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Critic's fall film picks

Awards season is right around the corner, and the fall film lineup is looking promising.

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  • | 5:49 p.m. September 30, 2019
Tom Hanks in "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood." Photo courtesy IMDb.
Tom Hanks in "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood." Photo courtesy IMDb.
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This year's fall film line-up looks particularly promising. A slew of Oscar-winning actors and directors are in abundance and expectations are high. We're especially anticipating the following picks:


Joaquin Phoenix in
Joaquin Phoenix in "Joker." Photo courtesy IMDb.


Opens Oct. 4

The insanely talented and sometimes wacky Joaquin Phoenix gets wicked as Batman's nemesis. It's a "what-makes-him-tick" piece directed by visionary Todd Phillips. Another plus, Robert De Niro stars as a slimy late-night talk show host. As quoted in an interview, Phoenix observes that, "This is a really big deal." No doubt. 


"Pain and Glory." Photo courtesy IMDb.

'Pain and Glory'

Opens Oct. 4

Pedro Almodovar scripts and directs this semi-autobiographical film, which is being hailed as "deeply intimate." Antonio Banderas plays a Spanish filmmaker who looks back on his life as he's about to attend a screening of one of his classics. Banderas' performance garnered him the best actor award at Cannes Film Festival this year. Perhaps his first Oscar is on the horizon.


"Parasite." Photo courtesy IMDb.


Opens Oct. 11

In this clever satire, billed as a "comedy/drama/thriller," a poor Korean family concocts a scheme to rip off a wealthier one. Cultures clash as laughs abound. Director Bong Joon-ho also scored big at Cannes, taking home the Palme d' Or and becoming the first South Korean to do so. The film stars Kang-ho Song and Sun-Kyun Lee.


"Jojo Rabbit." Photo courtesy IMDb.

'Jojo Rabbit'

Opens Oct. 18

When a German boy, whose imaginary friend is Adolph Hitler, discovers a disturbing secret, all hell breaks loose. It seems Mom is hiding a Jewish girl in the attic while Dad is away fighting the Allies. Director Taika Watiti plays Hitler in this "Nazi comedy." Also starring Roman Griffin Davis, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell and Rebel Wilson.


Robert De Niro in
Robert De Niro in "The Irishman." Photo courtesy IMDb.

'The Irishman'

Opens Nov. 11

Martin Scorsese directs; Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino star. It doesn't get much better than that. A hit man reminisces and questions his actions in his past. Will we finally find out who offed Jimmy Hoffa? No one does goombah mob and mayhem better than Scorsese. Clocking in at three hours and 29 minutes, this film is just large on every level.


"Motherless Brooklyn." Photo courtesy IMDb.

'Motherless Brooklyn'

Opens Nov. 11

Edward Norton directs, scripts and stars in this noir crime drama set in the 1950s. Norton plays a New York City detective with Tourette syndrome, trying to solve his friend's murder. Politics play heavily in a game that's rigged by racist landlords, one portrayed by Alec Baldwin. The irony is not lost. Also starring Bruce Willis, Willem DaFoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.


Photo courtesy IMDb.
Photo courtesy IMDb.

'Ford v. Ferrari'

Opens Nov. 15

In 1966, an unlikely showdown between automakers Ford and Ferrari took place at the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France. Christian Bale and Matt Damon portray an American automobile designer and British racer who team up to build the ultimate race car. It's an uphill battle with surprising results. Dazzling camerawork dominate the trailers. Directed by James Mangold.


'A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood'

Tom Hanks in
Tom Hanks in "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood." Photo courtesy IMDb.

Opens Nov. 22

Can this biographical drama top the documentary, "Won't You Be My Neighbor"? With Tom Hanks on board as the lovable Mr. Rogers, the odds are favorable. Marielle Heller directs this "get-out-your-handkerchiefs" celebration of the man who made the world a better place in which to dwell. Mrs. Rogers approves.


The cast of
The cast of "Knives Out." Photo courtesy IMDb.

'Knives Out'

Opens Nov. 27

This comedic ode to the whodunnit genre is power packed with loads of stars. When a successful mystery writer is found dead with his throat slit, it's ruled a suicide. Seriously? Soon after, sleuths and siblings congregate at the writer's estate looking for answers. The trailer is a delicious tease and rumors of an impressive final shot are definitely a draw. Director-writer Rian Johnson's impressive assemblage of actors include Daniel Craig, Toni Collette, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Plummer.


"Marriage Story." Photo courtesy IMDb.

'Marriage Story'

Opens Dec. 6

Esteemed director-writer Noah Baumbach dissects the components of a failing marriage in this comedic drama. It's a love story of survival in the toughest of times, loosely based on Baumbach's personal experience. Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver are receiving rave reviews as the couple who bare their broken souls.


Dates are subject to change.


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