With summer blockbuster season finally behind us, the fall months promise the release of some of the most anticipated (and most buzzworthy) films of the year, and the annual marker of this exciting time is the Toronto International Film Festival. Currently underway, TIFF tends to get a lot of attention for premiering the movies that will thereafter pick up steam, during the so–called “awards season,” which lasts roughly from September to March. 

TIFF tends to haul in tremendous crowds, as well as debut a number of higher–profile films alongside the more traditional arthouse fare one has come to expect from film festivals. This year, a number of talked–about movies, particularly those from award–winning directors, are showing in Toronto. Here are six movies that screened at TIFF to look out for at theaters this fall. 

A Star is Born

Dir. Bradley Cooper

This directorial debut from Bradley Cooper stars Lady Gaga and is the third remake of the original A Star is Born from 1937. The movie follows established singer–songwriter Jackson Maine (Cooper) who struggles with alcoholism, and his discovery of Ally, a young woman with an incredible voice (Lady Gaga) who he encourages to pursue a career in music. Though the film recycles an age–old tale, it reinvents it for the modern day with shining performances from the two leads and a tremendous soundtrack. 

A Star is Born is set for release in theaters on Oct. 5. 

Boy Erased

Dir. Joel Edgerton 

Based on a memoir by Garrard Conley, Boy Erased is a coming–of–age story about a young gay man, Jared (Lucas Hedges) who, upon his parents’ (Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe), discovery of their son’s sexuality, is sent to a church–sponsored conversion therapy program. Like many films of the same genre, Boy Erased deals with the conflict of identity and accepting one’s self in the face of adversity, but does so in a uniquely unnerving context. 

Boy Erased is set for release in theaters on Nov. 2.

First Man

Dir. Damien Chazelle 

First Man is a biopic following the groundbreaking story of Neil Armstrong and starring Ryan Gosling as the “first man” himself. The film is said to do a phenomenal job capturing its central figure, features a tremendous adapted screenplay from the award–winning Josh Singer, and captures the majestic nature of the story in both in its cinematic rendering of space travel and in producing a meaningful personal profile.

First Man is set for release in theaters on Oct. 12.

Widows

Dir. Steve McQueen

Widows is an ensemble thriller featuring a heavyweight cast (Including Viola Davis, who plays the film’s pivotal character) from the director of 12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen. The film follows an heist attempt carried out by the widows of four criminal husbands, in an effort to maintain their way of life. A complex and effective thriller, Widows is posed to be among  the most exciting movies coming to theaters this fall. 

Widows is set for release in theaters Nov. 16th.

Green Book

Dir. Peter Farrelly 

Based on a true story, this dramedy is set in the deep south of the 1960s, where an Italian–American bouncer (Viggo Mortensen) takes a job driving Jamaican–American classic pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) along his concert tour. Through the channel of this pair of men, the film explores the deeply–entrenched racism of the region. With tremendous performances from two acclaimed actors, the diametrically opposed lead characters are posed beside each other to deliver a dynamic and affecting story. 

Green Book is set for release in theaters Nov. 21.  

If Beale Street Could Talk 

Dir. Barry Jenkins 

After 2016’s Moonlight, it isn’t a surprise that director Barry Jenkins’s latest project has attracted so much attention. If Beale Street Could Talk is adapted from the James Baldwin novel of the same name, and follows the efforts of Tish (KiKi Layne), a young black woman, to clear the name of her husband (Stephan James) before the birth of their child. The film is simultaneously a deep romance and a poetic portrayal of a struggle for justice, and shares Moonlight’s tenderness and poignancy.

If Beale Street Could Talk is set for release in theaters Nov. 30.


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