FALL FLICKS 2019
biopics, media stories and musicals
If you thought the summer movie season was a bit disappointing, the autumn offerings will make it up to you. Promising drama, suspense, intrigue and some feel-good, here are 10 movies that are thought to be worth the price of admission.
Donna Tarttt’s novel was a bestseller and a flashpoint in a heated cultural divide after it came out in 2013. Director John Crowley took on the demanding task of condensing this beloved 800-page novel into two-plus hours. Ansel Elgort stars as Theo, whose mother was killed by a bomb at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Nicole Kidman, Sarah Paulson and Finn Wolfhard (of Stranger Things) play significant roles.
In 2015, New York Magazine published a sort of Robin Hood story seemingly made for the 21st-century big screen: the tale of a group of strippers who banded together to rob Wall Street millionaires of their gobs of money. Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez star in this adaptation, which also features Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Lizzo and Cardi B — a former stripper herself.
The British PBS series that dominated the Emmys is making a jump to the movies and coming for an Oscar. In one of the most grandiose TV to movie transitions ever, Downton Abbey is attempting to button up its period drama status with one final movie. The ongoing saga of the Crawley family continues, with Maggie Smith and all returning for the last hurrah. It seems that every awards season has one British juggernaut film, but none in recent memory have come with the built in fan base of Downton.
Most biopics focus on a subject’s initial rise to fame. But Judy starts three decades after Judy Garland’s star turn in The Wizard of Oz — when she is a four-time divorcee with a raspy voice struggling with substance addiction and trying to raise her two young children. Renée Zellweger, who won an Oscar 15 years ago for Cold Mountain, plays the title role.
JOKER (Release Date: October 4)
The history of cinema is littered with iconic portrayals of the Joker. And it looks like Joaquin Phoenix is about ready to add another one to that list with his upcoming villain origin story. Coming out in early October, that’s the kind of release that is gunning for a bit of awards season play, and with a fresh take on a character covered so many times before, Phoenix and the crew at Warner Brothers might just pull it off.
THE LIGHTHOUSE (Release Date: October 18)
The trailer for The Lighthouse is one of those that gives you the vibe of a film more than it does a “plot” per se. Starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe, the A24 film looks like it will take two lighthouse keepers to the brink of their sanity on a remote island off the coast of Maine. And sure, the premise sounds a little out there (no pun intended), but just the snippets of the performances alone looks like The Lighthouse is the kind of film you won’t soon stop thinking about.
Harriet Tubman is finally getting that mega movie, big screen treatment. With Tony winner Cynthia Erivo cast in the leading role, the film also features Janelle Monae and fellow Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr. Following Tubman’s harrowing journey out of slavery and her eventual return to the Underground Railroad as a free woman, Harriet is poised to be a major Oscar contender—and an important one at that. If Erivo gets an Oscar, she will have completed an EGOT in near-record breaking time.
THE IRISHMAN (Release Date: November 1)
De Niro, Pacino, and Pesci in a Scorsese movie? Is this the ’90s? The Irishman is set for a release later this year before it moves to Netflix, but it’s poised to be a major awards contender—how can it not be with those names attached? Telling the story of Frank Sheeran, the mobster looks back at the life he led and the role he had in the disappearance of one of the patriarchs of the biggest crime families in American history.
FORD V FERRARI (Release Date: November 15)
It’s been a while since Hollywood has released a big hitting racing movie (outside the franchise-turned-superhero saga known as Fast and the Furious). In this biopic, the story follows the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race, where the Ford company works with Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles to design a car with the specs to beat the Ferrari racing team. Led by Matt Damon and Christian Bale, this November release is going to be gigantic.
IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
(Release Date: November 22)
It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is the stuff of Oscar dreams. Tom Hanks plays the beloved Mr. Fred Rogers, the children’s TV host known for his cheery demeanor and penchant for a quick sweater change upon returning home. The film follows a journalist, played by Matthew Rhys, as Rogers helps him re-think his cynical outlook on the world.