Seven Psychopaths (October 12)
Heralded playwright Martin McDonagh shocked and delighted movie critics in 2008 with his thoroughly twisted crime caper In Bruges, which earned him an Oscar nod for Best Screenplay, and reminded us all what a comedic talent Colin Farrell really is. Now McDonagh and Farrell are re-teaming for Seven Psychopaths a deeply dark comedy set in Hollywood that centers on the ill-advised dognapping of a merciless gangster's beloved Shih Tzu. While it might sound wacky, trust in the man behind The Pillowman to bring out the best of a cast that includes Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Tom Waits and Christopher Walken.
The Sessions (October 26)
With a different writer and a younger cast, The Sessions could have been the stupidest and boldest National Lampoon straight-to-DVD release of all-time. With this writer and this cast, however, it may well go down as a contender in several Oscar categories. Featuring both John Hawkes and Helen Hunt in roles Sundance attendees raved about, the film chronicles a man in an iron lung’s visits to a sex surrogate, but rather than the bold subject matter, most are raving about the touching performances and quiet charm. The Sessions picked up both the Dramatic Audience Award and Dramatic Ensemble Acting Award at the festival, and with any luck, it’ll break through the shackles of its aggressive content and reach a wider than expected audience.
Rust and Bone (November 23)
The latest film from Jacques Audiard, the French director behind the Academy Award nominated A Prophet and the equally excellent The Beat That My Heart Skipped, Rust and Bone was already up for the Palme d’Or in Cannes this spring and, after its festival run, will receive limited release in North America. The powerful love story of a drifter (Matthias Schoenaerts) suddenly responsible for his son and an Orca trainer (the lovely Marion Cotillard) injured on the job looks gorgeous, depressing and raw. And don’t be surprised if Cotillard, back in her native, Oscar-winning tongue is out there walking red carpets this awards season.