Published On: Thu, Sep 1st, 2016

Ten films to watch in September


Sausage Party

columbia picturesAt first glance it may appear to be a kids’ film, but Sausage Party’s creators, who call it “the first R-rated CG movie” warn it’s strictly for adults only. From the writers of Superbad and Pineapple Express, Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig and James Franco star as a hot dog and his supermarket-product friends, on a quest to realise the meaning of existence. Profound, or just puerile? The critics’ consensus is that Sausage Party is at the very least, light relief, as Mark Olsen from the Los Angeles Times writes: “at a moment when news from our actual world so often seems a nightmare parody of itself … there is sweet balm in seeing a bagel and a lavash overcome their differences to find mutual pleasure in one another.” Released 2 September in the UK and Ireland and 8 September in the Netherlands and Russia. (Credit: Columbia Pictures)

The Light Between Oceans

touchstoneMichael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander star in this sweeping 1920s romantic drama, based on the debut novel by ML Stedman. Fassbender plays a war veteran and lighthouse keeper who along with his wife informally adopts a baby after it is washed ashore – a decision that has tragic consequences. Derek Cianfrance, the director of Blue Valentine and A Place Beyond the Pines, is no stranger to gritty, emotional material. Speaking to Caryn James in the Wall Street Journal, he explained how Stedman’s novel “felt like my movies. It dealt with family, secrets, questions of paternity.” The film was shot on location in remote areas of New Zealand and Australia, and the setting had an important bearing on Cianfrance’s vision. “I wanted it to be like a John Cassavetes movie in a David Lean landscape,” he explained. Released 2 September in Canada and US and 8 September in Argentina, Serbia and Germany. (Credit: Touchstone Pictures)

The Lovers and The Despot

p045z5xd“Perhaps the all-time strangest, most outlandish true-life story connected to the cinema,” declared the Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy when the documentary premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. The bizarre story is based on interviews with former South Korean film-star Choi Eun-hee, who along with her husband, was kidnapped by Kim Jong-Il’s agents and directed to make North Korean cinema great. While the film’s narrative captivated critics, they had mixed reactions to its tone; McCarthy likened it to “a deliberately paced melodrama”, while The Guardian’s Jordan Hoffman criticised its “strangely soporific style”. Released 23 September in the UK and US and 24 September in Japan. (Credit: Magnolia Pictures)

Things to Come

p045z5t0Mia Hansen-Løve (Eden) directs French grand-dame Isabelle Huppert and André Marcon in Things to Come (L’Avenir), a portrait of a middle-aged philosophy teacher whose life is transformed when her husband leaves her. Critics have heaped praise on the film, which debuted at the Berlin Film Festival, with the Guardian’s Henry Barnes calling it “a smart, earnest undertaking,” while Screen International’s Wendy Ide describes it as “a genuine rarity: a film which allows a middle-aged female protagonist to find fulfilment within herself rather than in the arms of a man.” The Hollywood Reporter’s Jordan Mintzer commends “a warmly hued portrait of a woman whose life unravels yet flows stubbornly, and even humorously, onwards.” Released 2 September in the UK and Ireland and 23 September in Spain. (Credit: CG Cinema)

Bridget Jones’s Baby

bridget jones babyAfter a 12-year gestation period, the third instalment in the life of the “world’s favourite singleton” is finally due. Following in the footsteps of Bridget Jones’s Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, the film reunites the familiar cast of Renée Zellweger and Colin Firth, with Hugh Grant a notable exception. Based on Helen Fielding’s ‘90s newspaper column, the script was co-written by Fielding, Emma Thompson and Dan Mazer. Now in her forties, Bridget discovers she’s pregnant and unsure of the father of her baby. Hilarity – the audience hopes – ensues. Released 15 September in Singapore, Serbia and Portugal and 22 September in Brazil, Italy and Thailand. (Credit: United Pictures International)


sullyOn January 15 2009, Captain Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger was at the controls of US Airways Flight 1549. Within a few minutes of take-off from La Guardia airport, the aircraft struck a flock of geese, disabling both engines. With no airport accessible, Sullenberger was forced to land the plane on the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 passengers and crew on board. This biopic is based on Sullenberger’s account of the incident and its surprising aftermath. Directed by Clint Eastwood and with Tom Hanks as the heroic captain, Sully: The Miracle on the Hudson is already being pegged for next year’s awards season and Eastwood has spoken about what drew him to the tale: “There’s something about a near-miss like that – it makes you appreciate life as you have it.” Released 8 September in Denmark, Hungary and Israel and on 9 September in Finland and US. (Credit: Warner Bros)

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

miss peregrineAdapted from the best-selling 2011 YA novel by Ransom Riggs is this spooky tale of a boy who discovers a magical orphanage whose inhabitants have special powers. With a screenplay by Jane Goldman (Kick Ass), the film’s dark and creepy aesthetic is assured with direction from Tim Burton and Eva Green as the mysterious title character. Samuel L Jackson also features as the peculiar children’s nemesis, with Goldman praising the actor’s ability to conjure up menace. “He brings so many different shades of scary,” she told Entertainment Weekly. “He never runs out of new ways of being intimidating.” Released 29 September in Denmark, Hong Kong and Cambodia and 30 September in Spain, US and Sweden. (Credit: 20th Century Fox)

Queen of Katwe

queenBased on a 2012 biography by Tim Crothers, Disney’s Queen of Katwe tells the story of Phiona Mutesi, a young girl who goes from selling corn on the streets of Uganda to becoming an unlikely chess champion. The film will have its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, is directed by Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding), and stars David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong’o. “This is a story about the commitment to a dream even in the most discouraging of situations,” says Nyong’o of Mutesi’s unusual and inspirational trajectory. Released 23 September in Brazil and the US. (Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Blair Witch

blair witchSeventeen years after the original film terrified audiences and revamped horror film-making, the Blair Which franchise returns, with four new faces but the same winning format. It’s winning praise from some corners, with IndieWire’s Ben Travers calling it “downright inspiring”, while Fred Topel in Slash Film describes it as “a love letter to the film that began the found footage horror craze” . Released 16 September in Canada, Norway and the US. (Credit: Lionsgate)

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years

the beatlesFollowing their seminal performance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, The Beatles went on tour. For two years. Directed by Ron Howard (Rush, A Beautiful Mind), this imaginatively titled film documents that period, when the band performed 166 concerts in 15 countries and 90 cities. Authorised by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison, the documentary delves into the impact the touring had, both on the Beatles phenomenon, and on the musicians themselves. It’s standard rather than ground-breaking fare, as Variety’s Guy Lodge observes: “this diverting, brightly assembled boomer nostalgia trip won’t open the eyes of any existing Fab Four fans, however much it pleases their ears.” Released 15 September in Germany, France and Australia and 22 September in Japan. (Alamy)

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Shahid Tariq

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