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“Ad Astra” And “The Goldfinch”: Films To See In September

With the social media airwaves filled with buzz about potential Academy Award contenders out of the Telluride Film Festival and Venice Film Festival, it’s clear we’ve reached the month of September. The summer is over. Today, we’ll be looking at the weeks ahead, with the potential Oscar players, alongside the general fall releases for the month. It’s a rather exciting time, as I always tell you around this time. As always, September looks to be rather promising, and especially in a few key spots, it could be downright truly exciting, if slightly top heavy. Take a look below for the month’s top picks, as always, and sit tight for more on most, if not all, of them over the next 30 days or so…

Here now are September’s best cinematic bets:

10. Downton Abbey – The television program becomes a feature film. I’ll confess to never having seen the show, but this should be a must see for fans of the series. Could it be a Best Supporting Actress play for Maggie Smith as well? Time will tell, but who wouldn’t think that it’s at least a possibility?

9. Freaks – I saw this flick recently and it’s actually quite good. Bruce Dern and Emile Hirsch are reliably good, while young Lexy Kolker is a revelation. Whatever you think it is, trust me when I say you’re wrong. More on this one soon, but it’s a genre hybrid to look out for!

8. Rambo: Last Blood – Sylvester Stallone ends his second most prominent franchise. John Rambo has evolved from a haunted Vietnam vet into a superhero, so giving him his own Logan style send-ff certainly makes sense. The prior installment was incredibly violent, though fairly fun, so if this one matches that/elevates things, it’ll be a good time at the movies.

7. Hustlers – If there’s a potential breakout hit this month, it could be this stripper crime tale. Jennifer Lopez and company seem poised to make a ton of money at the box office. Speculation? Sure, but bet against this one at your own risk…

6. Loro – Another movie I’ve seen, this pseudo biopic by Paolo Sorrentino was initially two parts when it began a festival run last year. Now just one big film, it looks at the controversial Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who bears more than a passing resemblance in delusions of grandeur to a current world leader. Make of that what you will. For anyone who loves Sorrentino flicks, it’s another solid outing by the filmmaker.

5. It: Chapter Two – I’ve also seen this horror sequel and unfortunately didn’t care much for it. However, I was in the minority last time and likely will be again here. I’ll save my thoughts for the review in a few days, but I suspect most of you already know if you’re going to see this one or not. Either way, it’s almost certainly going to be a box office behemoth….

4. Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! – Anyone who loves Super Size Me can see Morgan Spurlock investigate the world of fast food again here. This time around, it’s chicken that’s his focus, with some unexpected results. I’m actually watching this one pretty much as soon as I write this, so sit tight for more!

3. Judy – Over at the Telluride Film Festival, Renée Zellweger has gotten some serious Oscar buzz for her turn as Judy Garland. The biopic may end up just a Best Actress play and nothing more, but even so, that makes it a September awards contender that’s decidedly on all of our radars now, that’s for sure.

2. The Goldfinch – Soon to bow at the Toronto International Film Festival (though only a few days before release), this high profile adaptation of the award winning book could go one of two ways. It could either be a major Academy Award player this season, or one of the contenders that quickly ends up a pretender. We’ll know in a few weeks, one way or another!

1. Ad Astra – Hot off of a mostly beloved premiere at the Venice Film Festival, James Gray’s epic heads to theaters at the end of the month. I’ll be seeing the movie in about a week and can’t wait. Everything about this one seems fantastic, regardless of how much the Academy ends up getting behind it. Expect plenty more in short order…

Honorable Mentions: Corporate Animals, The Day Shall Come, The Death of Dick Long, Depraved, Haunt, Three From Hell, Villains, and Zeroville

Be sure to check these all out during the month of September!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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