Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in A Star Is Born.
A Star Is Born – 10/5
The tale of a troubled male artist romancing an ingenue, her star rising as his falls, captures something elemental about show biz, and this will be the third remake of the 1937 original (which was itself heavily inspired by 1932’s What Price Hollywood?). Like the Streisand version from 1976, this one moves the action from movies to the music industry, with Bradley Cooper (also making his directorial debut) taking the role of an alcoholic country singer opposite Lady Gaga (in her first starring role!). Judging by the trailer, the emotions, the sweat, and the wigs are all turned up to 11.
First Man – 10/12
La La Land duo Ryan Gosling and Damien Chazelle reunite to explore a different type of star system in this Neil Armstrong biopic, adapted from James R. Hansen’s book of the same name, which attempts to reintroduce suspense into the story of the most famously successful space mission in history. Claire Foy plays Armstrong’s long-suffering earthbound wife, while Corey Stoll is an impeccably bald Buzz Aldrin.
Beautiful Boy – 10/12
Oscar nominees Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet go toe-to-toe in this adaptation of a pair of acclaimed memoirs from David and Nic Sheff. Chalamet’s a son struggling with a meth addiction; Carell’s the caring father who doesn’t know how to help. Tears, hugs, and father-son surfing trips ensue — will a trip to the Dolby Theater follow?
Boy Erased – 11/2
The other movie about a fractious father-son relationship starring a guy from Lady Bird that’s adapted from a memoir with “boy” in the title. Based on Garrard Conley’s book, Boy Erased has Lucas Hedges as a gay teen forced by his Baptist father (Russell Crowe) to attend a conversion-therapy camp, where he butts heads with its intractably homophobic leader (Joel Edgerton, who also directs). Nicole Kidman plays Hedges’s loving mom, while Troye Sivan does Sufjan Stevens one better, not only contributing to the soundtrack, but also popping up as one of the campers.
Suspiria – 11/2
Luca Guadagnino’s new movie is apparently only loosely inspired by Dario Argento’s 1977 horror film, but he decided to call it by that name anyway. Dakota Johnson stars as a dancer at a prestigious Berlin academy where dark forces are running amok. The academy’s led by Tilda Swinton, who has of course possibly also taken the role of an elderly German psychotherapist. (Production insists he’s played by a nonprofessional actor by the name of Lutz Ebersdorf.)
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – 11/16 (Netflix)
This Coen brothers’ Netflix Western was first announced as a “limited series,” but now, thanks to the wonders of streaming, it is apparently an anthology movie. Tim Blake Nelson will play Scruggs, alongside a cast that also includes James Franco, Zoe Kazan, and Liam Neeson. If the photos are anything to go by, this will be one of the Coens’ sillier efforts. Here’s hoping it’s more Hail Caesar than Ridiculous Six.
Widows – 11/16
After 12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen has cleared the cobwebs with what looks like a crackerjack genre thriller. Based on a 1980s British TV series, Widows follows a group of women avenging their bank-robber husbands’ deaths by going into crime themselves. The incredibly stacked cast includes Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez, and Cynthia Erivo as the women; Liam Neeson and Jon Bernthal as the late hubbies; Brian Tyree Henry and Daniel Kaluuya as baddies; Colin Farrell as a politician; plus Robert Duvall and Carrie freaking Coon in small roles. Everyone in Hollywood must love Steve McQueen.
Creed II – 11/21
Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, and Sly Stallone all return for the sequel to 2015’s best boxing movie, but alas, director Ryan Coogler has moved on to bigger, superhero-ier things. Taking his place behind the camera is up-and-comer Steven Caple Jr., whose sole previous feature was 2016 indie The Land. Whether Caple can fill Coogler’s shoes is an open question, but he’s been gifted a great twist: This time, Adonis Creed must fight Viktor Drago, son of the man who killed his father.
The Favourite – 11/23
You wouldn’t expect Yorgos Lanthimos, the oddball behind The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer, to make his next movie about Queen Anne. But that’s maybe because you wouldn’t expect anyone to make a movie about Queen Anne, the last Stuart monarch, who died childless in 1714. The Crown’s Olivia Colman stars as the little-loved queen, with Rachel Weisz as her frenemy (and rumored lover) Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, and Emma Stone as Churchill’s upstart rival Abigail Masham. To quote a friend of Joe Alwyn (who plays Stone’s husband): Baby, let the games begin.
If Beale Street Could Talk – 11/30
Barry Jenkins had to wait eight years between his first two films. Now, Oscar in hand, he can work at a slightly more prolific pace. Just two years after Moonlight comes Jenkins’s adaptation of James Baldwin’s 1974 novel about a Harlem couple — Selma’s Stephan James and newcomer Kiki Layne — torn apart by a false rape accusation and a racist justice system. Baldwin’s treatment of the former has attracted its fair share of criticism, and we’ll see if Jenkins can handle the subject with more sensitivity.
Mary Queen of Scots – 12/7
Last year’s Oscar nominees Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie go head-to-head — and risk losing theirs — in this retelling of the political and religious struggle between Mary (Scottish, Catholic, wife and mother) and her cousin Elizabeth I (English, Protestant, childless). Directed by theater pro Josie Rourke, the film should give Ronan another part of the British Isles to explain to American talk-show hosts.
Roma – 12/14 (Netflix)
Alfonso Cuarón’s first movie since Gravity is a semi-autobiographical portrait of two women — a housekeeper, and the mother she works for — navigating the personal and political upheavals of 1970s Mexico City. It’s apparently Caurón’s tribute to “the matriarchy that shaped his world,” and it’s filmed in loving black-and-white.