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Fall Movie Preview: The 30 Indies You Must See

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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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:


This article is related to: Fall, Lists, 12 Years a Slave, August: Osage County, Blue is the Warmest Color , Kill Your Darlings, Foxcatcher, The Invisible Woman, Inside Llewyn Davis, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Diana, Grace of Monaco, The Armstrong Lie, Touchy Feely, C.O.G., Concussion