With only three months left in 2020, it is about time for the most competitive film season of the year. For anyone who is not ‘in the know’ on movies, the fall is the time when the heavy contending Oscar films are released. Debate is raised over whether or not they deserve this prestigious nomination, all after just one season. Looking at film festivals such as the Toronto International Film Festival, the New York Film Festival and beyond, these are the films that you should keep an extra eye on this year.
Director: Chloé Zhao
Starting off this list is a film from acclaimed indie darling, Chloé Zhao, who made a name for herself in 2017 with her film, “The Rider.” Before she handles the big task of directing a Marvel film with “The Eternals,” Zhao takes us on a poetic journey through the mountains with actress Frances McDormand as she becomes a modern-day nomad. This film has been receiving accolades of praise, not only for McDormand, but Zhao as well. “Nomadland” has received some awards already, most recently the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival and the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. Zhao is the first person to win both awards.
“Nomadland” hits theaters Dec. 4!
“On the Rocks”
Director: Sofia Coppola
The second film is the latest film from legendary filmmaker Sofia Coppola. After directing the much divisive film remake of “The Beguiled,” Coppola is back in the director’s chair with a timely theme of marriage and fatherhood. Coppola teams up with her “Lost in Translation” co-star, Bill Murray, and also casts Rashida Jones as the lead. The film tells the story of Laura, who is a mother and a wife in New York City. She suspects some suspicious activity going on with her husband because she never sees him anymore, so she asks her father for advice. The film is set to have its world premiere at the NYFF this week, and will surely nab some Academy Awards talk for its screenplay and directing, alongside acting awards.
“On the Rocks” is available to stream on Apple TV+ on Oct. 2!
Director: Spike Lee
Fresh off of his brilliant new film, “Da 5 Bloods,” Spike Lee is back in the director’s chair for this concert film, based on David Byrne’s Broadway show, “American Utopia.” This film is Talking Heads’ frontman, Byrne, performing all of the classic hits we know and love. This sounds like a certain 1984 Jonathan Demme directed film.
The film has received unanimous praise from critics, calling it “this generation’s ‘Stop Making Sense.’” Lee is not only being talked about for his directorial efforts for “Da 5 Bloods,” but for this film as well.
“American Utopia” will be available to stream on HBO Max on Oct. 17!
Director: Denis Villeneuve
In a time where blockbuster films are all the craze, there is one certain blockbuster that has caught the attention of many. From the filmmaker behind masterpieces such as “Arrival,” “Blade Runner 2049” and “Prisoners and Incendies,” comes “Dune.”
The film has an all-star cast of Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Furguson, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Oscar Isaac, Stellan Skarsgard, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin and Dave Bautista. The film is being adapted from the science-fiction novel of the same name. “Dune” tells the story of Paul Atreides (Chalamet) as he is trying to take the throne, while also desperately attempting to reach Arrakis, the desert planet.
The film’s complex narrative is what fans are most excited for; judging from the spectacle, we may have the next “Lord of the Rings” trilogy on our hands.
“Dune” is coming to theaters Dec. 18!
There are lots of films to look forward to in the coming months, proving that 2020 still has some greatness to it!