Summer may be nearing a close, but there’s loads to look forward to in the coming months. In the form of… movies!
If you’re just not quite ready to let go of those carefree beach and picnic days, we’ve selected 10 new film releases with a message to help pull you into fall:
1. Life Itself (Sept. 21)
Oscar Isaac (Star Wars) says to his college friend (Olivia Wilde) in the Life Itself trailer, “I’ve been waiting for the right moment, because when I ask you out, there is not going to be any turning back for me.” And, he meant it, because the pair not only go on to date each other exclusively, they also marry, have children and live a very full life together. But this love story from the makers of This is Us adds some bigger, darker layers, examining how one couple’s story can influence the lives of other across decades and continents. Mandy Patinkin, Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening, and Jean Smart also star.
2. Love, Gilda (Sept. 21)
Gilda Radner won the hearts of millions as part of the original Saturday Night Live cast (1975-1980), but tragically her life was cut short. In 1989, aged only 42, she died from ovarian cancer. Thankfully, her legacy lives on in the new documentary Love, Gilda. Friends like Amy Poehler read from her diary and we’re treated to new footage of Radner looking back and reflecting on her life. It’s a delight to hear from this inspiring, funny woman once again — and from the people who loved her.
3. Bad Reputation (Sept. 28)
When Joan Jett took her first guitar lesson, she was told, “Girls don’t play rock n’ roll.” Oh yeah? She proved them wrong as we’re reminded in this intriguing rockumentary Bad Reputation. Jett grew up in 1970s Hollywood and went on to form the all-girl band The Runaways. In their early days, Rolling Stone mag slammed the rock group and they never made it big in the U.S. But this didn’t stop them from becoming rock legends in other countries, particularly Japan.
4. First Man (Oct. 12)
Ryan Gosling portrays astronaut Neil Armstrong in the new biopic First Man. In it, we see the preparation that went into him potentially being the first man to walk on the Moon. When a reporter says, “Neil, if this flight is successful, you’ll go down in history. What kind of thoughts do you have about that?” his response is quick and to the point: “We plan on it being successful.” Failure was not an option. The Crown‘s Claire Foy plays his supportive wife, Janet Armstrong.
5. Beautiful Boy (Oct. 12)
In 2005, David Sheff wrote an article for The New York Times entitled My Addicted Son, which then grew into the book Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction (pub: 2008). Then in 2009, his son Nic’s own memoir, Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines, was published. Both father and son’s stories are intertwined in the new film, Beautiful Boy, starring Steve Carell (Foxcatcher) and Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name). While heartbreaking at times, David never gives up on his son (even when the younger Sheff does).
6. Little Women (Sept. 28)
Louisa May Alcott‘s Little Women is such a classic, you’ve probably seen one or two adaptations already, but not since 1994 has a version made it to the big screen. It’s worth a trip to the cinema to catch up with the March sisters — Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy — as they figure out their place in the world in this modern-day retelling of the much-loved coming of age story. Sarah Davenport plays the narrator Jo, with Melanie Stone as Meg, Allie Jennings as Beth, and Taylor Murphy playing Amy. We can also look for Back the Future alum Lea Thompson in the role of Marmee.
7. Bohemian Rhapsody (Nov. 2)
Watching Rami Malek as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, you very nearly forget he’s not actually the iconic singer-songwriter. In the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, we meet a young Mercury and witness his rise to fame as the lead singer of Queen. When the band’s drummer, Roger Taylor, says to him, “You’re a legend, Fred,” without hesitation Mercury replies, “We are all legends.” While he might have wanted to share credit with his bandmates, he stood out in one crucial way: his life would be foreshortened. Mercury learned he was dying at the age of 41 after testing positive for HIV, and in 1991 he passed away aged just 45. But the film dramatizes Mercury’s life in the lead up to Queen’s Live Aid performance in 1985.
8. The Grinch (Nov. 9)
OK, OK, The Grinch may not be a traditional feel-good film — and “inspiring” isn’t the word we pick to describe its mean ol’ protagonist. But, inspiration comes in many forms, and it’s not always in-your-face obvious. The Grinch is so miserable, his disposition is actually gleeful and slightly contagious. And, not to spoil anything, but Dr. Seuss‘ stories typically end well, with an uplifting message. If that’s not enough to win you over, Benedict Cumberbatch provides the voice for the furry, green mischief-maker. If nothing else, you might leave the theater ultra-calm after listening to his swoon-inducing voice in a cushy movie chair.
9. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Nov. 16)
The Harry Potter films, and the prequel series Fantastic Beasts, are the kinds of movies we’ll still be thinking about days later. In the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them follow-up, The Crimes of Grindelwald, Eddie Redmayne returns as the British wizard Newt Scamander. The next film is “darker,” according to Redmayne, and the script reads like “a thriller,” resulting in a battle of wills. The wizarding world is divided, with Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) and Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) going to war. While we may not be armed with wands, watching The Crimes of Grindelwald may help us better prepare for real-life muggle struggles.
10. Mary Poppins Returns (Dec. 19)
And, finally, the world’s favorite magical nanny, Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt), is returning to the big screen. She’s back because the Banks children (Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer) are grown up and have lost their way, after suffering a loss. Their nanny from once upon a time will help bring joy and wonder back into their lives. We can always make room for more Mary Poppins, and even Julie Andrews is excited for the next installment. Oh, how we’ve been missing you, Mary (yep, yep first-name basis).
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