Oscar baits and others

What is expected to be shown on the big screen this fall.

'The Farewell Party' (photo credit: PR)
'The Farewell Party'
(photo credit: PR)
The Oscar-bait movie season starts in earnest by mid- September in the US, and there are also some interesting Israeli films to look forward to this fall.
The most highly anticipated new movie is undoubtedly David Fincher’s Gone Girl, the adaptation of the best-selling novel by Gillian Flynn, which is the opening-night film at the New York Film Festival this year.
The novel tells the story of Amy (Rosamund Pike), a young married woman who recently relocated from chic New York to Missouri with her writer/bar owner husband, Nick (Ben Affleck), and then goes missing. Nick finds himself the prime suspect in her disappearance and tries desperately to find her. If you’ve read the book, you know it has a third-act twist that will be interesting to watch unfolding on the screen. But even more than that, the movie is a meditation on celebrity and the media circus that surrounds such disappearances.
Fincher has such a dark vision of the world – among his previous films are Fight Club, Se7en, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Zodiac – that he is the perfect director to bring this story to life. The casting of Affleck, who was at the center of a media storm when he was engaged to Jennifer Lopez, adds another layer to the story.
This Is Where I Leave You, based on Jonathan Tropper’s best-selling novel, is about four grown siblings who return to their parents’ home for a week after their father dies.
While this may not be the most original idea in the world, it has a great cast, including Jane Fonda as their mother, and Tina Fey, Justin Bateman, Adam Driver and Corey Stoll as the siblings.
Bennett Miller made a name for himself directing Capote, the Truman Capote biopic that won a Best Actor Oscar for the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. Miller just won the Best Director Award at Cannes for Foxcatcher. The movie, based on a true story, stars Steve Carell as John du Pont, the billionaire sponsor of two US wrestling champions, played by Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo. Although Carell is known for comedy, anyone who saw him in Little Miss Sunshine or Dan in Real Life won’t be surprised at the flair for drama he demonstrates here.
Kids have two movies to look forward to late this fall. The penguins were always the best characters in the Madagascar movies, and now they have their own movie, The Penguins of Madagascar, in which they get their own spy caper.
Fans of the beloved British Paddington Bear book series will now get a live-action (with some computer-generated effects) version of the books, filled with slapstick and silliness and featuring several famous actors, such as Nicole Kidman, Sally Hawkins and Jim Broadbent.
The Israeli film The Farewell Party, directed by Tal Granit and Sharon Maymon, is opening here in early October. The film was shown at this year’s Venice International Film Festival and won the Audience Award in the Venice Days section. It has an international distributer and will be headed to theaters in Europe and the US. While the film, which is about elderly people who want to decide when it’s time to check out, features some beloved veteran actors – Ze’ev Revach, Aliza Rozen, Levana Finkelstein and Ilan Dar – I found it rather heavy handed and predictable. Everyone else seems to love it, though, and you might, too.
It received 14 nominations for Ophir Awards (which were not yet awarded at press time), the most of any Israeli movie this year.
Noam Kaplan’s Manpower is a drama about Meir (Yossi Marshak), a highly decorated Israeli immigration police officer who returns from a tour of Buchenwald to continue his work of deporting illegal African migrants and experiences a personal and professional crisis. It is also slated to open in October.