With August already halfway over, we will soon bid a sad farewell to summer. To soften the blow of summer ending and school starting up again, we need content to look forward to this fall. Luckily, there are plenty of intriguing films hitting theaters in preparation for Oscar season. Here are five films coming out in September and October to get excited for.
“The Woman King“
Described by star Viola Davis as her magnum opus, “The Woman King” is based on true events that occurred in the African Kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s. The film tells the story of Nanisca, (Davis) the general of an all-female military unit called the Agoji, and their fight to protect the kingdom from colonizers. You may be more familiar with the Agoji than you think as they heavily influenced the Dora-Milaje, the all-female warrior tribe in “Black Panther.” When portraying the Agoji in “The Woman King,” director Gina Prince-Bythewood decided not to embellish or fictionalize them. She told Vanity Fair “I wanted it to be real and visceral and raw.” Prince-Bythewood, best known for her 2000 debut film, “Love & Basketball,” often focuses on warrior-like female characters, stemming from her experience growing up as an athlete where fighting and aggression were praised. She explained, “As I got older, it surprised me how few women had the advantage of growing up like that. That innate warrior that I believe we all have is dormant in so many women because it wasn’t encouraged or valued.”
“The Woman King” will begin playing in theaters on Sept. 16.
“Don’t Worry Darling“
According to actress and director Olivia Wilde, “Don’t Worry Darling” is “The Feminine Mystique” on acid. The psychological thriller follows a 1950s housewife, Alice, (Florence Pugh) living with her husband, Jack, (Harry Styles) in a paradisiacal private community designed specifically for the employees at Jack’s top-secret company and their wives. Alice soon realizes there’s something sinister lurking beneath the surface of the seemingly perfect community, and as evidenced in the trailer, lies, sex, and chaos ensue. This film succeeds Wilde’s 2019 directorial debut “Booksmart” which was praised for its hilarious and heartfelt portrayal of two teenage girls tackling friendship, insecurities and sexuality. Wilde’s feminist perspective is sure to shine through in “Don’t Worry Darling” which she says explores female hunger and pleasure. As Wilde told Vogue, the film asks “What are you willing to sacrifice in order to do what’s right? If you really think about it, are you willing to blow up the system that serves you?”
“Don’t Worry Darling” will be released in theaters on Sept. 23.
“Triangle of Sadness“
Dubbed by Next Best Picture as “A brilliantly scathing takedown of the wealthy and the beautiful,” “Triangle of Sadness” is the latest satire from Swedish director Ruben Östlund and his first English-language feature film. After an extravagant cruise ship full of ultra-rich passengers sinks, the survivors are left to fight for their lives on a deserted island. The cast is led by Harris Dickinson and Charlbi Dean as a supermodel couple and Woody Harrelson as the ship’s unhinged captain. After receiving an eight-minute standing ovation at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, the dark comedy took home the Palme d’Or, the festival’s highest honor which Östlund also received in 2017 for “The Square.” Östlund was first inspired to create “Triangle of Sadness” from conversations about the fashion industry with his wife, a fashion photographer. He told The Hollywood Reporter, “I got very interested in looking at beauty as a currency.” He went on to explain that the film explores “This materialistic view of the world, where how we behave is so dependent on the materialistic setup that we have around us.”
‘Triangle of Sadness’ will be released in theaters on Oct. 7.
“The Banshees of Inisherin“
Set on a remote island off the coast of Ireland, “The Banshees of Inisherin” centers around a longtime friendship between two middle-aged men, Pádraic (Colin Farrell) and Colm (Brendan Gleeson), that’s abruptly severed when Colm decides he no longer wants to be friends. Shocked, Pádraic becomes desperate to save the friendship which makes Colm, even more intent on ending it, escalating the drama and leading to unsettling consequences. The film is directed by Martin McDonagh, a British-Irish playwright best known for directing the 2017 Oscar-nominated “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” When discussing “The Banshees of Inisherin” with Vanity Fair, McDonagh said, “I wanted to tell a breakup story. This is about things getting inexorably worse from a simple, sad starting point.” Labeling the film his “quietest movie,” McDonagh declares, “It’s just aiming for the truth and hoping for the best.”
“The Banshees of Inisherin” is coming out in limited theaters on Oct. 21.
Based on director James Gray’s childhood, “Armageddon Time” follows troublemaking six-grader Paul Graff’s (Banks Repeta) coming of age in 1980 Queens, New York, while examining race and class issues and challenging privilege. The film spends most of its time either at school where Paul is friends with Johnny, (Jaylin Webb) the only Black kid, and in Paul’s boisterous Jewish home with his parents (Anne Hathaway and Jeremy Strong) and grandpa (Anthony Hopkins). Known for his films that explore human behavior like “The Immigrant” and “Ad Astra,” Gray uses the soon to be Reagan’s America setting to address the problems he sees in the country, both in the 80s and today. Gray told The Wrap, “There’s something ossified about a system where the same group gets to the top, stays at the top, and keeps everybody else out. How do you break the cycle? To me, that’s the guiding question.”
“Armageddon Time” will be released in limited theaters on Oct. 28 and nationwide on Nov. 11.
By Emily Ince