Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?”, can be found at the end of this post.)
This week’s question: What fall movie are you most excited to see?
E. Oliver Whitney (@cinemabite), Screencrush.com
Is there any acceptable answer besides “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”? No, no there is not. (Unless you count December as ‘fall,’ which means the new PTA is my most anticipated.) “The Lobster” would’ve been my favorite film of last year had “Moonlight” not taken the top spot, and “Dogtooth” leaves me in a mix of amazement and horror each time I watch it. So new Yorgos Lanthimos is like a drug for me. But while I’m at it, I also can’t wait for “The Florida Project,” “Woodshock,” “120 Beats per Minute,” and “mother!”
Christopher Llewellyn Reed (@chrisreedfilm), Hammer to Nail/Film Festival Today
Well, thanks to IndieWire, we all now have an excellent guide to 25 independent films to look forward to this fall, all of which offer their own unique cinematic charms (with the possible exception of “Victoria and Abdul,” which looks like a tired retread of the 1997 “Mrs. Brown”). Of the films on that list, I have only seen “Lucky,” which stars Harry Dean Stanton as a man who, like the actor, himself, just keeps on doing his thing. If very minimalist in its narrative, it’s a marvelous showcase for Stanton, and well worth watching. In the immediate future (pre-fall), I highly recommend Eliza Hittman’s “Beach Rats,” which opens next week. Ana Asensio’s taut thriller “Most Beautiful Island,” due to come out in November, is another must-see. Among upcoming documentaries, I cannot praise enough Peter Bratt’s “Dolores,” which opens in September and profiles the life of the still-going-strong activist Dolores Huerta. As for pending releases that I have not yet seen, I am probably most excited by the decidedly non-indie “Blade Runner 2049” (October 6), from Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival”) though I suspect that I may end up being disappointed (here’s hoping not!), with close runners-up “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (Martin McDonagh, Oct. 13), “Wonderstruck” (Todd Haynes, Oct. 20), “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” (Yorgos Lanthimos, Nov. 3), “The Shape of Water” (Guiilermo del Toro, Dec. 8) and . . . yes, inevitably, the big one . . . “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Rian Johnson, 12/15).
Max Weiss (@maxthegirl), Baltimore Magazine
I have three.
The first is Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me By Your Name.”
Every year there’s one film that you privileged few—you film festival goers, that is—get to humblebrag about all over Twitter, making me unattractively green with envy. Two years ago, it was definitely “Carol.” This year it’s “Call Me By Your Name.” I’ve adored Guadagnino’s work in the past—especially “A Bigger Splash,” which made my Top 10 last year—and the trailer had me positively swooning. Plus, I’m dying to know what the hell happens with that peach!
The second is “The Florida Project.”
Again, I stanned hard for Sean Baker’s “Tangerine” and I felt more during the 3-minute trailer for this one than I do during the course of most 2-hour films. Just a hunch, but Willem Dafoe might want to clear some space in his trophy cabinet.
The third is “Battle of the Sexes.” What a ripe subject for character study and social satire and I think Emma Stone and Steve Carell are perfectly cast. The trailer looks playful and knowing and I’m hoping it’s going to be a smash. (Yes, that was a pathetic attempt at a tennis pun.)
Tomris Laffly (@TomiLaffly), Freelance
Fall movie I’m most excited to see: Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut “Lady Bird”, starring Saoirse Ronan & Timothée Chalamet.
Fall movie I’m most excited for everyone else to see: Luca Guadagnino’s superb “Call Me by your Name.”
Richard Brody (@tnyfrontrow), The New Yorker
The best way to find the movies I’m most impatient for is to scan the list of what’s coming to the New York Film Festival, and the main criterion for ardent anticipation of filmmakers’ new work is pleasure in their most recent work, which is why the pair of Hong Sang-soo films, “The Day After” and “On the Beach at Night Alone,” are at the top of the list, alongside Serge Bozon’s “Mrs. Hyde” (his previous film, “Tip Top,” is both a whimsically febrile and highly stylized comedy and a calmly curious view of contemporary French ordinariness). Then there are filmmakers who are just starting–when I interviewed Greta Gerwig seven years ago, she said that she wanted to direct; she has been writing in the meantime, and the mercurial verbal ricochets of “Mistress America” and “Frances Ha” have me impatient for her first feature, “Lady Bird” (which, I imagine, won’t come out the same day as Rob Reiner’s “LBJ”). And, of course, those films were directed by Noah Baumbach, whose new film, “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected),” has me hooked just by the cast, which includes Dustin Hoffman, Adam Sandler, and Ben Stiller.
Christopher Campbell (@thefilmcynic) Film School Rejects
There’s a new Frederick Wiseman documentary out this fall, so that’s my choice. I don’t even need to know what it’s called or what institution it’s focused on (I do, though; it’s called “Ex Libris: New York Public Library,” and obviously it’s a film of the New York Public Library, which is especially exciting since it’s another New York film from Wiseman and I love New York in film). Any time Wiseman releases a new work is a special time, and it has nothing to do with box office success or awards consideration since his films are never either part of either conversation. There’s good reason to depend on him for simply 3 hours and 17 minutes of pure nonfiction bliss.
Charles Bramesco (@intothecrevasse), Freelance for The Guardian, Vulture, Nylon
James Franco is a better actor than he is a director, a better director than he is a writer, and a much, much better writer than he is an adapter of other people’s writing. For these reasons, the fact that Franco is writing, directing, and starring in an adaptation of “The Disaster Artist” should amount to a time-bomb of disappointment, and yet, that brief snippet of a trailer gave me so much hope. Greg Sestero’s bizarre memoir of the creation of “The Room” and his weirdly intimate, possibly homoerotic dynamic with idiot would-be svengali Tommy Wiseau could be easily bungled on the way to the screen — it’s tough to convey the affection Sestero has for this ramshackle production along with his astonishment at its incompetence — but the trailer contains all the frustration and love. I’m firm in my convictions that “The Disaster Artist” is one of the best books about filmmaking since 2000, and my hope is that somehow, Franco might manage to do right by it.
David Ehrlich (@davidehrlich), IndieWire
Honestly, I’m as excited to see “Call Me By Your Name” for the second time as I am to see any of the new fall premieres for the first. That was a Sundance movie, but the same probably holds true for a number of titles I was lucky enough to catch at Cannes: Sean Baker’s “The Florida Project” and Todd Haynes’ “Wonderstruck” chief among them. But in keeping with the spirit of the survey, I’ll venture into the unknown and go with Greta Gerwig’s “Ladybird.” I’m usually wary when actors step behind the camera for the first time, but Gerwig has been a major creative voice for a long while, and it’s no accident that the films she’s written are also the best films she’s made. I can’t wait to find out what kind of filmmaker she is when left to her own devices.
Jordan Hoffman (@Jhoffman), Freelance for The Guardian, Vanity Fair, New York Daily News
I’m pretty damn curious about Rick Linklater’s sequel to “The Last Detail,” “Last Flag Flying.” (If it were anyone else I’d have my guard way further up, but not only do I trust his creative instincts, it’s a pretty perfect marriage of artist and repertoire.) I’m also excited about Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani’s “Let the Corpses Tan,” which debuted at Locarno, but I won’t be catching until TIFF.
Documentary-wise, I suspect that Frederick Wiseman’s “Ex Libris: New York Public Library,” at 197 minutes, is the maximalist opus that may work as the perfect summation of his entire cv, considering the subject matter (which is, like, everything, man.)
I also want to see the newest “Thor.”
Ray Pride (@raypride) Newcity, Movie City News
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Especially hoping the red-band trailer has only tipped the tip of the icebergs of Martin McDonagh’s knack for sustained yet still near-to-toppling invective, rant and profanity.
Or maybe that Paul Thomas Anderson pic, shot by Paul Thomas Anderson… that “fifty shades of steel gray” joint.
Question: What is the best film currently playing in theaters?
Answer: “Logan Lucky”