10 films to watch in the fall of 2021
Toronto is in wave four, but we’re cautiously optimistic this fall’s big-ticket titles will actually open in IRL theaters.
Hey, remember last fall when half of the movies announced at opening had to be rescheduled when theaters close go back down? The ground looks a bit firmer for films in fall 2021, with distributors calculating proof of vaccination will boost consumer confidence and bring people back to the megaplex. If No Time To Die finally opens and recovers its cost, the pandemic is officially over, right?
The Many Saints of Newark
The long-awaited prequel to David Chase’s Sopranos arrives almost a decade and a half after the end of the HBO series. It stars Michael, the son of James Gandolfini, as the young Tony Soprano, and Vera Farmiga as Livia, Tony’s mother, with Alessandro Nivola, Leslie Odom Jr., Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll, Ray Liotta in the supporting roles. Will this be a true expansion of the show’s world, or just the latest attempt to revive a dormant IP with a proven fanbase? We will find out in a few days. In theaters October 1
Raiders of the night
One of the best films we’ve seen at TIFF 2021, Danis Goulet’s dystopian thriller is set in the near future of Canada under martial law by “the nation of the south” after a devastating invasion; Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers is a Cree woman who tries to save her young daughter from a re-education school. It has only grown in relevance since its premiere in Berlin in early spring; now it plays almost like a documentary. In theaters October 8
No time to die
Is it possible? After a year and a half of stealthily stepping up the release schedule, can Daniel Craig’s latest outing as James Bond finally open? We certainly hope so, if only to see if we can detect Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s voice in the script… and to see if a Bond film can justify the advertised airtime of two hours and 43 minutes, which honestly seems to die. In theaters October 8
The velvet metro
Yes, the Cowboy Junkies’ cover of Sweet Jane is magnificent. But the original rocks are unlike anything else on Earth. The first documentary by Todd Haynes – director of Safe, Velvet Goldmine and Far From Heaven – examines the rise of Andy Warhol’s favorite band and its seismic impact on music culture over the decades. Surviving members John Cale and Mo Tucker sat down for interviews and everything. Apple TV +, October 15
The French dispatch
Structured as a series of stories published by an American journalist working in a small village in France, Wes Anderson’s latest film appears to be a throwback to the elaborate perspectives of his 2014 masterpiece, The Grand Budapest Hotel, bringing Tony back Revolori, Adrien Brody, Tilda from this Swinton movie. Willem Dafoe and Bill Murray. Benicio del Toro and Léa Seydoux, Timothée Chalamet and Frances McDormand are also present. In theaters October 22
The more they fall
Co-produced by Jay-Z and Lawrence Bender of Pulp Fiction among others, this revisionist western by English filmmaker Jeymes Samuel (who makes music under the name Bullitts) features Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Zazie Beetz, Regina King, Lakeith Stanfield and Delroy Lindo as true historical figures Nat Love, Rufus Buck, Stagecoach Mary, Trudy Smith, Cherokee Bill and Bass Reeves – and gives them their own narrative. Netflix, November 3
Now that Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has demonstrated the public’s willingness to see Marvel movies in theaters, Disney doubles up on the exclusive megaplex for this one, which finds director Chloe Zhao tackling complex cosmic mythology. from Jack Kirby about the immortal beings forced to come out of hiding to defend Earth from their evil counterparts. He was delayed for a full year by the pandemic, which gave Zhao time to win a few Oscars for producing and directing Nomadland – meaning expectations couldn’t be higher to see what happens. ‘she does on a budget the size of Marvel. In theaters November 5
Kristen Stewart stars as Diana, Princess of Wales, in Pablo Larraín’s study of days in the cloistered life of one of history’s most famous women – a complement to his film Jackie Kennedy Jackie. NOW’s Glenn Sumi called him “masterful” at TIFF; those of us who missed it and think Stewart is one of the most empathetic artists working today – can’t wait to make it up. November 5, at the cinema
Actress Rebecca Hall (Godzilla Vs. Kong, The Night House) steps behind the camera for a change, writing and directing this adaptation of Nella Larsen’s 1929 novel about the lives of two biracial women – played here by Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga – in the first decades of the 20th century. Netflix reclaimed the rights after an intoxicating premiere at Sundance earlier this year, and has positioned it for an awards show ever since. In theaters October 27; on Netflix November 10
tick, tick… BOOM!
This film adaptation of the semi-autobiographical musical from Rent creator Jonathan Larson is written by Steven Levenson and directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda – who is enjoying life-changing somewhat of success, thanks to their respective work on Dear Evan Hansen. and Hamilton. It stars Andrew Garfield as the young man who wonders if he will ever create a sensation on Broadway. Of course, we know he will… and we know he won’t live to see it. In theaters November 12; on Netflix November 19