From select theatrical releases to VOD and virtual cinema programs, this season promises to be different in so many ways. One thing hasn't changed: a wide selection of the best deals for 2020.
Similar to the shortened summer season of this year, the cinema season in autumn 2020 will look a little different than in previous years. While many films have chosen to set release dates in the middle of what has traditionally been the proving ground for the year's biggest winners, others are still holding back or opting for modified releases. Some films will be shown in theaters while others will offer on-demand releases or even virtual cinema arcs. Many festivals, usually the first home of the films that will entertain us for months, will be held virtually this year.
Nevertheless, there will be a lot of exciting films in the coming months. This includes the latest offers from directors such as Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg, Charlie Kaufman, Chloe Zhao, Miranda July, Antonio Campos, Julia Taymor, Ben Wheatley and Denis Villeneuve. The blockbusters from "Black Widow" to "Wonder Woman 1984" are not stopped (for the time being), and the festival favorites do not hope to penetrate the mainstream either. It remains to be seen, of course, if that schedule will evolve over the coming weeks, but right now there are dozens of films on the way that are worth looking forward to, regardless of which way they come out.
This list only includes films that are currently on a fixed release date, although many of the most anticipated IndieWire films for 2020 are not yet due to announce release plans, including Netflix heavy hitters ("Hillbilly Elegy," "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom." "," Mank "," The 40 Year Old Version "," The Midnight Sky "," The White Tiger "," The Trial of the Chicago 7 "), films that are preparing for festival runs (" One Night in Miami " , "Ammonite"). "French Exit"), projects that have already been shown to gain recognition ("Zola", "I carry you with me", "Sound of Metal"), and others that are shrouded in mystery (like "The Green Knight ") to name a few.
Of course, everything will stay moving and as plans continue to change this list will be updated. Whether that involves changing the release dates, the method of releasing a movie, or adding some of the expected titles that have an official date set in 2020, this preview will stay particularly fluid. For now, however, these are the movies we're most looking forward to in the months to come.
"The Mole Agent" (September 1st on request)
Even without the extra kicker of "and it's a documentary!" Packs Maite Alberdi's latest film "The Mole Agent" an inventive punch. Part of character study, part of unexpected buddy comedy, and an entirely emotional matter about the value we attribute to our senior citizens. “The Mole Agent” may be difficult to classify, but its charms are clear. In his ardent Sundance review, IndieWire's Eric Kohn was enamored of the film's clever twists and turns, saying, “There's a certain thrill that comes from documentaries hiding, and The Mole Agent embodies that appeal. The delightful character study by Chilean director Maite Alberdi unfolds as a complicated spy thriller in which a good-natured 83-year-old widower infiltrates a nursing home at the behest of a private detective. "It's without question the cutest damn spy thriller ever made – KE
"Tenet" (September 3rd, selected theaters)
Christopher Nolan's spy epic "Tenet" hits US cinemas on September 3rd (for the time being), making it the biggest theatrical event of the fall movie season after several delays in its release made it the biggest tent mast of the summer movie season. John David Washington and Robert Pattinson appear as secret agents who use Time Reversal to prevent a Russian oligarch (Kenneth Branagh) from waging World War III.
While “Tenet” is the first new studio blockbuster to hit theaters amid the pandemic, it's understandably the big event of the fall movie season by default. The real reason to look forward to Nolan's latest version is because the Oscar-nominated filmmaker is playing with one of his largest budgets to date (over $ 200 million for an original property) in more countries than ever before (the grand total is seven). Nolan himself has described "Tenet" as the most ambitious movie he's made to date, and that's a tough explanation to come to terms with. – ZS
"I'm thinking of ending things" (September 3, streaming on Netflix)
"I Think of the End of Things" is Charlie Kaufman's take on a horror film, which means it's everything and nothing you'd expect from the genre. Kaufman's spin on Iain Reid's horror novel, which serves more as a starting point for Kaufman's unusual and comedic vision, includes a study of loneliness, a breakup story, and the writer's / director's own quest through his career. Jessie Buckley and Jesse Plemons recently played a couple on a road trip to meet his parents (Toni Collette and David Thewlis), whose remote farmhouse is on the other end of an accelerating blizzard.
As Buckley's character wrestles with an indescribable desire to end their relationship, this classic horror movie setup soon collapses and Buckley's world begins to fall apart. "Cold War" and "Ida", cameraman Łukasz Żal, deliver picturesque images that bring "I think about the end of things" into the dark terrain of Kaufman's directorial debut "Synecdoche, New York". Just don't expect a simple adaptation of Reid's novel. After reading it, leave it at home. – RL
"Mulan" (September 4th, streaming on Disney +)
After Disney was canceled from its originally scheduled release date of March 27th in mid-March due to growing global pandemic fears, Disney eventually decided to suspend the live action "Mulan" for a July 24 release date and pushed it later even further back an August 21st date. With theaters continuing to struggle in some of the country's largest markets, a traditional summer release date has proven impossible. Now the movie will be arriving on Disney + in most markets, great news for families looking for new programming.
And it's fresh, because while filmmaker Niki Caro is working with a sacred Disney Princess floor for her big budget epic, this “Mulan” likes to go back to his roots and encourage an action-packed adventure, read that right, zero sing . Based on the Chinese folklore legend "The Ballad of Mulan", the film plays Liu Yifei as the Chinese maiden who disguised herself as a male warrior in order to save her father. Unlike the popular Disney animated story, the film is not a musical, but rather a series of large-scale, dazzling action set pieces that demonstrate Mulan's martial prowess. – KE
"Feels good" (September 4th, on request)
"Feels Good Man," Arthur Jones' skillful investigation into exactly how a cartoon of a stoner frog turned into a white nationalist symbol, was well timed when he won Jones a Sundance Special Jury Award in February. Pepe the Frog was born in 2005 by cartoonist Matt Furie and quickly took on a life of its own, far removed from the artist's vision of a frog simply doing what "feels good". First it was through 4chan posts that turned Pepe into carefree memes, before users of the picture board made Pepe speak more racist and alt-right. Then came Pepe's status as a replacement for the Trump campaign, the Anti-Defamation League, which listed the frog as a symbol of hate, and even a satirical religion and imaginary country with a Nazi-inspired flag. As a case study of how one of the trollest corners of the internet can impact national politics, "Feels Good Man" has only gotten more pressing in the last few months – another runaway 4-channel phenomenon, the QAnon conspiracy theory, counts congressional candidates competing among their supporters for the election in November. – CL
"I am a woman" (September 11, selected theaters and on request)
There are a few tropes that inevitably spell disaster for any biopic: the character who coughs a lot (and nobody notices) and the character who sniffs a lot of Coke (and everyone ignores). Unjoo Moon's fact-based portrayal of the life of singer Helen Reddy – titled "I Am Woman," after her greatest success and essential ethos, the film that premiered on TIFF last fall – is due to such clichés, but the sheer one Star power of the breakout, leading actress Tilda Cobham-Hervey, combined with the film-ready career path of Reddy and Moon & # 39; s clear respect for her, put it a cut above other genre entries.
Respiratory disease is an abomination to big-star biopics, but nothing is more forgiving than a wallop of a leading performance and a story that has long had to be told. The current spitting out of musical biographies could use more direction than that of Moon, who understands how much can be telegraphed by the sheer grace of a good performance within an even better performance. And the genre could use more stars like Cobham-Hervey, forced to not only find the woman in the star, but give both the power to be strong, invincible, and roar. – KE
"Martin Eden" (September 11, selected theaters and virtual cinemas)
The experienced Italian documentary filmmaker Pietro Marcello (one of whose surreal, lyrical works “Lost and Beautiful” is one) made his first fully narrative achievement with this innovative adaptation of Jack London's novel. The filmmaker recontextualizes the author's semi-autobiographical story through the experiences of the early 20th century in an unspecified period of Italian history, when the title sailor (Luca Marinelli) goes from a cross-class romance to an outlawed writer at the center of a hot-headed intellectual Showdowns in a divided Europe.
The 16mm film gained fans on the festival circuit last fall, where its ambiguous timeline and complex historical reference points sparked the same heated debate that was captured in the film. David Ehrlich of IndieWire wrote of the Venice Film Festival last fall, calling it "a dreamy and surprisingly faithful adaptation made over 100 years of looking back" in which "the anger is palpable". This centuries-old story published in the United States during these divisive times could hit the zeitgeist. – EK
"Sibylle" (September 11th, virtual cinemas)
Justine Triet received three nominations for the César Award for her two previous short-story films "Age of Panic" and "In Bed with Victoria", including for best debut film and best film. The French filmmaker returns this year with “Sibyl”, another comedy-drama hybrid that focuses on the inner workings of women. The film stars "Blue is the warmest color" break out of Adèle Exarchopoulos as an actress who becomes an object of artistic obsession for the therapist / writer Sibyl, played by the Belgian Virginie Efira. “Toni Erdmann” star Sandra Hüller and César winner Gaspard Ulliel complete the cast. "Sibylle" premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year and received mixed reviews. According to IndieWire's Eric Kohn, however, the film hovers between the elegance and eroticism of a clever psychological thriller. – JD
"The Devil All the Time" (September 16, streaming on Netflix)
Antonio Campos & # 39; first feature film as director since “Christine” in 2016, “The Devil All the Time” is a harrowing Appalachian Gothic with a ridiculously good cast including Tom Holland, Bill Skarsgård, Riley Keough, Jason Clarke, Sebastian Stan and Haley Bennett, Eliza Scanlen, Mia Wasikowska and Robert Pattinson. The film is taken from the violent novel by Donald Ray Pollock and is set in the same world of Midwestern Hell as Cormac McCarthy's most bleak nightmares. It shows a religious community and its sprawling underbelly, which drives beliefs and ideals to terrible extremes.
Creepy characters pack every corner of the ensemble, from Pattinson as the crooked preacher to Keough and Clarke as serial killers to Stan as the corrupt local law enforcement agency. The American landscape between World War II and the Vietnam War is a pitiful one in Campos' vision. Just remember this is the director of "Simon Killer" and "Afterschool" and you are prepared for the dark canvas that the filmmaker paints. – RL
"Antebellum" (September 18, PVOD)
The feature film debut of directors Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz (who work under the pseudonym Bush / Renz) takes civil war reenactments to another level. Lionsgate's cheeky official synopsis reads: "Successful writer Veronica Henley (Janelle Monáe) finds herself in a terrible reality and must uncover the startling mystery before it's too late," and the end product has puzzles to spare. The film explores the dynamics and dilemma of antebellum slavery through the sensitivity of a 21st century black woman who is still aware of her legacy in American society today.
The film, also written by Bush and Benz, was created to examine how a modern black woman would experience slave society in person, and to say more, it would spoil its many twists and turns. Aside from the weariness of the slavery movie, the cleverly produced "Antebellum" is almost guaranteed to be a conversation starter and is likely to generate a lot of food for thought. -TO
"Kajillionaire" (September 18, selected theaters)
Miranda Juli's first film in nearly a decade features Evan Rachel Wood in an extraordinary performance at the center of a dark comedy that divides the difference between "shoplifting" and "parasite". The story of a cheater family whose lives are getting worse around them, July's shrewd and unpredictable character study is both cynical and sincere. The film centers around the struggling Dyne family, led by Robert (a disheveled Richard Jenkins) and Theresa (Debra Winger, confused and wide-eyed). Their daughter has a ridiculous name that hints at her parents' eccentric past, but old Dolio Dyne (Wood) knows nothing about it. A clumsy, lanky woman barely able to make eye contact, she lives entirely within the confines of the griffier lifestyle that dictates her existence.
The Dynes, who live in a bubble factory and try to cheat everyone in their eyes in Los Angeles, don't seem to know what's best for them. But when Old Dolio meets the crazy Melanie (Gina Rodriguez), the new friends begin to explore the possibility of a new path in life. As in all July films, quirky meets sweet meets emotional punch, making it one of the most rewarding American films of the year. – EK
"The Nest" (September 18, selected theaters; November 17, VOD and digital)
Director Sean Durkin fulfilled the Sundance dream of not only having a breakout hit from the festival, but also creating a brand new superstar in the process. His "Martha Marcy May Marlene" catapulted Elizabeth Olson to fame and Marvel fortune – and for many, Durkin's takeover of the life of a cult young woman announced his arrival as a star behind the camera. Even so, it took Durkin nine years to make his cinematic follow-up, and when it finally hit Sundance 2020, The Nest wowed some viewers and confused others.
The story of a domineering husband (Jude Law) who abruptly relocates his wife (Carrie Coon) and children to a Gothic mansion in the UK was ultimately seen as a "exercise in style" in his B, according to Eric Kohn, IndieWire's chief film critic – Review from the festival. But what style! Richard Reed Perry from Arcade Fire provided a jazz score for the story, which unfolds in surprisingly long shots of the cameraman “Son of Saul”, Mátyás Erély. – CB
"The King’s Man" (September 18, select theaters)
Matthew Vaughn's third "Kingsman" film has long been in theaters and is already the subject of a set release date. Based on the comic series "The Secret Service" by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, "The King & # 39; s Man" goes deeper into the Genesis myth of the espionage collective known as Kingsman. Set in the early 1900s, this film follows a collection of the worst tyrants and criminal thought leaders in history, all of whom gather to plan a war to wipe out millions of people while one man competes against time to stop them . 20th Century Studios' eye-catching spy action adventure, big budget, stars as Ralph Fiennes and invites audiences to discover the origins of the very first independent intelligence agency. Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans, Matthew Goode, Daniel Brühl, Djimon Hounsou and Charles Dance complete the cast. -TO
"Misconduct" (September 25, selected theaters and on request)
Phillipa Lowthorpe has cut her teeth in critically acclaimed TV dramas and has filmed episodes of the popular series "Call the Midwife" and "The Crown". For her feature film debut, she shot a screenplay by Gaby Chiappe and Rebecca Frayn (based on a story by Frayn) about the 1970 Miss World competition in London, which turned out to be an unexpected focal point. The pageant organizers, portrayed by Lesley Manville and Keeley Hawes, were targeted by a group of feminists – including renowned activist Sally Alexander, played by Keira Knightley, and Jo Robinson, played by Jessie Buckley – who protested the competition to objectify women. They attacked the Miss World event from the outside, but from the inside a big change was spearheaded by one of the pageant candidates, Jennifer Hosten (Guga Mbatha-Raw), Miss Grenada, who viewed the competition in Miss World as an act of empowering blacks Women in the spotlight. What emerges is a conflict between two very different ideas about what such a public celebration of beauty can really mean. – CB
Read the rest of the Fall Preview, including October and beyond selections, on the next page.
40 new must-see movies to see this fall season