Does Wes Anderson ever take a day off? Based on his 2023 resume, the answer is presumably no. Back in June, he released his eleventh feature film, Asteroid City, a film we did not discuss in detail on the site, even though it will likely compete for a spot in our 'Best Films of the Year' list this coming December. But for Wes, releasing just one filled-to-the-brim movie in a calendar year isn't enough. Over the course of four consecutive days, starting next Wednesday, September 27th, Netflix released a series of short films based on Roald Dahl adaptations from Wes himself. After acquiring the Roald Dahl Story Company back in 2021, it was quickly revealed that Anderson would be writing and directing an adaptation of this short story. This Dahl/Anderson pairing makes pitch-perfect tonal sense, even if my calling it a 'movie' is a little bit of a cheat. Here are the four films and synopses in this forthcoming anthology:
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar: A rich man learns about a guru who can see without using his eyes. He sets out to master the skill in order to cheat at gambling.
The Swan:Two large, ignorant bullies ruthlessly pursue a small, brilliant boy.
The Ratcatcher: In an English village, a reporter and a mechanic listen to a ratcatcher explain his clever plan to outwit his prey.
Poison: When a poisonous snake slithers onto an Englishman’s stomach in India, his associate and a doctor race to save him.
While little is known about the latter three projects, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar has many of Anderson's go-to collaborators, including producer Steven Rales, cinematographer Robert Yeoman, and composer Alexandre Desplat – not to mention, the cast includes Ralph Fiennes, Dev Patel, Ben Kingsley, and Benedict Cumberbatch in the leading role. Having already seen the first of these four, I can say I'm looking forward to the next three. Splendid!
Amid a future war between the human race and the forces of artificial intelligence, Joshua, a hardened ex-special forces agent grieving the disappearance of his wife, is recruited to hunt down and kill the Creator, the elusive architect of advanced AI who has developed a mysterious weapon with the power to end the war—and mankind itself.
Is anyone else afraid that The Creator is going to flop?? I'm not saying I hope that happens, in fact, I really hope that it doesn't. I remember seeing ads for The Creator during the NBA playoffs this past summer and getting excited after seeing the teaser trailer. Unfortunately, the promotion of this film has been all but stunted in part because of the ongoing 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike. Ironically, the film's themes and storyline share a lot in common with the angst around artificial intelligence that is driving the actors' strike. The social media embargo was only first lifted two weeks before its release, and the review embargo lifted just last Tuesday, which was just three days before its theatrical release – a lot of times this is a bad sign for how a studio feels the film will perform at the box office. I'm holding out hope, because there's a lot to like about the talent and craft behind the film: it's directed by Gareth Edwards (Rogue One and Godzilla); Greig Fraser (Dune, The Batman) worked as the director of photography; Hans Zimmer (c'mon, you know who he is) wrote the score; and the cast, headlined by John David Washington, includes Gemma Chan, Ken Watanabe, Sturgill Simpson, and Allison Janney is formidable. The returns have been positive so far, so I think that is an encouraging sign. It will be a bummer if this sucks. I hope it doesn't.
Set in the near future when corporate power and environmental decay are ravaging the planet, Hen and Junior are a young, married couple living a solitary life on their isolated farm. One night, a knock on the door from a stranger named Terrance changes everything: Junior has been randomly selected to travel to a large, experimental space station orbiting Earth.
I have an insatiable appetite for subtle & soft sci-fi, so I'm obviously into this film based on the premise alone. From director Garth Davis (Lion, Mary Magdalene) comes Foe, a film starring Saoirse Ronan (one of our best young actresses, Paul Mescal (who is about to be in every film for the next five years), and Aaron Pierre (who I thought was truly great in Barry Jenkins' The Underground Railroad and Clement Virgo's Brother). Capsule reactions describe it as a hypnotic and slow burn – the trailer would agree. Based on little-to-no information, I'm cautiously excited. The early returns are a mixed bag of as now, but I'm hopeful.
When oil is discovered in 1920s Oklahoma under Osage Nation land, the Osage people are murdered one by one—until the FBI steps in to unravel the mystery.
Undoubtedly, this is the most important film on this list that is coming out in the next few months. Hell, this is may in fact be the most significant film to come out since the very beginning of Film & Froth. None of what I'm saying is is hyperbole – it's just Martin Scorsese. Rest assured, there will be so much more to come fir discussing this one later this month and beyond.
After a fateful near-miss, an assassin battles his employers, and himself, on an international manhunt he insists isn’t personal.
It's been almost three years since David Fincher released a feature film – don't tell me you've forgotten about my beloved Mank. Here's all you need to know about this one before watching: Michael Fassbender stars as The Killer, a professional assassin. Fuck yes, sign me up.
Anna increasingly suspects that her relationship with her longtime partner may not actually be the real thing. In an attempt to improve things, she secretly embarks on a new assignment working at a mysterious institute designed to incite and test the presence of romantic love in increasingly desperate couples.
Based on Foe and this, it must be the fall for science fiction romantic psychological dramas, eh? Described as an 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind for the dating-app age*, Fingernails touts an interesting premise from a virtually unknown writer-director in Christos Nikou. After premiering at the Telluride Film Festival back in August, mixed reviews for the film have been gradually coming out, which have admittedly dampened my overall anticipation and tempered my expectations. Regardless, there are still reasons to be excited. This film stars a trio of actors that includes Jessie Buckley, Riz Ahmed, and Jeremy Allen White, as well as Luke Wilson and Annie Murphy. Okay never mind, my anticipation has dried and my expectations have been irrationally un-tempered.
A curmudgeonly instructor at a New England prep school is forced to remain on campus during Christmas break to babysit the handful of students with nowhere to go. Eventually, he forms an unlikely bond with one of them — a damaged, brainy troublemaker — and with the school’s head cook, who has just lost a son in Vietnam.
After finishing as the First Runner Up for the People's Choice Award at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival, the buzz around The Holdovers has been overwhelmingly positive. Alexander Payne is one of the great contemporary American directors, and we haven't had an opportunity to to talk about him in recent memory. His last film, Downsizing, was panned both critically and commercially, but I'm comfortable sharing that I'll be delivering a full-throated reclamation of this misunderstood classic in the not-so-distant future. His creative reunion with Paul Giamatti is very exciting, and even though this isn't necessarily one of my most 'I'm dying to see this' films coming this fall, I am sure it will be well worth the seeing.
Thelonious "Monk" Ellison's writing career has stalled because his work isn't deemed "Black enough." Monk, a writer and English professor, writes a satirical novel under a pseudonym, aiming to expose the publishing world's hypocrisies. The book's immediate success forces him to get deeper enmeshed in his assumed identity and challenges his closely-held worldviews.
With this being his feature directorial debut, it seems Cord Jefferson has struck gold with American Fiction. Based on the 2001 novel Erasure written by Percival Everett, this sociopolitical satirical dramedy just premiered and won the People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, which skyrocketed it into the 2024 Best Picture race (it currently has the 8th best odds of winning at +800). It features a talented cast of actors, including Jeffrey Wright, who is one of our most reliably excellent on-screen performers. Because I know so little about it, I'm going to save any sort of deeper conversation for another time (hopefully very soon).
When teenage Priscilla Beaulieu meets Elvis Presley at a party, the man who is already a meteoric rock-and-roll superstar becomes someone entirely unexpected in private moments: a thrilling crush, an ally in loneliness, a vulnerable best friend.
Priscilla is an A24 biopic about Priscilla Presley written and directed by Sofia Coppola. What more is there to say? Sometimes, these things are just sound right and make total sense on paper. The buzz out of Venice after its premiere have been very positive – and I should mention that lead actress Cailee Spaeny won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the festival. All signs point to this being a player come awards season as of now.
Twenty years after their notorious tabloid romance gripped the nation, a married couple buckles under the pressure when an actress arrives to do research for a film about their past.
Have we as a proverbial film collective spent enough time praising the work of Todd Haynes? Maybe others have, but we certainly haven't. Did you know he's been a director for over thirty years now? I haven't seen many of his films from the first ten years of his career (though I've heard a lot of good things about Safe and Far From Heaven), but I think it's fair praise to say that he has a somewhat understated but great filmography. He's directed several great films: the fascinating Bob Dylan musical biopic, I'm Not There; one of the best alternative, unconventional Christmas movies ever, Carol; the very underrated legal thriller, Dark Waters, starring my beloved Mark Ruffalo; and one of the best documentaries in recent memory, The Velvet Underground. So while May December is only his sixth feature film in the last sixteen years, it is certainly one to get excited about given his impressive track record. The film stars Natalie Portman and his long-term creative collaborator, Julianne Moore. After its premiere at Cannes, May December will receive a limited theatrical release in November and will be available thereafter on Netflix at the start of December. I have little to absolutely no doubt this will be worth checking out.
A personal look at the French military leader’s origins and swift, ruthless climb to emperor, viewed through the prism of Napoleon’s addictive, volatile relationship with his wife and one true love, Josephine.
It's amazing that famed director Ridley Scott is 85 years old and still cranking out on average one movie a year. To go through and list out selections from his filmography would not only be silly, it would be utterly exhausting. After his 2021 bizarre but 'I'm glad he made them' twofer of House of Gucci and The Last Duel, Scott is back and has reunited for the first time in 22 years (since Gladiator) with Joaquin Phoenix for his new film, Napoleon. Scott, who is no amateur when it comes to epic historical dramas has found a fascinating actor + historical figure pairing with Napoleon Bonaparte and the always-up-for-the-challenge Phoenix. Pairing him alongside the magnetic Vanessa Kirby as Empress Joséphine, I'm expecting a bit of highly stylized and purely melodramatic historical minimalism. Rather than go out to the bars the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, I'd recommend heading out to the theater and watching this instead. Maestro 
A portrait of Leonard Bernstein’s singular charisma and passion for music as he rose to fame as America’s first native born, world-renowned conductor, all along following his ambition to compose both symphonic and popular Broadway works.
Can you believe it's been five years since A Star Is Born was released? Back in 2018, it was unclear whether or not Bradley Cooper had the filmmaking chops to pull off remaking a Hollywood classic (I for one was a huge fan of the film and am prepared to defend it at a moment's notice). In the years since, Cooper has stayed busy – he hilariously showed up in Paul Thomas Anderson's Licorice Pizza, starred in Guillermo del Toro's Nightmare Alley, and lent his voice to Rocket Raccoon for a shitty Thor movie and in the last Guardians movie (as well as popped up in a bizarre but welcome cameo in this year's Dungeons & Dragons). With Maestro, Cooper is back in the director's chair at the behest of both Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese – have you ever been under more pressure in your own life?! But seriously, they wanted him to direct this biopic that centers on the relationship between American composer Leonard Bernstein and his wife Felicia Montealegre (who will be played by the great Carey Mulligan) and were both convinced he was up to the task. This is undoubtedly a huge swing for Cooper, but if both Steve and Marty think he can handle it, you should, too.
Struggling to find his place at Oxford University, student Oliver Quick finds himself drawn into the world of the charming and aristocratic Felix Catton, who invites him to Saltburn, his eccentric family’s sprawling estate, for a summer never to be forgotten.
From writer/director Emerald Fennell comes Saltburn, an Amazon-backed film that premiered at this year's Telluride Film Festival to rather mixed reviews. At first glance, there's a lot to be excited about. This is Fennell's first prominent work since Promising Young Woman in 2018, a film for which she won Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards. Her new feature, which is produced by Margot Robbie's LuckyChap Entertainment, stars a Film & Froth favorite, Barry Keoghan, alongside Jacob Elordi (who is also playing Elvis Presley in aforementioned Priscilla), Rosmamund Pike, Richard E. Grant, and Carey Mulligan. Despite some of the initial lukewarm response, this is still a buzzy release for Fennell in the wake of her Oscar victory.
Over the course of the 1960s, a Midwestern motorcycle club evolves from a gathering place for local outsiders into a more sinister gang, threatening the original group’s unique way of life.
Wait a second – are you telling me that Jodie Comer, Austin Butler, Tom Hardy, Michael Shannon, Mike Faist, Norman Reedus, and Boyd Holbrook all decided to team up as an ensemble for the upcoming Jeff Nichols road movie inspired by a 1967 photo-book about Midwestern bikeriders? Yes, that's correct. Are you in? Because I am.
Bella Baxter is brought back to life by the brilliant and unorthodox scientist Dr. Godwin Baxter. Hungry for the worldliness she is lacking, Bella runs off with Duncan Wedderburn, a slick and debauched lawyer, on a whirlwind adventure across the continents.
Buckle up, everyone. This might end up being the preferred Best Picture nominee at this Oscars for all the weirdos out there. When it comes to Yorgos Lanthimos, the eccentric-but-brilliant Greek filmmaker behind The Lobster, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and The Favourite, there is no reason to try and fully understand the meaning behind the madness. His forthcoming 'steampunk black comedy fantasy film' (not even exactly sure what they means), Poor Things, sounds like a project where Lanthimos is ready to double down and level up. The film stars Emma Stone alongside a slew of other actors I have a lot of time for, including Willem Dafoe, Ramy Youssef, Christopher Abbott, Jerrod Carmichael, Margaret Qualley, Kathryn Hunter, and yes, Mark Ruffalo (my man is about to have a big year). After winning the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival this fall, it is already well-positioned to compete at next year's Academy Awards. This is a must-see.
The commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höss, and his wife Hedwig, strive to build a dream life for their family in a house and garden next to the camp.
Based on the novel of the same name written by Martin Amis, The Zone of Interest is an arthouse historical drama written and directed by Jonathan Glazer, who is one of the best visual artists working in film today. Perhaps known better for his work in music videos and commercials, I am so glad he is back in the director's chair for a feature film, which ten years after his last one, Under the Skin, which is unquestionably one of the best films of the 2010s. The Zone of Interest premiered at the Cannes International Film Festival to critical acclaim, where it won the Grand Prix and the FIPRESCI Prize. The buzz for this film has only grown since its screenings at Toronto and Telluride, and it will be distributed by A24 for wider release in December. Everything I just said is good news. Expectations are very high, but I'm confident Glazer will deliver once again.
The true story of the inseparable Von Erich brothers, who made history in the intensely competitive world of professional wrestling in the early 1980s. Through tragedy and triumph, under the shadow of their domineering father and coach, the brothers seek larger-than-life immortality on the biggest stage in sports.
I'm guessing you've started to notice a trend – I am pumping up yet another A24 film. The Iron Claw is a biographical sports film written and directed by Sean Durkin, who is the brilliant behind one of my favorite films from 2020, The Nest. I don't need to oversell this thing. Zac Efron, Jeremy Allen White, and Harris Dickinson are the three-headed acting monster playing three members of the Von Erich family – not to mention some other welcome faces in Lily James, Maura Tierney, and Holt McCallany. This won't flop. And I will be seeing it.
One night, screenwriter Adam, in his near-empty tower block in contemporary London, has a chance encounter with his mysterious neighbor Harry that punctures the rhythm of his everyday life. As Adam and Harry get closer, Adam is pulled back to his childhood home where he discovers that his long-dead parents are both living and look the same age as the day they died over 30 years ago.
Maybe you think I'm fatiguing as this is going on and on and on and on. You're definitely not wrong. But the films I often look forward to seeing the most needn't oversell their hand in getting me excited. All of Us Strangers stars Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal. Sounds perfect.
A biopic of automotive mogul Enzo Ferrari, whose family redefined the idea of the high-powered Italian sports car and practically spawned the concept of Formula One racing.
An American biographical sports thriller film directed by Michael Mann starring Adam Driver playing Enzo Ferrari in a movie about the conception of Formula One racing. Remember how I was just saying that it takes very little to sell a great movie? Well, this might be the opposite case. Sometimes a movie comes out that is so obviously a cool idea for a movie that it underdelivers. I'm not saying Ferrari is going to be a flop, I'm just pointing out that I'm a little nervous about it. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to see a Mann/Driver pairing, I'm a big fan of everything Penélope Cruz decides to be apart of, and this film is going to look, sound, and feel awesome – in part thanks to the director of photography, Erik Messerschmidt. But is no part of you worried about how Shailene Woodley fits into this? Are we sure this isn't a weird continuation for impersonating insanely successful Italians? I don't know. I'm concerned. Maybe I shouldn't be! This is Michael Mann we're talking about. I'm just nervous, okay?
Examines the unspoken system that has shaped America and chronicles how our lives today are defined by a hierarchy of human divisions dating back generations
Whenever Steve McQueen makes anything, it's a must-watch and I'll be ready to watch it.
Only unlisted because we don't know when they're going to be released: Hit Man, Origin, Evil Does Not Exist
Highly Honorable Mentions:
Strange Way of Life, The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, Dicks, Rustin, Dream Scenario, Leave the World Behind, Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé, Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget, The Color Purple
Somewhat Honorable Mentions: Reptile, Fair Play, She Came to Me, The Exorcist: Believer, Cat Person, Wish Next Goal Wins, Anyone But You
Possibly Dishonorable Mentions: The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, The Boys in the Boat, Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire
The Marvels, Wonka
Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour