10 movies we can’t wait to see in fall 2019

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You know the drill: fall movie season means we put away the superhero movies and try to get a little more serious. And a number of this year’s Oscar-bait titles are pretty weighty, it’s true. But not all of them. That one about the Hitler Youth is kind of fun, actually.

In The Tall Grass

If It: Chapter Two was a bit of a letdown, cleanse your palate with the next Stephen King adaptation, written and directed by Vincenzo Natali (Cube, Splice) from the author’s 2012 collaboration with his son Joe Hill, and starring The Conjuring’s Patrick Wilson and Acquainted’s Laysla De Oliveira as siblings lost in an endless field of grass. Maybe grass can be scarier than clowns. You don’t know. October 4 (Netflix)

Parasite

Bong Joon-ho’s ferocious class-war comedy about a family of have-nots infiltrating the lives of a family of haves won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and wowed critics and audiences at TIFF – and it’s going straight into theatrical release, so you can see exactly what all the fuss is about. (Spoiler: it’s about how this movie is brilliant, is what it’s about.) October 18

Jojo Rabbit

Taika Waititi’s barbed coming-of-age tale of a 10-year-old Nazi (Roman Griffin Davis) and his imaginary friend Adolf Hitler (Waititi) proved surprisingly divisive at TIFF, so you’re going to want to see it for yourself. And you should, because it’s kind of great. October 18

The Lighthouse

Look, sometimes on a gloomy fall day you just want to watch Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson lose their minds in an isolated lighthouse in 19th century New England – in black and white, silent-movie style. That’s what Robert Eggers’s follow-up to The Witch offers, anyway, and audiences at Cannes and TIFF weren’t complaining. October 18

The Irishman

Martin Scorsese’s Jimmy Hoffa picture has been become one of the year’s most anticipated films: it marks his return to gangster cinema, it assembles a gargantuan cast and an ambitious storyline, and it offers a pairing of Robert De Niro and Al Pacino that’ll hopefully play more like Heat and less like Righteous Kill. It’s also three-and-a-half hours long, so maybe watching it on Netflix – with a handy pause button for bathroom breaks – might not be the worst thing. November 1 (theatrical), November 28 (Netflix)

Marriage Story

Noah Baumbach’s devastating study of a dissolving couple (Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson) whose attempt at an amicable separation does not go that way – like, at all – was one of the best movies I saw at TIFF, and it should play pretty well in your home. But if Netflix puts this into theatres, I highly recommend you experience it with a crowd; you’ll be comforted by the sense that everyone else is being pummelled by it right alongside you. November 6 (theatrical), December 6 (Netflix)

Last Christmas

This one feels like a risky recommendation: by all appearances, it’s a syrupy feel-good holiday movie about a young woman (Emilia Clarke) who falls for a nice guy (Henry Golding) while working as a toy-store elf in London… all set to George Michael and Wham! songs. But it’s co-written by Emma Thompson (who plays Clarke’s mum) and directed by Paul Feig, who gave us Bridesmaids, Spy and A Simple Favor. So who the hell knows? November 8

21 Bridges

This thriller – produced by Marvel powerhouses Joe and Anthony Russo, and starring Chadwick Boseman as a New York detective leading a city-wide manhunt for a pair of cop-killers played by Taylor Kitsch and Scarborough’s own Stephan James – was moved from September to a late-November release, which is usually a sign of confidence from a distributor. (American Thanksgiving is a very big box-office holiday.) Here’s hoping it delivers. November 22

Queen & Slim

Veteran TV and music-video director Melina Matsoukas (Insecure, Beyoncé’s Lemonade) makes her feature debut with this thriller written by Lena Waithe. It stars Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya and Jett’s Jodie Turner-Smith as a couple whose first date is derailed by a traffic stop. There’s more to it, but honestly, that combination of talent is all we need to get us in the door. November 27

Little Joe

The first English-language feature from Austrian filmmaker Jessica Hausner – writer/director of the searing psychodramas Lourdes and Amour Fou – had Cannes buzzing earlier this year over its SF-inflected tale of a British botanist (Into The Badlands co-star Emily Beecham) who engineers a flower that has a very soothing effect on the people who smell it. No, that doesn’t sound creepy at all. December 6

@normwilner

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A life-long Torontonian, Norman became the senior film writer for NOW in early 2008. Previously he had reviewed films for Metro newspapers across Canada and covered every video format imaginable (yes, even Beta).

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September 16, 2019

12:30 PM