Today the Film Society of Lincoln Center kicks off their 53rd New York Film Festival. This extraordinary cinematic event exhibits films from around the world, while attracting Hollywood’s most celebrated stars and daring directors. And year after year, its slate’s standouts become frontrunners in award season. With all this in mind, we look ahead to the next 2 weeks with the kind of excitement we usually reserve for all-you-can eat sundae buffets.
And so we share with you our ten most anticipated NYFF titles:
It’s a story that was beautifully told in the doc Man on Wire (available now on Netflix). But this time it’s got a star-studded cast that includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ben Kingsley, and
Jean-Ralphio Ben Schwartz. Plus director Robert Zemekis is utilizing 3D to give audiences the sensation of walking 1,362 feet above the city. Maybe bring an air sickness bag to this Opening Night feature.
Bridge Of Spies
In another strange-than-fiction docudrama, Hanks plays an everyman who was called into a highly volatile situation have tipped the scales from Cold War to all out bedlam. In 1962 at the height of the Cold War, Russia had captured an American spy while the United States has secured one of theirs. An exchange of prisoners was to be negotiated. And who did the U.S. choose to represent them? A mild-mannered but sharp insurance lawyer (Hanks).
This ambitious passion project will be making its world premiere at NYFF’s Closing Night. If that’s not a sign that Cheadle crushes his first feature, I don’t know what is.
Mara plays a wide-eyed department-store clerk in 1950s New York, who falls hard for a chic, older—and married—woman. Based on the Patricia Highsmith novel and directed by Todd Haynes, we expect one the most glamorous love story to ever hit the silver screen!…but not a happy ending. (Read our review out of Cannes.)
Based on the Colm Tóibín novel, this tender romantic drama stars Saoirse Ronan as an Irish immigrant trying to make sense of life and love in 1950s New York. But what path do you choose when one leads to a new life in Brooklyn with a charming Italian-American, and the other leads to your homeland and Domhnall Gleeson?
Where To Invade Next
Moore as an ugly American? Yeah, we’re game.
In a not-so-distant dystopia, single people are given one last chance to pair up at The Hotel. There they have 45 days to fall in love, or else they’ll be transformed into an animal and sent off into The Woods. This is the desperate situation David (Farrell) finds himself in after the break-up of his 12-year relationship. So, with his dog/former brother by his side, he sets forth on a life-changing search for love. Directed by Dogtooth’s Yorgos Lanthimos, this odd picture has been gathering praise as it rolls through a string of film festivals. And we can’t wait to see what it’s all about. (Read our review out of Cannes.)
Heaven Can Wait
This 1943 gem begins with recently deceased playboy Henry Van Cleve conferring with the devil about his fate. What sounds like a dark premise becomes deliciously delightful as Van Cleve (a dapper Don Ameche) recounts his reckless romantic history. It’s a comedy that’s sexual politics are devotedly old school. Just accept that it as a product of its time, so you can blithely enjoy Ameche’s charming chemistry with Gene Tierney.
We’re getting into Oscar season, which typically means lots and lots and lots of Oscar-baiting biopics about powerful white men overcoming adversity. But NYFF’s Centerpiece looks like it could actually give a thorough portrait of the complexities of Jobs, who changed the world for the better, but was by most accounts a pretty shitty person.
Shu Qi stars in this wuxia as a young woman who was exiled as a child, separated from the boy to whom she was once betrothed, and forced to become an assassin to make her way. But as a potential coup brews against the royal court in the Tang Dynasty, she’s called on to kill the man she was once meant to marry. The plot intrigues. But honestly, they had us from the trailer alone. The colors!
NYFF runs September 25th to October 11th.