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Fall Movie Preview: The 30 Indies You Must See

Indiewire By Peter Knegt, Madeline Raynor and Ben Travers | Indiewire August 29, 2013 at 2:25PM

Summer is essentially over. Maybe not by the calendar, but certainly when it comes to Hollywood. The "Grown Up 2"s and "The Hangover Part III"s have come and gone, and for anyone who likes a mediocre $200 million-budgeted film aimed at teenaged boys, you're out of luck for at least a few months. (Editor's note: Yay.)
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fall collage movie preview

Summer is essentially over. Maybe not by the calendar, but certainly when it comes to Hollywood. The "Grown Up 2"s and "The Hangover Part III"s have come and gone, and for anyone who likes a mediocre $200 million-budgeted film aimed at teenaged boys, you're out of luck for at least a few months. (Editor's note: Yay.)

Not to say this summer didn't give cinema-goers plenty of nice alternatives, from rare summer studio fare that pleased audiences and some critics ("The Conjuring," "Star Trek Into Darkness," "Iron Man 3") to a good dozen excellent arthouse films ("Fruitvale Station," "Blue Jasmine," "Before Midnight," and "Frances Ha," to name a few). But fall is a whole other monster. And more often than not, it's a monster that's a good friend to any cinephile.

The final months of 2012's specialty release schedule should easily fulfill the needs of any film lover. There's works from auteurs both international and domestic, a considerable documentary presence, many biopics and the annual plethora of Oscar-bait. And Indiewire has decided to offer the following list of 30 notable titles to watch for.

It's more than likely said list would find a few notable additions if the Venice and Toronto dust had already settled. Scores of films about to premiere there remain free. A number of them could find themselves in theaters by year's end, but for now no films without release dates or distributors are included in this list.

Of note: Indiewire's list veers away from studio efforts that very well could be high on one's fall to-see list. Defining what is and is not a "specialty film" is murky at best so we are simply sticking to including any film released from a independent distrubutor or an indie division of a studio.  But this rule remains problematic on numerous occasions. Many "studio films" specifically that would have surely been on and perhaps even near the top of this list include Spike Lee's "Oldboy," Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity," George Clooney's "Monument's Men," Alexander Payne's "Nebraska," Jason Reitman's "Labor Day," Spike Jonze's "Her," Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street," Paul Greengrass's "Captain Phillips," Ridley Scott's "The Counselor" and David O. Russell's "American Hustle."

Those films can all be found on our release calendar, listing the releases by date and giving each its own page complete with a ton of information (cast, distributor, synopsis, trailer, etc.).

But before treading through those listings, consider the following 30 films first. From Steve McQueen to Nicole Holofcener to Princess Grace, Princess Diana and Nelson Mandela, a fall indie preview -- in alphabetical order and with trailers galore -- begins on the next page.  -Peter Knegt

12 Years a Slave (October 18)
Director: Steve McQueen
Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano, Sarah Paulson
Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Why is it a "Must See"? Perhaps the fall's best cast -- and that's saying something -- moves this film up on your fall checklist, but it's the man behind the camera who pushes "12 Years a Slave" close to the top slot.  Steve McQueen's third feature film (and third collaboration with Michael Fassbender) marks his first foray into serious awards contention. "Hunger" made a solid festival run, but couldn't expand past 11 theaters in the States. "Shame" was slapped with the MPAA scarlet letters (NC-17), making it virtually ineligible for awards and actually ineligible to play at many American cinemas. Now, McQueen has a film with a respectable R rating, lots of A-list stars, and a major production company in Brad Pitt's Plan B. Throw in a surprising inclusion at TIFF as well as an October 18 release date, and McQueen could be looking at a long-lasting level of exposure -- perhaps through February.

Check out the trailer below:


After Tiller
(September 20)
Director: Martha Shane, Lana Wilson
Distributor: Oscilloscope
Why is it a "Must See"? One of the best documentaries to come out of the Sundance Film Festival this year, the very timely "After Tiller" refers to George Tiller, a doctor who performed late-term abortions and was murdered in 2009. The film follows the only four remaining doctors in the United States that perform late-term abortions in the wake of Tiller's death. Incredibly moving and powerful, it marks an impressive feature film debut from Shane and Wilson, and should pretty much be required viewing for anyone on either side of the abortion debate.

Watch the trailer below:

All Is Lost

(October 18)
Director: J.C. Chandor
Cast: Robert Redford
Distributor: Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate

Why is it a "Must See"? It's a one man show starring Robert Redford that's already generating Oscar buzz. Enough said. J.C. Chandor's follow-up to "Margin Call" couldn't appear more removed from his 2011 feature film debut. While "Margin Call" focused on the stock market crash through lots of insider lingo and back room discussions between an ensemble of thespians, his latest picture features only one man, one boat, and the ocean. It certainly helps that the man is Robert Redford. "All Is Lost" won raves at its Cannes premiere in May, launching Redford into an always crowded Best Actor race. Here's hoping the veteran actor earns a nod.

Check out the trailer below:


The Armstrong Lie (November 8)
Director: Alex Gibney
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

Why is it a "Must See"? The James Franco of documentary film, Alex Gibney offers up his second film of 2013 (after "We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks") with "The Armstrong Lie," a take on cycling star Lance Armstrong. And as the title suggests, it's not exactly a positive one.  Said to have begun as the chronicle of a comeback, Gibney's latest became an examination into the anatomy of a lie when Armstrong was caught doping last year. This film is said to offer considerable access to Armstrong's former teammates, doctors, and professionals, many of whom have never before spoken to the media about Armstrong and his bombshell doping admission – as well as unprecedented access to Armstrong himself. 

"The Armstrong Lie" has yet to release a trailer.


As I Lay Dying (September 27)
Director: James Franco
Cast: James Franco, Danny McBride, Tim Blake Nelson, Beth Grant
Distributor:

Why is it a "Must See"? Speaking of James Franco, he has taken on William Faulkner's complicated modernist classic "As I Lay Dying," about the Bundren family on a dangerous pilgrimage to bury their matron. Franco has cast himself as the lead, and he certainly looks the part (scruffy beard, sweat-soaked shirt, rugged Southern charm). But everyone is talking about his usage of split screen, employed to evoke Faulkner's surreal and complex story, which is narrated by every member of the family in turn, including the dead mother speaking from the coffin.

Check out the trailer below:


August Osage County (December 25)
Director: John Wells
Cast: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Juliette Lewis, Benedict Cumberbatch,  Abigail Breslin, Sam Shepard
Distributor: The Weinstein Company

Why is it a "Must See"? Nothing coming out this fall screams Oscar quite like "August: Osage County." Adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tracy Letts (who wrote the screenplay as well), the film stars none other than Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts as an extremely dysfunctional mother and daughter (alongside Chris Cooper, Ewan McGregor, Dermot Mulrney, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Julianne Nicholson and Abigail Breslin). The Weinstein Company is debuting it in Toronto in a few weeks, but we'll have to wait until Christmas Day to see what Streep, Roberts and company have in store for us.

Check out the trailer below:


Blue is the Warmest Color (October 25)
Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Cast: Adele Exarchopoulos, Lea Seydoux
Distributor: Sundance Selects

Why is it a "Must See"?
Hitting theaters this fall after winning over essentially everybody at Cannes  (and winning the festival’s prestigious top prize) is Abdellatif Kechiche’s epic lesbian love story “Blue Is The Warmest Colour.” The film follows Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos), a 15 year old who has her life turn inside out when she falls for blue-haired Emma (Léa Seydoux). The film is already infamous for its ten minute explicit sex scene, but there's a lot more to this in-depth character study. Featuring remarkable performances from its young actresses, “Blue” should definitely be your warmest color come October.

Check out the trailer below:


C.O.G. (September 20)
Director: Kyle Patrick Alvarez
Cast: Jonathan Groff, Denis O'Hare, Casey Wilson, Dean Stockwell, Troian Bellisario, and Corey Stoll
Distributor: Screen Media

Why is it a "Must See"? The first film to ever adapt the work of gay literary icon David Sedaris, Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s “C.O.G.” manages to both do justice to Sedaris' unique voice and sense of humor while giving it a stamp of the director’s own. Based on an essay from Sedaris's 1997 collection "Naked," both the literary and cinematic versions of "C.O.G." detail the experience Sedaris himself (played by the wonderful Jonathan Groff in the film) had when he travelled to rural Oregon to work as an apple picker. Through encounters with a glorious variety of locals, the twentysomething Sedaris came to considerable revelations about his religion ("C.O.G." stands "Child of God," an acronym that one of those said locals proudly self-identifies with) and sexuality. Expanding on those two themes, Alvarez makes good on the promise of his 2009 directorial debut "Easier With Practice," keeping Sedaris fans happy in the process.

Check out the trailer below:


Camille Claudel 1915 (October 16)
Director: Bruno Dumont
Cast: Juliette Binoche, Jean-Luc Vincent
Distributor: Kino Lorber

Why is it a "Must See"? This French film focuses on one winter when sculptor Camille Claudel is removed to an asylum by her family, never to sculpt again. This film chronicles the first two years of her asylum stay, and with dialogue that amounts to no more than four pages, it relies on Juliette Binoche to present the solitary, constrained life of a former artist who was used to painting next to August Rodin. In this minimalist, brooding take on Claudel's stay, the first two years in a remote asylum in France stretch into an eternity. 

Check out the trailer below:


Concussion (October 4)
Director: Stacie Passon
Cast: Robin Weigert, Maggie Siff, Jonathan Tchaikovsky, Ben Shenkman, Janel Moloney
Distributor: RADiUS-TWC

Why is it a "Must See"?  The story of a suburban lesbian housewife (an amazing Robin Weigert), “Concussion” is likely to be dubbed “the lesbian hooker movie.” But it’s so much more than that. While indeed Weigert’s character decides to secretly become a prostitute for women behind the back of her wife and kids, the film uses that context to explore a complex woman who implodes amidst the heteronormative lifestyle that crept up on her. Weigert plays Abby, a fortysomething lesbian who's married with two kids and lives in the New Jersey suburbia. But after being hit in the head by her son's baseball, Abby begins to unravel and through a series of events finds herself with a new double life: Lesbian housewife by night, high-end lesbian prositute by day. It's a sexy, uncomprising and unique take on the cinematic mid-life crisis that works in large part because of Weigert's peformance.  It also offers what will likely be the hottest lesbian sex on a big screen this year.

The film has yet to release a trailer.


Dallas Buyers Club
(November 1)
Director: Jean-Marc Vallee
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto, Steve Zahn
Distributor: Focus Features

Why is it a "Must See"?  We've seen the photos of the frail physique Matthew McConaughey developed for the role. Now it's time to find out if he can make more than just a physical transformation. After being snubbed by the Academy in 2012 despite at least two worthy turns ("Magic Mike" and "Killer Joe"), Matthew McConaughey is back with a vengeance in 2013. To kick off the year, he played the titular character in the festival favorite "Mud." In November, he'll appear alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street," and in December he takes his biggest swing yet at Oscar gold in "Dallas Buyers Club" as an HIV-positive Texas electrician searching for alternative medicines to treat his disease. We've yet to see any official footage, but his odds will become clearer after the film premieres at TIFF in September.

Check out the trailer below:


Diana
(November 1) and Grace of Monaco (November 27)
Directors: Oliver Hirschbiegel ("Diana"); Olivier Dahan ("Grace")
Cast: Naomi Watts, Naveen Andrews, Cas Anver ("Diana"); Nicole Kidman, Tim Roth  Frank Langella, Milo Ventimiglia, Parker Posey ("Grace")
Distributor: EOne ("Diana"); The Weinstein Company ("Grace")

Why Are They "Must Sees"?  These dueling tales of contemporary, beloved princesses are both slated for November release (and both directed by Olivers). Starring BFFs Naomi Watts and Nicole Kidman as Princess Diana and Princess Grace, respectively, each film takes on a specific period in its subject's life. For Diana, it's the two years leading up to her untimely death in 1997. For Grace, it's a crisis of marriage and identity during a dispute between Monaco's Prince Rainier III and France's Charles De Gaulle and a looming French military invasion of the principality in the early 1960s. Get ready for the award season battle of the Australian actresses playing princesses?

Check out the trailer for "Diana" below ("Grace" has yet to release one):


Don Jon
(September 27)
Director: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johannson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza
Distributor: Relativity Media

Why is it a "Must See"? This Sundance premiere is the directorial debut of one of his generation's most creative voices. Plus, it's features a jacked-up JGL and a Jersey-voiced Scarlett Johansson.

It's got more weight than your average comedy and more depth than your typical romance, but make no mistake: Joseph Gordon-Levitt's directorial debut is a romantic comedy. The former child star and heir apparent to the cowl has crafted an atypical pseudo-takedown of the usually formulaic genre. Gordon-Levitt plays Don, a Lothario to the nth degree whose true passion isn't women, but porn. As can be imagined, this gets him in some trouble with less than understanding visitors, including Don's dream girl, Barbara (Johansson). The hard-R comedy has already successfully run the festival circuit, stopping by SXSW and Berlin in addition to its premiere at Sundance.

Check out the trailer below:


Enough Said (September 20)
Director: Nicole Holofcener
Cast: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Catherine Keener, Toni Collette
Distributor: Fox Searchlight

Why is it a "Must See"? It's been three years since Nicole Holofcener's lovely previous feature "Please Give" (though she's directed episodes of "Parks & Recreation" and "Enlightened" in between), and her latest -- hitting TIFF before a late September release date -- reunites her with Catherine Keener (who has starred in all of her films) alongside Toni Collette, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the late James Gandolfini in the story of divorced woman (Dreyfus) who learns her new love interest (Gandolfini) is her new friend's ex-husband.

Check out the trailer below:

Escape From Tomorrow (October 11)
Director: Randy Moore
Cast:  Roy Abramsohn, Elena Schuber, Katelynn Rodriguez
Distributor: Producers Distribution Agency

Why is it a "Must See"? "Escape From Tomorrow," the provocative indie shot guerrilla-style at Disney World, landed U.S. distribution via Producers Distribution Agency (PDA) a month or so back, despite many assuming because of its controversial method of shooting it would never hit theaters. But this October the loosely constructed, starkly black-and-white directorial debut of Randy Moore -- which follows a family on their twisted final day of vacation in Disney World -- will do just that.

Check out a clip from the film below:


Foxcatcher (December 20)
Director: Bennett Miller
Cast: Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Steve Carell, Sienna Miller and Vanessa Redgrave
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

Why is it a "Must See"? Starring Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Steve Carell, Sienna Miller and Vanessa Redgrave, "Foxcatcher" tells the true story of Olympic Wrestling Champion brothers Mark Schultz (Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Ruffalo) and their relationship with the eccentric John du Pont (Carell), heir to the du Pont Chemical fortune that led to murder. Written by E. Max Frye and "Capote" scribe Dan Futterman, the film clearly aims to become Bennett Miller's third straight film to receive a best picture nomination.

The film has yet to release a trailer.

In The Name Of (October 30)
Director:  Malgorzata Szumowska
Cast: Andrzej Chyra, Mateusz Kosciukiewicz, Lukasz Simlat
Distributor: Film Movement

Why is it a "Must See"?

Winner of the Teddy Award for best LGBT narrative film at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival, Malgorzata Szumowksa’s Polish drama “In the Name Of” sensitivity approaches the central character of a gay priest. Father Adam (Andrzej Chyra, in a rather mesmerizing performance) is the pastor of a tiny parish in the middle of the Polish countryside. As drama begins to surround Father Adam, “In The Name Of…”  develops into a thoughtful, distinctive portrait of a truly devout man struggling to come to terms with himself (notably after developing a relationship with a Jesus lookalike youth at the center for difficult boys he devotes time to). And though the film is largely a serious affair, look out for the film’s doozy of a sole comic scene, in which Adam gets ridiculously drunk and dances with a portrait of Pope Benedict XVI. 

Check out the trailer below:


Inside Llewyn Davis (December 6)
Director: Joel and Ethan Coen
Cast: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, F. Murray Abraham
Distributor: CBS Films

Why is it a "Must See"? Ecstatically received at this year's Cannes Film Festival where it won the Grand Prize of the Jury, Joel and Ethan Coen's folk music dramedy "Inside Llewyn Davis" opens stateside until December 6th.  The gorgeous-looking drama (shot by "Amelie" DP Bruno Delbonnel) centers on an aspiring singer-songwriter (Oscar Isaac in a breakthrough performance) who navigates the 1960s folk-music scene in New York City’s Greenwich Village. T Bone Burnett produced the film’s soundtrack that includes music performed by, among others, Isaac, Marcus Mumford, Justin Timberlake and Carey Mulligan.

Check out the trailer below:


The Invisible Woman (December 25)
Director: Ralph Fiennes
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Felicity Jones, Kristin Scott Thomas, Tom Hollander
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

Why is it a "Must See"? Getting serious buzz as its heads into its Telluride Film Festival debut in just a few days, Ralph Fiennes' second film as both director and actor takes on Charles Dickens (Fiennes) and the fact he had a mistress named Nelly Ternan (Jones) for 13 years right up until his death (Dickens was forty-five and had been married some twenty years when they met while Ternan was seventeen). Written by Abi Morgan ("The Iron Lady"), the film also stars Kristin Scott Thomas and Tom Hollander.

The film has yet to release a trailer.

Kill Your Darlings (October 18)
Director: John Krokidas
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Michael C. Hall, Ben Foster, Elizabeth Olsen
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

Why is it a "Must See"?  This film brings the legendary beat generation together for a lesser known story: the murder of David Kammerer by one of their own, Lucien Carr. Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and William Burroughs become key witnesses in the trial of their friend. This film has been getting a lot of buzz for the complete makeover Daniel Radcliffe underwent to portray Allen Ginsberg. Take one look at his horn-rimmed spectacles, scruff, and 60s waves and you'll be saying "Harry Potter who?" Also starring are Michael C. Hall as David Kammerer  and Ben Foster as William Burroughs.

Check out the trailer below:


Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (November 29)
Director: Justin Chadwick
Cast: Idris Elba, Naomie Harris
Distributor: The Weinstein Company

Why is it a "Must See"? There has been no shortage of films about the life of Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black, democratically elected president. But not only is this incarnation based on Mandela's autobiography, "A Long Walk to Freedom," but producer Anant Singh had been in talks with Mandela back when he was still in prison. Singh acquired film rights to the book in 1996 when it was published, and now the film has come to fruition. The biopic will highlight Mandela's childhood, coming of age, education, and 27 years in prison.

Watch the trailer below:


Mother of George
(September 13)
Director: Andrew Dosunmu
Cast: Danai Gurira, Isaach De Bankolé, Yaya Decosta Alafia, Tony Okungbowa
Distributor: Oscilloscope Laboratories

Why is it a "Must See"?  A moving two-character study from Andrew Dosunmu ("Restless City"), this feature follows Adenike (Danai Gurira) and Ayodele (Isaach De Bankolé), a Nigerian couple living in Brooklyn whose marital bliss is halted by their inability to conceive a child. The problem devastates their family and defies cultural expectations, leaving Adenike to make a shocking decision that could fix everything or destroy her family. Another highlight is the cinematography from the acclaimed Bradford Young, who shot "Ain't Them Bodies Saints."

Watch the film's trailer below:


Out of the Furnace (November 27)
Director: Scott Cooper
Cast: Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Casey Affleck, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe, Sam Shepard
Distributor: Relativity Media

Why is it a "Must See"? If being the director's second feature following the Oscar-winning "Crazy Heart" isn't reason enough, surely the cast of six Academy Award nominees and two winners should justify its inclusion. The film -- about a vigilante searching for his missing brother -- earned one Oscar voter's seal of approval: Jeff Bridges. If that doesn't mean much following "R.I.P.D.," remember the Dude won his only Oscar for Cooper's first film, "Crazy Heart," a drama that garnered enough respect within the industry to allow the director access to this cast for his second feature. The trailer makes it look like a somewhat typical revenge story from Cooper and first-time feature writer Brad Ingelsby, but don't expect anything typical when you get a gang like this together.



The Past (December 20)
Director: Asghar Farhadi
Cast: Berenice Bejo, Tahar Rahim
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

Why is it a "Must See"? Two years after taking home the foreign language Oscar for "A Separation," Asghar Farhadi returns with "The Past." Already a huge critical hit at Cannes, the film stars "The Artist" and "A Prophet" breakouts Berenice Bejo (who won the best actress prize in Cannes) and Tahar Rahim as the French wife of Iranian man who deserts her and two children to return to his homeland. At Cannes, Indiewire's Eric Kohn said the film confirms Farhadi's "mastery of human behavior."

Check out the trailer below:

Populaire (September 6)
Director: Régis Roinsard
Cast: Romain Duris, Déborah François, Bérénice Bejo, Shaun Benson
Distributor: The Weinstein Company

Why is it a "Must See"? This French film follows Rose, a young women determined to break free from her stifling life and amount to something other than a housewife. She applies for a job as a secretary at an insurance agency. Her interview is disastrous, but when her boss discovers her skill for typing, he hires her on the condition that she compete in a speed typing tournament. The 1950s era and French and American settings make this film seem like The Weinstein Company's tonal follow-up to the success of "The Artist." The film even features "Artist" star Bérénice Bejo and cinematographer Guillaume Schiffman.

Check out the trailer below:


Salinger (September 6)
Director: Shane Salerno
Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Edward Norton, John Cusack, Danny DeVito, John Guare, Martin Sheen, David Milch, Robert Towne, Tom Wolfe, E.L. Doctorow, Gore Vidal, A. Scott Berg, and Elizabeth Frank
Distributor: The Weinstein Company

Why is it a "Must See"? This film has been shrouded in buzz and speculation, just like the famously reclusive author it attempts to capture. The talking head documentary will look at J.D. Salinger's life after he went into seclusion following the publication of "The Catcher in the Rye," the seminal novel that young people everywhere have looked to for a (sometimes grim) philosophy on life. Salinger retreated from the world to a New Hampshire cabin, from which he wrote a tantalizing amount of fiction that he withheld from publication. Salinger passed away in 2010, raising controversy about whether the public would have access to his hidden body of work. The film is said to be filled with secrets and revelations about the author's deeply private life, including the reveal of "the biggest secret of his lifetime."

Check out the trailer below:


A Teacher (September 6)
Director: Hannah Fidell
Cast: Lindsay Burdge, Will Brittain, Jennifer Prediger
Distributor: Oscilloscope Pictures

Why is it a "Must See"? A high school teacher (Lindsay Brudge) has an affair with her student (Will Brittain), and what follows the taboo union is her unraveling as she is unable to let the affair go. Newcomer Hannah Fidell takes on this scandalous yet all too ubiquitous topic in this very well received pick up out of this year's Sundance Film Festival.

Check out the trailer below:


Thanks for Sharing (September 20)
Director: Stuart Blumberg
Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim Robbins, Pink, Josh Gad
Distributor: Lionsgate

Why is it a "Must See"? Despite a rather tepid reception at last year's TIFF, Stuart Blumberg's follow-up screenplay to "The Kids Are All Right" features two awards-worthy thespians and looks to take on a topic mired in skepticism with a firm grip on reality. Blumberg's directorial debut doesn't shy away from the sensitive topics the screenwriter in him has come to embrace. The Oscar-nominated scribe behind "The Kids Are All Right" and "Keeping the Faith" takes on sex addiction in "Thanks for Sharing" with the help of Mark Ruffalo and Gwyneth Paltrow, the former a sex addict and the latter his new beau. The two must learn to develop a meaningful relationship while living with Ruffalo's condition. Mixed, year-old reactions aside, "Thanks for Sharing" has enough promise on paper -- and enough likable actors out front -- to earn a second chance come September.

Check out the trailer below:


Therese (September 27)
Director: Charlie Stratton
Cast: Elizabeth Olsen, Jessica Lange, Oscar Isaac, Tom Felton
Distributor: Roadside Attracions

Why is it a "Must See"? Not to be confused the French imported "Therese" starring Audrey Tatou that was released just a few weeks ago (based on the 1927 novel "Thérèse Desqueyroux"), Charlie Stratton's "Therese" was made in the US and is based on the 1867 novel "Thérèse Raquin." And instead of Andrey Tatou we get Elizabeth Olsen and Jessica Lange. Just picked up by Roadside Attractions ahead of its Toronto premiere in a week or so, the film stars Olsen as the titular Therese, a sexually repressed young woman trapped in a loveless marriage to her sickly cousin, Camille (Tom Felton) by her domineering aunt, Madame Raquin (Jessica Lange). When she meets her husband's childhood friend, Laurent (Oscar Isaac, of “Inside Llewyn Davis”), she embarks on an illicit affair with tragic consequences.

The film has yet to release a trailer.


Touchy Feely (September 6)
Director: Lynn Shelton
Cast: Rosemarie DeWitt, Ellen Page, Scoot McNairy, Allison Janney, Ron Livingston
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures

Why is it a "Must See"? Lynn Shelton's cross-medium successes in film and television comedy ("Humpday," "New Girl") and drama ("Your Sister's Sister," "Mad Men") have made her one to watch for the foreseeable future.  Premiering at this year's Sundance film festival, "Touchy Feely" tells the story of a massage therapist (Rosemarie DeWitt) suddenly afflicted by a fear of bodily contact just as her brother discovers a hidden talent for it at his dental practice. Jealousy, though, isn't her main or even secondary concern. Her aversion has adverse effects on her love life as well, alienating her partner (Scoot McNairy) and pushing him toward the eager arms of a younger woman (Ellen Page). With her down to earth perspective and realistic shooting style, Shelton looks to have crafted another personal project full of unique human interactions.

Check out the trailer below:


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