Josh Warner

2018 fall movie preview: 10 films to look out for

Each year, the return of fall is marked by college football, cooler temperatures and the late arrival of the year’s best films. Around this time, the films on the festival circuit begin to find distribution and slowly start to make their way to theaters nationwide. Here’s a list of 10 upcoming inevitable Oscar front-runners, you’ll soon be seeing a lot of in TV commercials, morning news press junkets and countless Youtube ads. 

A Star Is Born

Directed by: Bradley Cooper

Release Date: Oct. 5

While this isn’t the first time "A Star is Born" has made it onto the big screen, critics are praising actor Bradley Cooper's most recent incarnation as the best thus far. The story follows a famous singer-songwriter named Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) as he takes an unknown, aspiring musician named Ally (Lady Gaga) under his wing. Together, the two travel the country performing and eventually fall in love. However, Jackson's alcoholism and destructive behavior threatens to destroy everything the pair have built. 

"A Star is Born" is Cooper’s directorial debut and marks the fourth time the film has been remade. As Ally, Lady Gaga takes up the mantle of past actresses such as Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand. The larger-than-life pop star first caught the acting bug after starring as The Countess in "American Horror Story: Hotel," a performance that won her a Golden Globe in 2016. When it debuted at the Venice Film Festival last month, the film received an eight-minute standing ovation.  

Beautiful Boy

Directed by: Felix Van Groeningen

Release Date: Oct. 12

“Beautiful Boy” is based upon two separate memoirs written by David and Nic Sheff, a father-son duo who shared the same story from two different perspectives. The film follows David's (Steve Carell) rocky relationship with his son (Timothée Chalamet), as his family struggles with the trials and tribulations that come with Nic's meth addiction. The film takes place over several years and documents Nic's journey to recovery his and subsequent relapses.

Since his breakout role as the heartbroken Elio in last year’s "Call Me By Your Name," newcomer Timothée Chalamet has established himself as one of the most ambitious young actors working today. As for Carell, this is nowhere near the first time "The Office" actor has shown his dramatic range. Be prepared to keep your tissues on standby during the emotional face-offs between the two.

First Man

Directed by: Damien Chazelle

Release Date: Oct. 12

“First Man” reunites director Damien Chazelle with actor Ryan Gosling, who starred in his 2016 critically acclaimed hit "La La Land." American flag controversy aside, expect an intense, meticulous biopic of epic proportions with stunning visuals. 

The film chronicles the life of astronaut Neil Armstrong and details the events that led up to his legendary moonwalk in 1969. Claire Foy of Netflix's "The Crown" co-stars as Armstrong's first wife, Janet. Since his debut, with 2014's "Whiplash," Chazelle has directed two actors to Oscar-winning performances. With that in mind, perhaps this year could be Gosling’s turn to take home the golden statue. 


Directed by: Jonah Hill

Release Date: Oct. 19

In his directorial debut, funnyman turned serious actor Jonah Hill offers his take on the much beloved coming-of-age genre. “Mid90s” is set in, predictably, the mid 90’s and follows a 13-year-old skateboarder named Stevie (Sunny Suljic) as he navigates the Los Angeles skatepark scene. Stevie comes from a broken home, and "Mid90s" tells the story of how he finds community within his local skateboarding crew full of misfits. It’s produced by A24, so that should serve as an automatic seal of approval. 

If this sounds interesting to you, you should check out a similar female-centric film called, "Skate Kitchen". Both films showcase real skateboarders and feature actual teens, not adults in their late-20's.

Boy Erased

Directed by: Joel Edgerton

Release Date: Nov. 2

“Boy Erased” tells the true story of a preacher’s son (Lucas Hedges) who is outed to his evangelical parents (Nicole Kidman, Russell Crow) and is forced to attend a gay conversion camp. The film offers an harsh, unflinching look at how these controversial conversion camps actually operate and doesn't seek to sugar coat the atrocities that took place. Like Chalamet, Lucas Hedges has become a young actor to look out for and his resumé is to be envied. 


Directed by: Luca Guadagnino

Release Date: Nov. 2

From the director of “Call Me By Your Name” comes the unsettling remake of the 1977 Italian horror classic of the same name. "Suspiria" is set at a prestigious dance academy in Germany and stars Dakota Johnson as Susie Bannion, the school's newest ballerina. During her stay, Susie begins to realize that things at the academy are not as they seem after a series of gruesome murders leads Susie to discover the frightening truth. 

Johnson has been preparing for the role since 2015 and claims her work was so demanding, it sent her to therapy. When it first premiered at Venice Film Festival last month, the excessive gore prompted several audience walkouts. Luca Guadagnino's "Suspiria" is an hour longer than its predecessor and is scored by Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke. 


Directed by: Steve McQueen

Release Date: Nov. 16

"Widows" is based on a 1983 British mini-series of the same name. The story follows four widows (Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki and Cynthia Erivo) who conspire to complete an unfinished heist their husbands died while attempting to complete themselves. Director Steve McQueen’s modernized take on the story is set in Chicago. In addition to the four lead actresses, Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell and Daniel Kaluuya are just a few actors who are also members of this exceptional ensemble cast. This is McQueen's first film since 2012's “12 Years a Slave," the Oscar winner for Best Motion Picture of the Year at the 86th Academy Awards. 

If Beale Street Could Talk

Directed by: Barry Jenkins

Release Date: Nov. 30

Based on James Baldwin’s classic 1974 novel, “If Beale Street Could Talk” tells the story of a young African-American couple, who hit hard times after Fonny (Stephan James) is accused of a crime he didn't commit and his expecting wife Tish (KiKi Layne) is in a race against time to clear his name. Even in 2018, it’s very rare that the black experience is told through the eyes of someone who actually lives it. In 2016, director Barry Jenkins wowed audiences with his directorial debut "Moonlight" and his sophomore effort, “If Beale Street Could Talk” is set shake the table once again.  

Vox Lux

Directed by: Brady Corbet

Release Date: Dec. 7

Since her portrayal of a tortured ballerina in “Black Swan”, Natalie Portman has become very selective concerning the roles she takes. It is almost as if that era marked the rebirth of her career as her subsequent decisions show an actress who isn’t afraid to take risks and go beyond her comfort zone. Like “Jackie” and “Annihilation," “Vox Lux” is another bold dive for Portman that has seemed to work in her favor. 

In “Vox Lux,” Portman stars as Celeste, a loud-mouthed pop star who is on the verge of making a comeback after almost ruining her career years earlier. At the same time, Celeste struggles to cope with a school shooting that took place during her youth, yet still affects her career to this day. Think of it as the dark-sided counterpart to "A Star is Born". The film's soundtrack is helmed by Australian pop star Sia. 

High Life

Directed by: Claire Denis 

Release Date: Oct. 2

Yes, Robert Pattinson was in “Twilight". Yes, Robert Pattinson is actually a great actor. In the same vein as Jake Gyllenhaal, in recent years Pattinson has rebranded himself as an exciting artist who isn’t afraid of a challenge. In "High Life," he stars as a father who lives in deep space with his daughter in isolation. "High Life" is sure to join the ranks of other smart, sci-fi films such as "Ex Machina" that blur genre lines and offer deeper philosophical meanings. French director Claire Denis has been developing the film since 2002 and finally began filming in 2017.

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