Cannes has come and gone, adding Todd Haynes’ “Carol” to what is already looking like an exceptional year for LGBT-related film. “Tangerine,” “Nasty Baby,” “Grandma” and “I Am Michael” all came out of Sundance and will be released by year’s end. And they’ll likely be joined by another handful of films we’ve yet to see — many of them making their debuts on the fall film festival circuit. And while we welcome off-our-radar additions when the festivals start announcing their programs, here’s three films that we’re definitely thinking will make the cut before going off to try and win some Oscars:
The Danish Girl
Who made it?
Tom Hooper is following up “Les Miserables” with the film, which is being released by Focus Features on November 28th.
Who’s in it? Eddie Redmayne is aiming for back-to-back Oscars in a juicy lead role here, with Alicia Vikander (having quite the year), Amber Heard, Mattias Schoenaerts and Ben Whishaw rounding out the cast.
What’s it about? Based on the novel by David Ebershoff, “The Danish Girl” is a fictionalized account of the life of Lili Elbe (Redmayne), one of the first people to undergo sex reassignment surgery. Set in early 1920s Copenhagen, the genesis of Elbe’s transition comes when illustrator and artist Gerda Wegener (Vikander) asked Elbe — her husband, then male-identified and known as Einar Wegener — to stand in for a female model. The popularity of the portraits led to Gerda painting her husband in further pictures as a woman. Einer develops an attraction for a female physical appearance and begins living as woman, and Gerda supports her decision — although their marriage becomes strained when Gerda comes to the realization that Lili is no longer the person she married (it all sounds very “Laurence Anyways” to us).
Where will it premiere?
We’d wager strong bets on Telluride and/or Toronto, the latter of which saw Focus debut Redmayne’s “The Theory of Everything” last year. But it’s also quite possible they’ll hold off the festival circuit altogether given its late November release date.
Who made it?
Peter Sollett (“Raising Victor Vargas”), from a script by “Philadelphia” writer Ron Nyswaner. Lionsgate is releasing the film on October 2nd.
Who’s in it? Another recent Oscar winner, Julianne Moore stars along with Ellen Page, Steve Carell, Luke Grimes and Michael Shannon.
What’s it about?
The film is based on the true story of Laurel Hester (Moore), a police officer in Ocean County, New Jersey. Following her diagnosis with terminal lung cancer in 2005, Hester repeatedly appealed to the county’s board of chosen freeholders in an attempt to ensure her pension benefits could be passed on to her domestic partner, Stacie Andree (Page). A short documentary about the same story won an Oscar back in 2007.
Where will it premiere? Almost certainly Toronto, given the October release date.
Who made it?
Roland Emmerich — yes, the man that made “The Day After Tomorrow” and “White House Down” — is taking on the story of the Stonewall Riots. Roadside Attractions will release the film at some point this year.
Who’s in it? A very white male ensemble cast including Jeremy Irvine, Ron Perlman, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Joey King, Caleb Landry Jones, Matt Craven, Atticus Mitchell and Mark Camacho.
What’s it about? Official synopsis: “Kicked out of his own home, young Danny Winters (Jeremy Irvine) flees to New York, leaving behind his beloved sister (Joey King). Homeless and destitute, he befriends a group of street kids who soon introduce him to the watering hole of the local drag queens, gays, lesbians, and everything in between: The Stonewall Inn. However, this shady, mafia-run club is far from a safe-haven. At the bar, Danny meets the suave Trevor (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) before catching the eye of Ed Murphy (Ron Perlman), Stonewall’s repulsive manager who colludes with corrupt police, exploits homeless youth for financial gain, and is even suspected to have had a hand in some of their “disappearances.” It spirals out of control when the police unexpectedly raid Stonewall. In a storm of anger and with the toss of a single brick, a riot ensues and a crusade for equality is born.” Sounds like a Lifetime movie to us, but our fingers are crossed.
Where will it premiere? If it’s bad, they may want to avoid the circuit altogether. But Emmerich premiered his other non-disaster movie “Anonymous” in Toronto back in 2011, so that’s where were betting “Stonewall” makes its debut too.