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Fall Movie Preview

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With the close of the Toronto and Venice film festivals over the past couple of weeks, it appears the fall movie season has officially arrived. This week, I thought I’d provide a bit of a preview as to what would be hitting cinemas in the next couple months leading up to Thanksgiving. While there is plenty of commercial fare arriving, it’s also the time of year in which a few award season hopefuls begin to appear on the scene.

The first week of October begins with A Star is Born. Believe it or not, the original film was made back in 1937 and remade in 1954 and 1978. This edition stars Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper (who is also making his directorial debut). Cooper plays a musician who discovers a young singer and eventually falls for her. Also arriving is the western/dark comedy The Sisters Brothers, about two hit men hired to assassinate a chemist who is believed to have discovered a formula to find gold. It features John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix and Jake Gyllenhaal. Finally, comic book fans will see Tom Hardy in Venom, an origin story for the Spider-man villain.

Bad Times at the El Royale is a suspense picture about seven mysterious strangers who all intersect at a run-down motel. First Man has been getting a lot of press and awards hype. This take on Neil Armstrong’s journey to the moon casts Ryan Gosling as the astronaut on his incredible trip into space. Family movie fans can also check out the sequel, Goosebumps 2, although it features an entirely new cast and story (of course, the familiar R.L. Stine monsters will return). And Robert Redford appears in The Old Man & the Gun. The actor has claimed that this is his final role, taking on the part of real life figure Forest Tucker, a 70-year-old who escaped from San Quentin and successfully perpetrated a series of heists. Advance word has been strong for the feature.

Beautiful Boy, based on the bestselling memoirs of father and son David and Nic Sheff, deals with a father’s attempts to help his son recover from a methadone addiction. The cast includes Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet. As the big October holiday approaches, the day will coincide with the release of Halloween, a follow-up that features a confrontation between original star Jamie Lee Curtis and infamous killer Michael Meyers. The drama Serenity with Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway follows a fisherman with a dark past. The Happy Prince with Rupert Everett and Colin Firth is a biopic detailing the life of Oscar Wilde. This week also sees the release of The Hate U Give, a drama about a teenager dealing with the police shooting of one of her best friends. Mid90s is a coming-of-age tale written and directed by Jonah Hill. Finally, this month sees the release of a very silly Rowan Atkinson spy comedy, Johnny English Strikes Again.

November gets off to a busy start with Bohemian Rhapsody, the much-hyped biopic of Queen singer Freddie Mercury. The drama Boy Erased follows a preacher’s gay son who is put through a conversion program to change his orientation. The cast includes Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe. Melissa McCarthy takes on a serious part in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, a true-life story about a biographer in the ’70s and ’80s who began to fall out of favor with publishers, forcing her to take unscrupulous measures in her writing. This week also sees the release of the Tiffany Hadish comedy, Nobody’s Fool, and the Disney family fantasy adventure, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, starring Keira Knightley.

The Front Runner has been getting a lot of buzz as well. It features Hugh Jackman as politician Gary Hart and his troubled 1988 run for president. The Grinch retells the famous short as a full-length animated feature. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has been given a sequel in the form of The Girl in the Spider’s Web, only this one features a new cast that puts Claire Foy in the title role. This month also sees the release of the war/horror film Overlord, produced by J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production company.

The crime/drama Widows features a team of ladies setting out to finish the dangerous work of their deceased husbands. Instant Family is a comedy with Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne about a couple forced to adjust to their new life after adopting three children. And A Private War is a biography of celebrated war correspondent Marie Colvin, with Rosamund Pike playing the reporter.

As Thanksgiving rolls around, it brings the release of several high-profile films, including the Rocky spin-off/sequel, Creed II. At Eternity’s Gate sees Willem Dafoe taking on the role of famous painter Vincent van Gogh. Viggo Mortensen and recent Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali co-star in Green Book, a 60s-set tale about an Italian American who becomes the driver for a concert pianist in the American South. The Favourite is an English period piece with Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone about Queen Anne and her relationship with influential confidante, as well as a servant who arrives and creates drama. This month also sees the release of the Disney animated sequel, Ralph Breaks the Internet, and a new update of Robin Hood with Taron Egerton taking on the title role. Finally, Jennifer Lopez appears as a business executive reinventing her life in the comedy, Second Act.

That’s a lot of films, with plenty more to come for the holiday season. Of course, I’ll keep you updated on the movies with my personal thoughts as they are released.

By Glenn Kay

For the Sun