. 13:
A Jackie Chan vehicle in the vein of Taken which was in of itself a dark gritty revenge story with a James Bond-esque character? It’s directed by Martin Campbell who also directed Goldeneye and Casino Royale? It also has Pierce Brosnan who literally was James Bond? Take. My. Money.
Campbell has done something no other western director has ever thought to do. He decided to give Jackie Chan a character to play. Anyone who has ever seen one of Jackie Chan’s Hong Kong films knows that his western films have been pale imitations. Finally, years past due, it looks as if someone in the west is giving Chan something worthy of his talents.
Wonderstruck – (Dir. Todd Haynes) Oct. 20:
Todd Haynes’ (Carol) adaptation of Brian Selznick looks to be a cinematic marvel. With Rose (Millicent Simmonds) being deaf, Haynes has said her half of the movie will be filmed as a silent film. Both as a nod to the era and as a way to put the audience in her head. Haynes has also gone out of his way to cast deaf actors for roles that would have traditionally gone to hearing actors. Representation aside, Haynes is one of the most emotionally precise directors working today so there’s no end to the reasons why I’m excited about this movie.
Thor: Ragnarok – (Dir. Taika Waititi) Nov. 3
Comic book movies have been going strong for almost twenty years now. Like most things that go for that long, there’s a pattern that has emerged. James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 & 2 did its best to break free of these constraints. Waititi’s (What We Do In The Shadows) third Thor movie looks to go even further. A bright colorful, zany, and downright raucous in feel, it seems to promise a truly original comic book movie for a character many people wrongly believe is boring.
Murder on the Orient Express – (Dir. Kenneth Branagh) Nov. 24
Kenneth Branagh (Cinderella) adapting Agatha Christie’s masterpiece, directing it, and starring as the great Hercule Poirot himself? Honestly, I don’t even need a reason to want to see this, just look at the cast and the material, I’m there. Also, Branagh’s mustache game is out of control, I love it.
Branagh is well known for adapting difficult material for the big screen. What’s remarkable about Branagh’s ability is that he’s able to please both the main stream and the academic. You need not have read Henry IV before seeing the movie. He’s able to take the story and translate it to another medium without losing the story itself.
Coco – (Dir. Adrian Molina & Lee Unkrich) Nov. 24
The Pixar studio is the best story telling machine working right now no contest. Their latest effort, a Mexican tale about a young boy’s adventure into the afterlife, looks to be another winner. It will be interesting to see how Coco stacks up against Jorge R. Gutierrez’s The Book of Life. Both seem to take their artistic cues directly from Latin culture. A celebration of Latino culture is almost a sort of artistic protest against the current political climate.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – (Dir. Rian Johnson) Dec. 15
Hopefully The Last Jedi will answer some questions asked by The Force Awakens. If nothing else it will be a chance to see Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac interact with each other once more. Johnson (Looper) is an unknown, Star Wars both style and budget wise are out of his wheelhouse. It will be interesting to see how well he rises to the occasion as well as what he brings to the table.
The Greatest Showman – (Dir. Michael Gracey) Dec. 29
Hugh Jackman? Check. Michelle Williams in a movie that looks to be fun? Check. A musical? Check? A musical with Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, and Zendaya that is essentially “Let’s put on a show!” musical about the life and times of America’s greatest entertainer (con-man) P.T. Barnum? Why do I have to wait until December?