Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine American culture – what’s new and old in entertainment.
Now that summer is behind us, it’s time for fall movies to take over.
Of course, there are some big ones coming, most notably Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the next installment in JK Rowling’s wizarding world. But there is a lot of excitement for some non-franchise films as well.
Typically, the day Oscar nominations are announced is a day when the majority of the public shrugs their shoulders and says ‘I’ve never heard of these movies.’ But each year presents a new opportunity to get out ahead of those confused hours, and if you want to have a good sense of the awards season to come, these are the titles to keep your eyes peeled for.
This week will see the release of the eagerly anticipated Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga remake of A Star Is Born. The movie has been earning rave reviews from film festivals and its release is coupled with a steady Oscar buzz.
A movie I’m particularly excited for is Widows, a thriller directed by Steve McQueen, co-written with Gone Girl and Sharp Objects author Gillian Flynn. The movie has one of the most exciting casts in years, headed by Viola Davis. Widows tells the story of an armed robbery gone bad–one where all four robbers are killed in the attempt… and their widows attempts to finish the job in their stead.
Other movies set to dominate conversation over the next few months include If Beale Street Could Talk, Barry Jenkins’ next film, an adaptation of the James Baldwin novel; First Man, Damien Chazelle’s retelling of Neil Armstrong’s mission to the moon; Can You Ever Forgive Me? Marielle Heller’s biographical film about Lee Israel, a writer who resorted to forgery, starring Melissa McCarthy, and Roma, Alfonso Cuaron’s passion project set in 1970s Mexico City.
This is the time of year cinephiles look forward to: the time when big swings come from exciting directors and we get to bask in all of its glory.
I’m Evan Rook.