21. Holy Motors (October 17)
Director: Leos Carax
Cast: Denis Lavant, Edith Scob, Eva Mendes, Kylie Minogue
Why is it a "Must See"? One of if not the most discussed films of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, Leos Carax's "Holy Motors" was deemed "balls-to-the-wall crazy" in an Indiewire review that also called it "beautiful and unbelievably strange." Following a man (Denis Lavant) who travels between multiple parallel lives, it's definitely the fall's trippiest option.
Check out the trailer below:
22. Smashed (October 12)
Director: James Ponsoldt
Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aaron Paul, Octavia Spencer, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Why is it a "Must See"? Earning raves out of the Sundance Film Festival for Mary Elizabeth Winstead's performance as half of an alcoholic couple who decides to get sober ("Breaking Bad" star Aaron Paul plays the other half), this is a dark horse contender for a best actress Oscar nomination.
Check out a featurette below:
23. Detropia (September 7)
Director: Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady
Why is it a "Must See"? Oscar-nominated "Jesus Camp" directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady are going the self-distribution route with their latest, "Detropia."
Natives of Detroit, Ewing and Grady take four-year look at the city's recessionary struggles. Beautiful and affecting, it's yet another doc alum of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival (which clearly had quite the slate) hitting theaters this Fall.
Check out the film's trailer below:
24. Liberal Arts (September 14)
Director: Josh Radnor
Cast: Josh Radnor, Elizabeth Olsen, Richard Jenkins, Allison Janney, Elizabeth Reaser
Distributor: IFC Films
Why is it a "Must See"? "How I Met Your Mother" follows up his directorial debut "Happythankyoumoreplease" with this story of a thirtysomething guy (Radnor) who falls for a 19 year old college student (Elizabeth Olsen) when he returns to his alma matter. The film got warm notices when it premiered at, yes, Sundance earlier this year.
Check out the trailer below:
25. A Royal Affair (November 9), 26. Sister (October 5) & 27. Tabu (December 26)
Directors: Nikolaj Arcel ("Affair"), Ursula Meier ("Sister"), and Miguel Gomes ("Tabu")
Casts: Mads Mikkelsen, Alicia Vikander, Trine Dyrholm, David Dencik, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard ("Affair"); Léa Seydoux, Kacey Mottet Klein, Martin Compston, Gillian Anderson ("Sister"); Teresa Madruga, Laura Soveral, Ana Moreira, Carloto Cotta ("Tabu")
Distributors: Magnolia Films ("Affair); Adopt Films ("Sister" and "Tabu")
Why Are They "Must Sees"? While much of this list boasts of acclaimed premieres at Cannes and Sundance, a trio of foreign language films came out of the Berlin International Film Festival to rave reviews and U.S. acqusitions. This fall, after all three have their North American premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival, Nikolaj Arcel's Danish "A Royal Affair," Ursula Meier's French-Swiss "Sister," and Miguel Gomes Portuguese's "Tabu" will all make their way to theaters, with foreign language Oscar noms the hope beyond that (last year's winner, "A Separation," premiered in Berlin).
Check out the films' trailers below:
28. Middle of Nowhere (October 12)
Director: Ava DuVernay
Cast: Emayatzy Corinealdi, David Oyelowo, Omari Hardwick, Lorraine Touissant, Edwina Findley
Why is it a "Must See"? Winner of the best director prize at Sundance, Ava DuVernay's film follows a woman (Emayatzy Corinealdi) who struggles to maintain her marriage and her identity when her husband is incarcerated. Being released theatrically by African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement, it marks a sadly rare fall option starring and directed by African-Americans.
Check out the film's trailer below.
29. Francine (September 12)
Director: Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky
Cast: Melissa Leo
Distributor: Factory 25
Why is it a "Must See"? Melissa Leo offers her first lead performance since winning an Oscar in a striking, bizarre little film that gives Leo quite a bit to work with.
As a troubled, unbalanced woman recently released from prison, her titular Francine copes with her demons through forming unhealthy bonds with a group of cats and dogs she starts collecting.
The film has yet to release a trailer.
30. The Paperboy (October 5)
Director: Lee Daniels
Cast: Zac Efron, Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, Matthew McConaughey
Distributor: Millennium Films
Why is it a "Must See"? For his first film since 2009's "Precious," Lee Daniels is taking on "The Paperboy," a fiercely campy crime drama set in the late 1960s. Starring Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman and Zac Efron, the film had a drastically divisive response when it debuted at Cannes earlier this year. But whatever end of the "Paperboy" spectrum you end up on (though most so far are on the negative end), if a film devoting a sizeable amount of screentime to Zac Efron in only white (often rain soaked) briefs, you won't be disappointed either way.
Check out the film's trailer (which gives you a preview of the noted screentime):