With September approaching, the fall movie season will begin this Friday. It’s also a monumental season for the big fall film festivals, as the Venice Film Festival kicks off this week, followed by Toronto, and finally the New York and AFI Film Festival. We will begin to hear all the buzz from many of the slated films. This is where a certain film can gain momentum and hopefully maintain its buzz all the way through next year’s Oscar season. Yes, you might hear about a certain film for months after its initial release. This year’s line-up is absolutely competitive, by far the most competitive it has been since pre-pandemic times. This year’s line-up features many renowned filmmakers, crafting everything from self-autobiographical films to nostalgic period pieces with rich ensembles. The season will be stacked, and it will be guaranteed that it will keep reviewers busy screening and writing. Whoever says “cinema is dying” is misguided. This fall season proves very well that cinema is still alive and well, even though the distribution model remains in uncharted waters as many distributors, studios, and streaming channels are trying to find the best strategy to attract the widest audience possible for a particular film. In the end, this is the most exciting time of the year. There is nothing better than watching an exceptional piece of cinema on a cool fall night in October or November. Here are the 16 most anticipated films of the year, along with a mini list below of other titles worth getting excited about.

Tár' Review: Cate Blanchett in Todd Field's Masterful Conductor Drama - Variety

1. Tar (d. Todd Field) 

One of the most promising filmmakers of the new century goes to Todd Field, who sadly hasn’t helmed a film in 16 years since his 2006 highly acclaimed masterpiece, Little Children, which generated Kate Winslet and Jackie Earl Haley (in his comeback role) both Oscar nominations as well as a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination with co-writer Todd Pelota, which is based on his own novel. Field’s first feature, In the Bedroom, is that rarity where he pulled off a Best Picture nominee for a debut feature and the film also reached high acclaim back in 2001. Since Little Children, Field has struggled with getting financing for projects with much higher budgets, so it appears he’s going to go back to where his roots are in making something more attainable in what he can get greenlit for, but there is no doubt how much ambition and artistry will deliver this time around. There is very little known about Field’s third feature, titled Tar, other than it’s a narrative about a renowned musical conductor and composer in the classical musical industry named Lydia Tar. The film’s teaser has what sounds like Field narrating about our current state of humanity as it cuts to Cate Blanchett passionately conducting an orchestra with a few stylized shots that look very much in the vein of Stanley Kubrick. Whatever the film ends up becoming or turning out to be, it’s just relieving to hear that this film exists and lets the auteur, who has been absent from the director’s chair for nearly 16 years, still have his spellbinding style. One thing is for sure, the film also has a very first-rate cast that includes Nina Hoss (Barbara Phoenix), Noemie Marlent (Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Paris 13th Century), and Mark Strong (Tinker Tailor Solider Spy, 1917).  Release Date October 7th, 20228

Bardo (2022) - IMDb

2. Bardo (d. Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu)

Bardo, the 7th feature film by highly acclaimed filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu, will be his first film since 2015’s The Revenant. With that film, Iñárritu made Oscar history, being only the third director to win the Oscar for Best Director in two consecutive years. The other film Iñárritu did was for his 2014 masterpiece Birdman and the other director to win Best Director two years in a row was back in 1951 after Joseph L. Mankiewicz won Best Director for All About Eve and A Letter to Three Wives and John Ford won for The Grapes of Wrath and How Green Way My Valley. His latest is rumored to be a more semi-autobiographical film, in which the film was shot in Iñárritus’ home country of Mexico. Iñárritu has a very impressive filmography that also appears to be very versatile in terms of visual style and technique. Bardo was recently picked up by Netflix and will certainly be a promising film that will more or less be an ambitious epic. We know Netflix gets serious come awards season (The Power of the Dog, Roma, and Marriage Story), so let’s hope this can live up to its potential. Let’s also hope Netflix can give Iñárritu’s release a proper theatrical window. November 18th, 2022 Limited Theaters, December 16th, 2022 Netflix

See the source image

3. The Whale (d. Darren Aronofsky

The Whale will mark Darren Aronofsky’s 8th film, and it will be an onscreen adaptation of a play written by Samuel D. Hunter, which is based on his stage play. Brandan Fraser plays Charlie, a 600-pound middle-aged professor who binges food out of depression, pain, and guilt. As his health begins to regress, he is encouraged by his friends to reconnect with his 17-year-old daughter (Sadie Sink), whom he abandoned years ago for his gay lover, who eventually passed away. Aronofsky, often championed for his hyperreal style and macabre films like Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan, appears to return to his more humane side that was so apparent in The Fountain and The Wrestler. After creating a polarizing divide with Mother (2017) and having a commercial and critical misfire with Noah (2014), this is Aronofsky’s first film in five years. Already with a great cast in line that co-stars Samantha Morton, Hong Chau, and Ty Simpkins, one thing is for certain is that Aronofsky has a flair for pulling off raw and emotionally vulnerable performances of characters that are often on a journey of self-destruction from their compulsions. The Whale appears to continue these thematic traits for Aronofsky. Dec 9th, 2022

Bones And All' Teaser: Timothée Chalamet Reteams With Luca Guadagnino – Deadline

4.  Bones and All (d. Luca Guadagnino) 

Guadagnino’s last film was the highly polarizing Suspiria, which divided audiences and critics down the middle. After all, it was Guadagnino’s first attempt at horror after making a career of dramatic films that often take place during the summer days and nights of Italy. His remake of Suspiria was very much in a different territory than Dario Argento’s 1977 horror masterpiece. The result was equally surrealist and atmospheric, just stylistically very different. Guadagnino appears to be planning another horror film that combines elements of a road movie and a cannibal horror film. I anticipate Guadagnino to further polarize audiences and critics with this one, while probably delivering his intoxicating style. Release Date November 23, 2022

Adam Driver Movie 'White Noise' to Open 2022 NY Film Festival – The Hollywood Reporter

5.) White Noise (d. Noah Baumbach) 

Noah Baumbach’s latest film will certainly be his most audacious and ambitious. An adaptation of Don DeLillio’s highly acclaimed novel titled White Noise will certainly have a lot on his mind. The book is about a Nazi historian (Adam Driver) who studies Hitler in the hope that society will not revert to fascism. The setting is in a fictional college town that ends up having a dangerous chemical spill at a local factory that creates fog and clouds of toxins. Greta Gerwig plays his wife, who is afraid of death and tries to find remedies that will protect her and the family from the toxins. While the novel had a lot of biting satire about academia and the state of the world, the hope is that this will be a faithful and sophisticated adaptation of DeLillo’s work. If so, this will certainly be Baumbach’s most daring film of his career. With many great films under his belt already, with such memorable indies as The Squid and the Whale, Greenberg, Frances Ha, Mistress America, and Marriage Story, let’s hope Baumbach can prove he can also craft films with a higher scope. November 25th, 2022, Limited Theaters, December 30th Netflix

TRIANGLE OF SADNESS de Ruben Östlund - sofilm

6. Triangle of Sadness (d. Ruben Ostlund) 

The Palme d’Or winner at this year’s Sundance Film Festival marks the second time for Swedish filmmaker Ruben Ostlund. In Triangle of Sadness, Ostlund is reported to carry on his bourgeois satire with a group of millionaires on a cruise yacht. While Ostlund has explored this satire before with Force Majeure and the arts culture with The Square, his new swipe takes aim at “liberal” elites who love to appear liberal, accepting, and for the people on the outside but are anything but. In today’s modern discourse, we can certainly see a lot of facades of neo-liberalism going on in that terrain. In many ways, Ostlund is like a modern-day Bunuel and Godard; his films are often angry, hold grievances against the upper-class elite’s hypocrisies, are rhapsodic in their visuals, and are richly satirical. His latest film should still deliver those goods, and how well will be determined.  October 7th, 2022

See the source image

7. The Eternal Daughter (d. Joanna  Hogg) 

After making head waves with her highly regarded Souvenir films that both made my top 10 lists in 2019 and 2021, British filmmaker Joanna Hogg has another film on the horizon titled The Eternal Daughter. The latest film, produced and released by A24 Films and once again collaborating with Tilda Swinton, is very discreet about its details other than the fact that it is stated to be a ghost story. The film will be another mother-daughter relationship film about a middle-aged daughter attempting to reconnect with her elderly mother, who holds a lot of deep secrets about their family past. The Souvenir films were deeply compelling and proved Joanna Hogg was on top of her game. Hopefully, that creative momentum will shine through again with this one.  Release Date Fall TBD

Cannes review: Guilt and white privilege swirl in 'Armageddon Time' | EW.com

8. Armageddon Time (d. James Gray) 

James Gray’s Armageddon Time generated some Oscar buzz at Cannes back in May. This will actually mark Gray’s first film that will receive a theatrical release the same year as its festival release. That is how confident Focus Features is in the film’s Oscar chances. Regardless, Gray is one of the most underrated auteurs working today who often crafts films that feel like they come from a different era of American cinema—primarily 70s American cinema with shades of European art-house. His masterpieces include Two Lovers, The Immigrant, and The Lost City of Z, which are some of the most powerful films made this century. His latest film takes place in 1980, in the wake of the 1980 election between Reagan and Carter. Reportedly, the film is supposed to be autobiographical and personal, as it is about an 11-year-old boy named Paul (Michael Banks Repeta) and Gray touches on topics such as friendship, class, family, and tolerance. After making the big-budget sci-fi film Ad Astra, Armageddon Time is reported to be back to Gray’s more indie roots and sensibilities. Will the film live up to the greatness of his others? Co-starring Anthony Hopkins and Anne Hathaway.  October 28th, 2022

R.M.N.' Cannes Review: Cristian Mungiu's Small-Town Slow-Burn – The Hollywood Reporter

9. R.M.N. (d. Cristian Mungui) 

Cristian Mungiu’s fifth feature film, titled R.M.N., premiered at the Cannes Film Festival to great buzz. Acquired by IFC Film, the film’s setting is in a Transylvanian village, and Mungui explores some very timely issues about xenophobia, nationalism, ethnocentricity, and bigotry in a multi-ethnic town where these cruelties and harsh feelings sadly take place all around the world. R.M.N. is being billed as the film of the moment and will be a timely and grim movie. Each of those titles is a powerful film that captures Romania’s current state. Mungui prefers to explore films during a time of crisis, and the earlier IFC can release, promote, and campaign for this film, the better chances it could have in the Best International Race. Hopefully, Romania submits this as their official submission, and hopefully the Oscars start selecting more timely international films.  Release Date Fall TBD

First Look: Sarah Polley's 'Women Talking' Starring Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, Frances McDormand & More

10. Women Talking  (d. Sarah Polley) 

The first film of Sarah Polley’s in nearly 10 years will certainly trigger Fox News and right-wing media as this #MeToo drama is led by a first-rate cast that includes Frances McDormand, Claire Foy, Rooney Mara, Jessie Buckley, and Ben Whishaw. The film takes place in a Christian religious colony in Bolivia, where many women lose their religious faith after endless sexual assaults that are perpetrated by male colonists. The film has already been selected for all the big fall festivals, and this could put Polley into the Oscar spotlight. We should also see a resurgence of lists, articles, Letterboxd logins, and Polley’s previous films, Away From Her, Take This Waltz, and Stories We Tell, will find a new audience with modern film buffs and newer film critics. Release Date December 2, 2002

The Fabelmans' a novembre il nuovo film di Spielberg! - Taxidrivers.it

11. The Fabelmans (d. Steven Spielberg) 

It is not often that Spielberg films hold premiers at festivals, but with The Fabelmans, Spielberg will be holding the big premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival come September. Spielberg also co-wrote the script, which is the first time he’s co-written a screenplay since A.I. Artificial Intelligence. Tony Kushner will also co-write as Spielberg’s latest is a semi-autobiography based on Spielberg’s own childhood growing up with his love for movies and cinematic icons from the age of seven to eighteen.  The film has a sharp cast which will feature Michelle Williams and Paul Dano as the parents, Seth Rogan as the uncle, and David Lynch is rumored to play the role of John Ford. I never imagined the day would come when Lynch and Spielberg would collaborate, but here we are.  Release Date November 11th, 2022

Watch Ana de Armas transform into Marilyn Monroe in the first movie of the Blonde - Game News 24

12. Blonde (d. Andrew Domink)

After being delayed a year, Andrew Domink’s Marilyn Monroe biopic will be making its premiere at the Venice Film Festival. The film is already generating controversy with its NC-17 rating and will certainly polarize, as Dominik films always do. Ana De Armas plays the iconic actress, and many are already up in arms about the casting and her accent. With all these reservations people are holding, one thing is for certain: Dominik is a gifted filmmaker that is no stranger to deconstructing myths. See his 2007 masterpiece, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, which explored how culture and society love to rewrite and use revionism on history and legend. This will mark Dominik’s first film in 10 years, after his impressive and stylish Killing Them Softly, starring Brad Pitt, the late Ray Liotta, and James Gandolfini. The film drew parallels how the mob and contract killers are really no different than modern day capitalism. One thing is certain: Dominick’s films age like fine wine, and this film will certainly be unique, highly stylized, and just an overall cinematic event. September 28th, 2022

Holy Spider Review: A Disturbing Glimpse At An Iranian Serial Killer [Cannes]

13. Holy Spider (d. Ali Abbasi) 

Ali Abbasi’s third feature titled Holy Spider is rumored to go the more Gus Van Sant Elephant route, as it’s a fact-based drama that observes a depiction of violence as it unfolds. The film caused quite a stir and discussion at Cannes, from detractors labeling it “Islamophobic” to some calling it problematic as the film shows violence against women. The film is about Saeed Hanai, a religious man who took his beliefs to the extreme as he went on a killing spree back in 2001 in Iran, which led to him strangling 17 prostitutes. The film is reported to examine the misogynistic culture in Iran, which stems from religion being used more for patriarchal reasons than peaceful purposes, something many places around the world can relate to, including the United States. Regardless of the discourse, Holy Spider sounds like an essential piece of cinema. October 28th, 2022, Limited Release

Brad Pitt dons large fake nose to play John Gilbert in recent clips of 'Babylon' | Your Choice News

14. Babylon (d. Damien Chazelle) 

With a reported budget of $110 million dollars that’s written and directed by Oscar winning director Damien Chazelle (La La Land, Whiplash), this appears to be huge Oscar bait in the making with its scope and long running-time of 3 hours. However, shouldn’t we trust Chazelle at this time with his visual energy and deep characterizations that were so apparent in La La Land? Chazelle continues his love for music as the film takes place in the Jazz Age in the roaring 20’s, as the film is about a group of actors trying to adjust to all the change sand discourse during prohibition and Hollywood’s transitional period from silent pictures to “talkies.” With a cast that consists of Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, Dego Calva, and Tobey Maguire, Babylon certainly holds a lot of promise.  December 25th, 2022

Broker,' a Lighthearted Film About Child Traffickers, Baffles Cannes

15. Broker (d. Hirokazu Kore-eda) 

After winning the Palme d’Or for Shoplifters in 2018, Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda ventured outside his home country to make The Truth in France, and his most recent film, Broker, was made in South Korea, generating strong buzz at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The film stars Parasite lead actor Song Kang (Ho) as a laundromat worker who holds a lot of personal debts, so he resorts to being a bay broker to pay off his massive amount of debt to some local criminals. He ends up taking babies from church baby boxes that single mothers drop off and attempting to sell them to appropriate families. The buzz is that this is Kore-eda at his warmest and most crowd-pleasing, which can either go very maudlin or earn as we know he’s a master of building up compassion without feeling cloy. Kore-ada has a poignant style in which he knows how to explore humanism. Hopefully, this will be as masterful as Shoplifters. Release Date December 26th, 2022

London Film Festival 2022: Sam Mendes' 'Empire of Light' to Screen – The Hollywood Reporter

16.Empire of Light (d. Sam Mendes) 

Sam Mendes has a very impressive track record.  Having delivered some exceptional works like American Beauty and Skyfall, as well as some really strong entries like 1917 and Revolutionary Road, his latest, Empire of Light, will hopefully join the ranks of his superior films. The film, also written by Sam Mendes, is an original screenplay about being billed as a love story that’s set in an English coastal cinema during the 1980s. Will it be more of the verbose one-setting films that we have gotten used to over the last few years? Will it be a return to Mendes more dramatic and rich style that was so apparent in American Beauty and Revolutionary Road? The film has a stunning cast, featuring Olivia Colman, Michael Ward, Tom Brook, Toby Jones, and Colin Firth. December 9th, 2022

Other Fall Movies to see

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (d. Laura Poitras)
Amsterdam (d. David O. Russell)
Avatar: The Way of the Water  (d. James Cameron)
The Banshees of Inishherin (d. Martin McDonagh)
Bros (d. Nichols Stoller)
Black Panther: Wakanda (d. Ryan Coogler)
Corsage (d. Marie Kreutzer)
Decision to Leave (d. Park Chanwook)
Don’t Worry Darling (d. Olivia Wilde)
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (d. Rian Johnson)
God’s Country (d. Julian Higgens)
The Greatest Beer Run Ever (d. Peter Farrelly)
Halloween Ends (d. David Gordon Greene)
Moonage Daydream (d. Brett Morgen)
Pearl (d. Ti West)
Pinocchio (d. Guillermo Del Toro and Mark Gustafson)
Pinocchio (d. Robert Zemecki
Prey for the Devil (d. Daniel Stamm)
She Said (d. Maria Schrader)
The Son (d. Florian Zeller)
Till (d. Chinonye Chukwu)
The Woman King (d. Gina Prince-Bythewood)
The Wonder (d. Sebastian Lelio)