Autumn is a great time for films. Studios typically tend to reserve their best ones for release during the October, November, and December months because of award season deadlines. This makes the autumn saturated with phenomenal performances and stories that move away from the horrid summer tentpole blockbusters that are just mindless entertainment.
Fall films are supposed to make you think and feel. They exercise your emotions in various ways. Sometimes they even give you moral lessons like “fight for what you believe in” or “fight to make a difference in the world”. Of course, every movie has a moral like that but they simply seem more prevalent during awards season.
All that being said, here are the five films I am most excited about seeing this fall. (There are a lot more than 5. I may make another list as more release dates crop up.)
5. Breathe (October 6)
Andy Serkis, of motion capture fame, makes his directing debut with this true-life biopic about Robin and Diana Cavendish, a couple whose life is turned upside down by Robin’s fight with polio.
The disease cripples Robin, leaving him bed bound and on a ventilator. However, Robin and Diana have different ideas on how bedbound people should live out the remainder of their lives.
Breathe explores them developing a wheelchair that houses the mechanics of the ventilator so Robin and others like him can be more mobile.
Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man) and Claire Foy (The Crown) look to deliver Oscar-worthy performances in this film and, to be honest, the movie looks breathtaking. I hope Serkis finds his niche in directing with this film. Of course, I’m a sucker for uplifting period films so I am hoping it’s as good as the trailer make it look.
4. Marshall (October 13)
October is really a good month for films for me, I think. Most of the films I want to see come out next month and that excites me. I will be a busy bee but I couldn’t be happier.
Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther) and Josh Gad (Beauty and the Beast) take on the true life story of Thurgood Marshall.
Before he was a supreme court justice, Marshall worked as a lawyer for the NAACP. There, he takes a case defending Joseph Spell (Sterling K. Knight) who is accused of raping and attacking a socialite (Kate Hudson) in her home.
Naturally, the case isn’t as cut and dry as Marshall and his partner Sam Friedman are hoping. Not only that, they are facing down prosecuting attorney Lorin Willis (Dan Stevens) who is as bigoted as they come.
I’ll be honest, I am really only excited to see Boseman and Stevens square off. I have been wanting to see Stevens in a proper villain role since he was in The Guest and I have doubt he is going to crush it.
3. Darkest Hour (November 22)
This film, despite a potentially erratic Best Actor race, should cinch an Oscar win for Gary Oldman and I have three words on that: about dang time.
There is no doubt that Oldman is one of the most prolific actors of our time. He blends in so well with each character he plays that, sometimes, he is even unrecognizable. I wouldn’t go so far to call him a character actor, though. He’s much, much better than that and I certainly feel like Darkest Hour is going to be his defining moment.
Oldman plays Winston Churchill at the start of World War II and the film chronicles Churchill’s struggle with the idea of going to war with the Allied forces or negotiating a peace treaty with Hitler.
Knowing how Churchill was at the start of the war and how the war affected him, it’ll be interesting to see Oldman tap into the ferocity of Churchill in public as well as the vulnerability of him in his private life.
2. Thor: Ragnarok (November 3)
Yes, yes, I know. I have all of these heavy biopics listed and the second most anticipated film I have this fall is a comic book movie. I am strange, I am aware. However, Thor has always been my favorite MCU franchise (next to Iron Man) so, I have to sing its praises at some point.
Ragnarok has a killer cast. That’s an extremely superficial reason to be excited about this film but when am I going to get to see Tom Hiddleston’s Loki playing opposite a Jeff Goldblum character? The answer is: only in this film. Not to mention Cate Blanchett as villainess Hela is going to be deliciously good.
I love Hela. She is perhaps my favourite figure in Norse mythology. I have a few personal reasons why I like Hela so much but being able to see her portrayed on screen is going to be amazing. From the trailer, she looks fierce and she is everything I had hoped for.
I really think Taika Waititi was a fine choice for Marvel’s next venture and there’s no doubt that Ragnarok is setting up the MCU in ways none of us are truly ready for.
1. The Shape of Water (December 8)
Oh, The Shape of Water. Out of all the films I want to see this fall and out of all the films that I’ll inevitably put on another list, this one is the one I am most excited for. To be honest, I’m not completely sure I will be able to accurately put into words how excited I am but we’ll just have to see.
Sally Hawkins is already earning praise for her portrayal of Elisa, a mute woman working janitorial in a Cold War Era facility. She’s lonely. She only has a few friends and there is this sense of longing for a better life that is apparent even in the trailers. All of this is turned upside down when she and her friend Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a classified experiment hidden away in the depths of the facility.
I think what I find most fascinating is here is a character getting mainstream praise and recognition and she’s using sign language to communicate. Sign language has always been a fascination and I even tried learning it once. It’s a beautiful language and those who use it are often seen as less because how can people who talk with their hands be of any use, right? But naysayers fail to miss the point that just because you’re hard of hearing, deaf, or mute, there is no limit to what they can do and what they can learn and what they can show the world.
Director Guillermo del Toro is definitely earning a star of awesomeness in my book by shining a light on this often overlooked language and the people who use it. No doubt there will be talk about how innovative it is seeing a character like Elisa on screen. Yes, we’ve had television shows with deaf actors who use sign language but a big screen venture hasn’t been done in a very long time.
But, of course, there are bound to be people who are put off by the idea of an inter-species relationship between a human woman and a humanoid fish creature but that’s just the fantasy of del Toro. He takes these ideas and makes it work.
There you have it folks! Those are the top five movies I’m ready for this fall/winter. Stay tuned because I’m sure I’ll have five more to add to this list in the coming weeks.