By Jack Rico
Blade Runner 2049 (October 6)
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Cast:Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas
Synopsis: A young blade runner’s discovery of a long buried secret leads him on a quest to track down former blade runner, Rick Deckard, who’s been missing for thirty years.
Why it captures my attention: A chance to see Harrison Ford return to one of his iconic roles 35 years later, is a privilege to see. Add in one of my favorite actors of my generation in Ryan Gosling, and it’s on!
Take My Nose, Please (October 6)
Director: Joan Kron
Cast: Emily Askin, Jacque Lynn Foltyn, Judy Gold
Synopsis: A seriously-funny and wickedly-subversive look at the role of comedy in examining the pressures on women to be attractive and society’s desire and shame relationship with plastic surgery.
Why it captures my attention: I’m fascinated with women’s intense desire to stay young and be forever beautiful, but the lengths they’re willing to go for it, is where it truly captures my attention.
Una (October 6)
Director: Benedict Andrews
Cast: Ben Mendelsohn, Rooney Mara, David Shields
Synopsis: A woman confronts an older man, her former neighbor, to find out why he abandoned her after they had a sexual relationship when she was thirteen.
Why it captures my attention: This just seems like a film full of grave moral and ethical dilemmas. Performanc es look terrific and it’s the type of story I’m intrigued to know how it ends.
78/52 (October 13)
Director: Alexandre O. Philippe
Cast: Alan Barnette, Justin Benson, Peter Bogdanovich
Synopsis: An unprecedented look at the iconic shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960), the “man behind the curtain”, and the screen murder that profoundly changed the course of world cinema.
Why it captures my attention: Take one of Hollywood’s greatest scenes and dissect it for 2 hours… what do you get? That’s what I can’t wait to find out.
Breathe (October 13)
Director: Andy Serkis
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Claire Foy, Diana Rigg
Synopsis: The inspiring true love story of Robin and Diana Cavendish, an adventurous couple who refuse to give up in the face of a devastating disease. Their heartwarming celebration of human possibility marks the directorial debut of Andy Serkis.
Why it captures my attention: I love biopics, they have that air of prestige and that stench of art to them. Not to ignore the educational value the story of Cavendish brings to the mind.
Goodbye Christopher Robin (October 13)
Director: Simon Curtis
Cast: Margot Robbie, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Macdonald
Synopsis: A behind-the-scenes look at the life of author A.A. Milne and the creation of the Winnie the Pooh stories inspired by his son C.R. Milne.
Why it captures my attention: For the same reasons I want to see Breathe.
Marshall (October 13)
Director: Reginald Hudlin
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Dan Stevens, Sophia Bush, Kate Hudson, Sterling K. Brown, Josh Gad
Synopsis: About a young Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, as he battles through one of his career-defining cases.
Why it captures my attention: For the same reasons I want to see Breathe, but to also support diverse stories.
The Meyerowitz Stories (October 13)
Director: Noah Baumbach
Cast: Adam Sandler, Grace Van Patten, Dustin Hoffman
Synopsis: An estranged family gathers together in New York for an event celebrating the artistic work of their father.
Why it captures my attention: This goes back to my respect for Ben Stiller’s good dramedy choices. He’s incorporated this male aging angst in his movies and I find it to be in tune with what I’m feeling in my 40’s. I could care less for Sandler. Never been a fan.
Monogamish (October 13)
Director: Tao Ruspoli
Cast: Tao Ruspoli, Dan Savage, Stephanie Coontz
Synopsis: Recovering from a very public divorce, independent filmmaker and Italian Prince Tao Ruspoli takes to the road to talk to his relatives, advice columnists, psychologists, historians, anthropologists, artists, philosophers, sex workers, sex therapists, and ordinary couples about love, sex & monogamy in our culture. What he discovers about his very unconventional family, and about the history and psychology of love and marriage leads him to question the ideal of monogamy, and the traditional family values that go with it.
Why it captures my attention: I have to see this because this doc is really a disguise for therapy. Actress Olivia Wilde divorced this guy and this was an exploration to understand why the divorce happened, a way of getting to the root of it. If that’s not interesting, shit, then I don’t know what is.
Professor Marston & The Wonder Women (October 13)
Director: Angela Robinson
Cast: Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall, Bella Heathcote
Synopsis: The true story of William Moulton Marston, the polyamorous relationship between his wife and mistress, the creation of his beloved comic book character “Wonder Woman”, and the controversy the comic generated in its earlier years.
Why it captures my attention: As someone who appreciates comic books, getting to know how the Wonder Woman character was created is worthwhile to see for me. Also, it’s another biopic and you know how I feel about those.
Wasted! The Story of Food Waste (October 13)
Director: Anna Chai, Nari Kye
Synopsis: Through the eyes of famous chefs, audiences will see how they make the most of every kind of food, transforming what most people consider scraps into incredible dishes that create a more secure food system.
Why it captures my attention: I have asked the question many a time of what the name of this doc alludes to. What happens to all that food waste outside of supermarkets and restaurants?
The Paris Opéra (October 18)
Director: Jean-Stéphane Bron
Cast: Stéphane Lissner, Benjamin Millepied
Synopsis: A behind-the-scenes look at the of how the Paris Opera is run under the direction of Stephane Lissner.
Why it captures my attention: Deep down inside, I must’ve been an Italian blueblood or something because I innately love the world of opera. It’s for the aristocrats, lovers of the fine arts… or for the ones who wish to become one. So what happens behind-the-scenes of these secretive insitutions?
The Snowman (October 20)
Director: Tomas Alfredson
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Val Kilmer
Synopsis: Detective Harry Hole investigates the disappearance of a woman whose pink scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman.
Why it captures my attention: I really will watch anything Michael Fassbender is in.
Wonderstruck (October 20)
Director: Todd Haynes
Cast: Oakes Fegley, Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams
Synopsis: The story of a young boy in the Midwest is told simultaneously with a tale about a young girl in New York from fifty years ago as they both seek the same mysterious connection.
Why it captures my attention: This is not an immediate no-brainer. The story just caught my eye and I’m interested in cautiously knowing more.
Crash Pad (October 27)
Director: Kevin Tent
Cast: Nina Dobrev, Domhnall Gleeson, Christina Applegate
Synopsis: A hopeless romantic, who thinks he’s found true love with an older woman, learns that she’s married and that the fling is merely an instrument of revenge against her neglectful husband.
Why it captures my attention: This looks hilarious. I’ve heard of guys like this, oh wait, maybe it was me.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer (October 27)
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Alicia Silverstone, Colin Farrell
Synopsis: Steven, a charismatic surgeon, is forced to make an unthinkable sacrifice after his life starts to fall apart, when the behavior of a teenage boy he has taken under his wing turns sinister.
Why it captures my attention: Yorgos is a little off in the head. A true creative visionary, someone who likes the weirdness in people within weird situations. Add Nicole Kidman, who has become a favorite actress of mine and this is something I want to see.
The Square (October 27)
Director: Ruben Östlund
Cast: Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West
Synopsis: The Square is a poignant satirical drama reflecting our times – about the sense of community, moral courage and the affluent person’s need for egocentricity in an increasingly uncertain world.
Why it captures my attention: Let’s see what Cannes picked as its best. This movie speaks to my fascination for the aristocracy and my fondness of Woody Allen like wonderment.
Last Flag Flying (November 3)
Director: Richard Linklater
Cast: Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell, Laurence Fishburne
Synopsis: Thirty years after they served together in Vietnam, a former Navy Corpsman Larry “Doc” Shepherd reunites with his old buddies, former Marines Sal Nealon and Reverend Richard Mueller, to bury his son, a young Marine killed in the Iraq War.
Why it captures my attention: I kinda don’t care about the story, but the cast… whoa.
Lady Bird (November 10)
Director: Greta Gerwig
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Odeya Rush, Danielle Macdonald
Synopsis: The adventures of a young woman living in Northern California for a year.
Why it captures my attention: I love Woody Allen films and Greta Gerwig to me is the female proxy of Woody Allen, therefore I want to see what she creates here.
The Breadwinner (November 17)
Director: Nora Twomey
Cast: Anita Doron, Deborah Ellis
Synopsis: A headstrong young girl in Afghanistan disguises herself as a boy in order to provide for her family.
Why it captures my attention: I had seen a socially and culturally conscious animated movie called Persepolis a few years ago and had not seen anything like that before. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’d like to repeat the experience.
Justice League (November 17)
Director: Zack Snyder
Cast: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Henry Cavill
Synopsis: Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy.
Why it captures my attention: I mean, come on. This is every kid’s childhood dream!
Mudbound (November 17)
Director: Dee Rees
Cast: Garrett Hedlund, Carey Mulligan, Jonathan Banks
Synopsis: Two men return home from World War II to work on a farm in rural Mississippi, where they struggle to deal with racism and adjusting to life after the war.
Why it captures my attention: Another African-American film with Oscar ambitions. I love it!
Wonder (November 17)
Director: Stephen Chbosky
Cast: Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Jacob Tremblay
Synopsis: Based on the New York Times bestseller, ‘Wonder’ tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time.
Why it captures my attention: I’m ready for a tearjerker. Add the incredible cast… you got me.
Death Wish (November 22)
Director: Eli Roth
Cast: Vincent D’Onofrio, Bruce Willis, Elisabeth Shue
Synopsis: A mild-mannered father is transformed into a killing machine after his family is torn apart by a violent act.
Why it captures my attention: I loved Death Wish growing up, don’t ask me why. It wasn’t an excellent film, but a memorable one. Only Bruce Willis could step in for Bronson, so I’m hoping Roth and Carnathan get it right.
Darkest Hour (November 22)
Director: Joe Wright
Cast: Lily James, Gary Oldman, Ben Mendelsohn
Synopsis: Within days of becoming Prime Minister, Winston Churchill must face his most turbulent and defining trial: exploring a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany, or standing firm to fight for the ideals, liberty and freedom of a nation.
Why it captures my attention: I just love prestige films, history come to life.
The Man Who Invented Christmas (November 22)
Director: Bharat Nalluri
Cast: Dan Stevens, Jonathan Pryce, Christopher Plummer
Synopsis: The journey that led to the creation of Ebenezer Scrooge (Christopher Plummer) and other classic characters from “A Christmas Carol.” The film shows how Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens) conjured up a timeless tale.
Why it captures my attention: I know all about this, yet I barely know anything about the life of Charles Dickens. I have to know this.
Bombshell – The Hedy Lamarr Story (Documentary) (November 24)
Director: Alexandra Dean
Cast: Hedy Lamarr
Synopsis: The world’s most beautiful woman was also the secret inventor of secure wifi, Bluetooth and GPS communications, but her arresting looks stood in the way of her being given the credit she deserved… until now.
Why it captures my attention: Old movies and a female genius. What a great cocktail.
The Current War (November 24)
Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Cast: Katherine Waterston, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch
Synopsis: The dramatic story of the cutthroat race between electricity titans Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse to determine whose electrical system would power the modern world.
Why it captures my attention: Benedict Cumberbatch has become a prestige actor and he seems to just churn them out like a factory. I can’t seem to get enough of these period films.
The Disaster Artist (December 1)
Director: James Franco
Cast: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Dave Franco, Alison Brie, Zac Efron, Sugar Lyn Beard
Synopsis: A behind-the-scenes look at the making of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room (2003).
Why it captures my attention: I had heard about The Room, known for being the worse movie ever made. To get an inside look at what went down in that movie? C’mon, that’s worth a watch.
The Shape of Water (December 8)
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Cast: Doug Jones, Michael Shannon, Sally Hawkins
Synopsis: An other-worldly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa’s life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment.
Why it captures my attention: I will watch anything Guillermo del Toro does. But I’m also intrigued by it because it reminds me of the aesthetic style of another favorite director of mine – Jean-Pierre Jeunet. You can see his influences in this film. A must watch.