While it may feel Summer is an ever-revolving season here in the Sunshine State, in the rest of the world, Fall has officially arrived.
You know it by the plethora of apples at the market (though most here are covered in an inch of wax,) an irresistible desire to bundle up in your favorite old sweater (even if you have to put the AC on, to bear it) and that distinct smell of crisp air, breaking in the Autumn. (But who am I kidding, when it’s still 89 degrees and 70% humidity here.)
As Fall contains all things wonderful in the breadth of one season, it holds more Oscar contenders than most any other season.
Here are a handful of films I look forward to seeing, all bundled up in my worn-in, fuzzy fall sweater, as I go on pretending there is such a thing as Fall in Florida:
1. Bridge of Spies
Release date: October 16
At the height of the Cold War, a Brooklyn lawyer, James B Donovan, was given the mission to negotiate the release of Francis Gary Powers, a pilot whose U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union.
Directed by Spielberg and written by the Cohen Brothers, it’s safe to say that this historic thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat. Because when Spielberg and Tom Hanks share the screen, magic seems to ensue. ( Then again, whenever Tom Hanks is on screen magic is inevitable.)
2. I Saw the Light
Release date: November 27
"Hey good look'n. Whatcha got cook'n"
Sound like a familiar tune?
Covered by the likes of Johnny Cash, Dean Martin and Ray Charles, this little jingle is was just one of 11 singles that hit the top of the charts written by Hank Williams, famed singer and songwriter from the 1950’s.
Starring the ever-evolving British actor Tom Hiddleston (Loki from The Avengers and F. Scott Fitzgerald Midnight in Paris) and Elizabeth Olsen (yes, sister of the famed Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen twins), this biopic covers the swift and tragic career of the tortured, melodic soul.
3. In the Heart of the Sea
Release date: December 11
In 1820, the famed New England vessel Essex was attacked and split in half by an enraged whale. Upon its shipwreck, the ship’s crew was left stranded for over 90 days, thousands of miles from land. As they set sail for South America, their struggle to survive lead the men to desperate measures, even cannibalism.
Directed by Ron Howard, this historic epic is based on the New York Times best-selling book it is named after. The story of the Essex ship may ring familiar, as it is the inspiration for the famed classic Moby Dick. (As well as that mermaid starring back at you from every Starbucks drink you order.)
4. The Keeping Room
Release date: September 25
Prematurely praised as, "A feminist western with grit.”
(As if feminist and grit were an unlikely pair?)
Though, this western is an unlikely account of the aftermath of the Civil War. The Keeping Room, starring Brit Maring and Hailey Steinfeld (yes, of “Love Myself” ), follows the war's ruins these two sisters are left in at their beloved home, as they await the return of the men.
Spun as a thriller (and somewhat reminiscent of Scarlett O’Hara protecting her Tara in Gone with the Wind,) these women are forced to protect themselves against two estranged Union soldiers.
Release date: October 23
Starring modern-day heroines of the screen, Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep, Suffragette follows the rise of the British Woman's Suffrage movement. In a day when women were considered unfit to vote, unqualified for a fair wage and overall of lesser value than the opposite sex, a feminst movement and hunger strike broke out at the start of the 19th century in the UK, unlike any the country, and quite possibly the world, had ever seen.
(Note: For some reason I find the song in the trailer subdues the film's compelling plot. In my humble opinion, for a less tainted tease of the film, I suggest watching the trailer on mute.)
Release date: November 6
In 2002 The Boston Globe uncovered a story that shook the city to its core, and struck a ripple effect throughout the nation. Through a series of criminal prosecutions of five Roman Catholic priests, the Globe reported on sexual abuse allegations and cover-ups, not only found in Boston, but what turned to be a steady pattern in a number of Dioceses Nation-wide.
When the Globe printed the names of 90 priests who had sexually abused, molested and raped victims, and the accounts of the accused presented, few could predict how this would effect the Catholic Church and the lives of thousands for the years to come.
Starring Rachel McAdams and, recent Academy Award winner, Michael Keaton, the film is of the Pulitzer Prize winning team that broke the story.
7.He Named Me Malala
Release date: October 2
By now most are familiar with the young Pakistani activist who two years ago was brutally attacked for her vocal stance on educational rights, Malala Yousafzai. But few are familiar with the Malala that Yousafzai was named after.
In 1880 an Afghan poetess, became a heroine the day she raised the Nation's flag and lead a battle cry against British-Indian forces and was there killed in battle. Yousafzai's father named her after the Afghan heroine, never knowing the near-prophetic impact a mere name would instill in his daughter. This powerful story tracks the very beat of Malala's heart: "Voice are our most powerful weapon."
8. Steve Jobs
Release date: October 9
Few films are centered on the story of a man whose life, in good and bad ways, impacts the run of the world on a daily basis. With already an attempt or two made on a biopic film of Steve Jobs, another one seems a gamble.
Though, stellar cast aside, this one has already been praised as acute a depiction, as the narcissistic individual it is based on. Directed by Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire,) the film stars Michael Fassbender, a Brit no less (where are our American boys, Hollywood?) who has already proven he can portray a robotic idealist with pure grit (Prometheus). Joined by Kate Winslet, Seth Rogan, and written by Academy Award winner Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, and reason enough to see any film) it’s hard to see where Boyle's spin on Jobs could go wrong.