Michelle Williams and Casey Affleck star in 'Manchester by the Sea,' Kenneth Lonergan's latest film.
Summer is a time for barbeques, beaches and vacations. It’s about fun and fluff. When fall arrives, things get more serious. The same is true at your local multiplex. If you need less fluff with your popcorn and Junior Mints, fall is your time of year. Here are some more films that might stimulate your heart as well as your brain.
Denial (Opening September 30)
Cast: Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Spall
Director: Mick Jackson (Temple Grandin)
Writer: David Hare (The Reader)
Based on the book Denial: Holocaust History on Trial by Deborah E. Lipstadt
Denial recounts Deborah E. Lipstadt’s (Academy Award® winner Rachel Weisz) legal battle for historical truth against David Irving (BAFTA nominee Timothy Spall), who accused her of libel when she declared him a Holocaust denier. In the English legal system, in cases of libel, the burden of proof is on the defendant, therefore it was up to Lipstadt and her legal team, led by Richard Rampton (Academy Award® nominee Tom Wilkinson), to prove the essential truth that the Holocaust occurred.
Shut In (November 11)
Cast: Naomi Watts, Jacob Tremblay, Oliver Platt, David Cubitt, Crystal Balint, Charlie Heaton, Tim Post, Clementine Poidatz, Ellen David, Alex Braunstein
Director: Farren Blackburn
Writer: Christina Hodson
A heart-pounding thriller about a widowed child psychologist who lives in an isolated existence in rural New England. Caught in a deadly winter storm, she must find a way to rescue a young boy before he disappears forever.
Manchester by the Sea (November 18)
Cast: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Lucas Hedges, Gretchen Mol, C.J. Wilson
Writer / Director: Kenneth Lonergan
In Manchester by the Sea, the life of a solitary Boston janitor is transformed when he returns to his hometown to take care of his teenage nephew. The story of the Chandlers, a working-class family living in a Massachusetts fishing village for generations, Manchester by the Sea is a deeply poignant, unexpectedly funny exploration of the power of familial love, community, sacrifice and hope.
After the death of his older brother Joe (Kyle Chandler), Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) is shocked to learn that Joe has made him sole guardian of his nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges). Taking leave of his job, Lee reluctantly returns to Manchester-by-the-Sea to care for Patrick, a spirited 16-year-old, and is forced to deal with a past that separated him from his wife Randi (Michelle Williams) and the community where he was born and raised. Bonded by the man who held their family together, Lee and Patrick struggle to adjust to a world without him.
In his first film since 2011’s acclaimed Margaret, Lonergan once again proves himself a powerful and visionary storyteller as he seamlessly weaves past and present together, crafting a tension-filled tale that deftly eschews sentimentality in favor of penetrating emotional insight and deeply affecting human relationships.
Nocturnal Animals (November 18)
Cast: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher, Karl Glusman, Armie Hammer, Laura Linney, Andrea Riseborough, Michael Sheen
Director: Tom Ford (A Single Man)
Writer: Tom Ford, based on the novel Tony and Susan by Austin Wright
World-premiering at the 2016 Venice International Film Festival. From writer/director Tom Ford comes a haunting romantic thriller of shocking intimacy and gripping tension that explores the thin lines between love and cruelty, and revenge and redemption. Academy Award nominees Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal star as a divorced couple discovering dark truths about each other and themselves.
Miss Sloane (December 9)
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong (The Imitation Game), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Concussion), Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man), Alison Pill (Newsroom), Jake Lacy (The Office), Sam Waterston, John Lithgow
Director: John Madden (Shakespeare in Love)
Writer: Jonathan Perera
Miss Sloane is the story a ruthless lobbyist (Jessica Chastain) who is notorious for her unparalleled talent and her desire to win at all costs, even when it puts her own career at risk. The thriller pulls back the curtain on how Capitol Hill games are played and won as Sloane faces off against the most influential powers in D.C.
A Monster Calls (December 23)
Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Toby Kebbell, Lewis MacDougall, and Liam Neeson
Director: J.A. Bayona (The Impossible, The Orphanage)
Writer: Patrick Ness, based on upon the novel written by Patrick Ness from an original idea by Siobhan Dowd
12-year-old Conor (Lewis MacDougall), dealing with his mother’s (Felicity Jones) illness, a less-than-sympathetic grandmother (Sigourney Weaver), and bullying classmates, finds a most unlikely ally when a Monster appears at his bedroom window. Ancient, wild, and relentless, the Monster guides Conor on a journey of courage, faith, and truth. Toby Kebbell plays Conor’s father, and Liam Neeson stars in performance-capture and voiceover as the nocturnally visiting Monster of the title.
Please note that release dates are subject to change.