Fall Movie Preview: 2017

Just in Time for the Holidays

Fall is here which means it’s time to break out the sweaters, gather all your pumpkin-flavored treats, and run to the movies! Typically the end of the year is reserved for the kind of “Oscar-bait” movies the marketing executives are so desperately trying to convince you are worth your time and money. But the Fall movie season does not have to bore you to sleep before the snow comes. 2017 has more than enough exciting titles to jolt you from your Netflix binge-watching slumber and reward your effort for leaving the house. Every one of the ten projects highlighted below was completed by a filmmaker at the height of their game or on the verge of breaking out. If you want to be disappointed go somewhere else because you won’t find disappointment with these films. That’s a Filmcache promise!

*In chronological order:

1. Blade Runner 2049 – dir. Denis Villeneuve

Here at Filmcache we try to maintain an “indie-sensibility,” however nebulous that sounds. Quite regularly I receive criticism for not including tentpole mega-franchises in my lists. The goal with the site has always been to shine a light on quality movies that have been forgotten or otherwise neglected by audiences. This time however, the blockbuster of all blockbusters couldn’t be ignored. With Filmcache favorites Denis Villeneuve and Roger Deakins teaming up once again (not to mention The Gos and the return of Harrison Ford as “Rick Deckard”) Blade Runner 2049 is shaping up to be my most anticipated film of the year. Fortunately for all of us, the release of this long awaited sequel is right around the corner.

U.S. Release date: October 6th

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2. The Florida Project – dir. Sean Baker

Sean Baker burst onto the filmmaking scene with his 2015 Sundance hit Tangerine. Shot entirely with three iPhone’s and very few professional cast and crew, Baker proved what he could accomplish with a little grit and a lot of passion. Thankfully with The Florida Project, his budget is more flexible this time allowing him to amplify his already strong indie-aesthetic. With Willem Dafoe playing against type as a sweet hotel owner and what is sure to be a breakout child performance from Brooklynn Kimberly Prince, The Florida Project is poised to become the Fall season’s critical darling.

U.S. Release date: October 6th

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3. The Square – dir. Ruben Östlund

Shifting gears from the naturalistic to the surreal, Ruben Östlund’s The Square is sure to confound audiences. From the trailer alone you get the sense that this movie does not adhere to common cinematic rules, eschewing conventional narrative and pacing structure for something more…jarring. Östlund is no stranger to making his audiences follow him down irregular paths. His last film, the excellent Force Majeure, examined modern masculinity and what it means to keep a family safe. This time his sights are set on the modern art world and taking down the high-brow culture of museum curation. Strap yourself in for this wild ride.

U.S. Release date: October 27th

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4. The Killing of a Sacred Deer – dir. Yorgos Lanthimos

Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos is no stranger to Filmcache lists. His body of work is quickly growing stronger with each film and his recent collaborations with Colin Farrell have proven incredibly fruitful for both of their careers. Reuniting after this year’s wonderful The Beguiled, Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman stretch their on-screen chemistry to devilishly creepy heights. Farrell plays a successful surgeon whose relationship with Kidman is put to the test when he befriends a mischievous teenage boy played Barry Keoghan (who himself broke out this year in Dunkirk). Lanthimos at this point in his career has my complete trust as a viewer and I look forward to seeing him flex his directorial muscle once more.

U.S. Release date: October 27th

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5. Lady Bird – dir. Greta Gerwig

Greta Gerwig is the closest thing to indie royalty as you can possibly get. Well-beloved by virtually every actor in the industry, she finally gets the chance to prove herself behind the camera. Featuring a top-notch mix of veteran actors and young on-the-risers including Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, and Timothée Chalamet, Gerwig can rest assured that audiences will respond to her snappy dialogue and heartfelt storytelling. In a market over-saturated with reboots and sequels, it’s refreshing to see women writer/directors be given opportunities to tell their stories because you know it will be a unique experience. Lady Bird has all the ingredients for a successful Fall run that may even sustain enough momentum to be recognized as one of the year’s best.

U.S. Release date: November 10th

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6. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – dir. Martin McDonagh

Martin McDonagh is king of the irreverent. Operating as one of Ireland’s strongest cinematic voices for years, McDonagh returns to his black-comedy wheelhouse with the heftily titled Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. After the rape and murder of her daughter, a mother frustratingly commissions three billboards calling out her town’s Sheriff who has yet to find the perpetrator of the heinous crime. With the most compelling cast assembled this year (Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, John Hawkes, and Peter Dinklage just to name a few) Three Billboards… is sure to bring the laughs but may end up hitting you harder than you’d expect.

U.S. Release date: November 10th

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7. Molly’s Game – dir. Aaron Sorkin

What can’t Jessica Chastain do at this point? We’ve seen her play vulnerable (Take Shelter, The Tree of Life), we’ve seen her play ruthless (Zero Dark Thirty, Miss Sloane), and we’ve even seen her play nerdy scientist (InterstellarThe Martian). She is the preeminent multifaceted, multi-talented Hollywood actress. Which is why it’s no shock to see that Aaron Sorkin has entrusted her to carry his directorial debut on her shoulders. Based on the story of Molly Bloom, dubbed “the Poker Princess,” Molly’s Game is the kind of movie that will have you dancing to the dialogue. Given the mind behind the words (Sorkin’s writing credits include The Social Network, Moneyball, and Steve Jobs) there’s no doubt the screenplay will be sharp, energetic, and full of venom. If Sorkin is as steady-handed behind the camera as he is on the page, then we can all rest assured that this one’s a royal flush.

U.S. Release date: November 22nd

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8. The Disaster Artist – dir. James Franco

“I did not hit her. It’s not true. It’s bullshit. I did not hit her. I did notttt. Oh hi Mark!” And thus a star was born. If you’re somehow not familiar by now with what The Room is or who Tommy Wiseau is then please stop what you’re doing immediately and take 8 minutes of your time to watch this highlight (or lowlight) reel. Based on the memoir of Greg Sestero (the aforementioned “Mark”), The Disaster Artist tells the true-to-life behind the scenes story of how this car wreck of a film was willed into existence by it’s singular-minded visionary. The Room has become infamous in the film community to the point where Tommy himself seems to be in on the joke, regularly attending midnight showings of his cult disaster-piece. Who better than the constantly out of kilter James Franco to give this once in a lifetime work of artistry the proper movie treatment. Ironic that a film deemed so bad would go on to inspire a film that looks so good. Talk about failing upwards.

U.S. Release date: December 8th

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9. The Shape of Water – dir. Guillermo del Toro

Nothing brings me more joy than to see Guillermo del Toro make his return to creature-feature storytelling. The man is a genius when it comes to creature design (Hellboy, Pacific Rim) and taking us on poetic journeys through fantastical worlds (Pan’s Labyrinth). The Shape of Water is the return to form his fans have been waiting for. Starring the underrated Sally Hawkins playing an all-silent role and the acting dynamo that is Michael Shannon completely tearing up the screen, the hype generated for The Shape of Water may be too much to contain in a glass encasing. Get ready to hold your breath.

U.S. Release date: December 8th

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10. Downsizing – dir. Alexander Payne

Alexander Payne has explored the roller coaster of human emotions through a variety of lenses throughout his career. He tackled the drama of high school politics with his comedy Election, examined familial grief in his Oscar-winning The Descendants, and most recently took us on a father and son road trip in Nebraska. This year his emotional interest has taken a science fiction flavor. Downsizing takes a high concept solution to a problem in a future world that is over-populated and turns it into a satirical farce on wealth and happiness. A scientific breakthrough now gives people the option to shrink their bodies down to a miniature size where their money will go much further than in the normal world. Matt Damon excels at playing the sort of goofy everyman who would sign up for such a procedure, but also makes us care about his plight on a micro level (pun intended). Payne is ready to prove to cinema audiences that big things really do come in small packages.

U.S. Release date: December 22nd

 

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