With summer winding down, Hollywood is gearing up for their prestige film season. And with a one-year-old at home it has become increasingly difficult to get out to a movie theater, so this new trend started by Netflix to stream Oscar bait couldn’t have come at a better time for me. My thirty-year-old cinematic purist self would’ve screamed, “You’re tarnishing the purity of the experience!” but my almost forty-year-old self is like, “Let’s stream everything! Who’s got time to go to a theater?”

Here are my most anticipated films of the 2019 Fall Movie season:

  1. The Irishman – Oh thank heaven for Netflix! I don’t think I could find the time to escape to a theater for over three hours, and I’ll likely have to watch this one in chunks. Scorsese, DeNiro, Pacino, Pesci all in their element and Anna Paquin primed for a mid-career revival. I have high, high, hopes for this one.
  2. Marriage Story – the buzz on this one is strong, and the trailers have been excellent. Noah Baumbach is long overdue for a big popular breakthrough as his films have always been niche, and Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson look to be at the top of their game. This has the feel of Kramer vs. Kramer by way of Woody Allen if he had a millienial’s EQ. Again, thank heaven for Netflix, as I would otherwise not likely be able to get out to this one and its domestic drama looks well suited to emmerse yourself in at home.
  3. 1917 – Sam Mendes looks to do for WWI here what Christopher Nolan did for WWII in Dunkirk. This looks like an immaculately shot, edited and staged piece of tick-tock wartime suspense with some big emotional payoff. This has Oscars written all over it, and will probably worth the trip to the theater for the experience.
  4. A Hidden Life – Terrence Malick is back, and this three-hour biopic looks to be more like The New World in style than his more recent contemporary endeavors. The buzz on this is his best in years…but it’s still three hours long, and man, do I wish this was streaming, though arguably you’d want to see these images on the biggest screen possible.
  5. Ad Astra – Of all the film’s on the list this one I am most skeptical about. Could it be an Interstellar style masterpiece, or a boring chore? James Gray is one of the best directors yet to make a great film. Brad Pitt is the star power. It’s nice to see Ruth Negga is also onboard, but the rest of the cast all seem a bit tired: Donald Sutherland, Tommy Lee Jones, and Liv Tyler. The trailers have been hit or miss, but there’s still tons of promise here.

Also of interest:

Color Out of Space

Jojo Rabbit


What films are you looking most forward to this fall season?

Written by D. H. Schleicher


  1. My wife was keen to point out the following, also high on our radars:

    The Kasi Lemmons helmed Harriet Tubman biopic, Harriet.

    The Greta Gerwig remake of Little Women, which will arrive at Christmas.

  2. Dave,

    The Irishman is top of the list for me as well. It may be the event movie that 1995 wishes it had (back when Casino and Heat came out within a few weeks of each other–what a time!), but I’m excited for it nonetheless. I’m also glad it’s coming out on Netflix, since I also find it hard to get out to the movie theater these days, and I don’t even have a 1 year old as a reason (unless 2 greyhounds count as a 1 year old who never grows up).

    Also looking forward to Marriage Story. I agree that Noah Baumbach is long overdue for his breakout success. I’ve been a fan of his since “Kicking and Screaming” (back to ’95 again). Not sure if he’ll break out with this one, but this looks like it’ll be a great addition to his filmography.

    I’m definitely curious about Ad Astra. Haven’t seen 1917’s trailer yet but I’m always game for WWI film. Might pass on A Hidden Life. I still don’t get all the love for Malick. His movies generally leave me cold.

    I’m surprised to see Joker on here. Also surprised that it’s getting raves from festivals. The most recent trailer I saw looks terrible, like the people who made it have no idea why the Joker is such a compelling character. Maybe I’ll be wrong and it’ll be the masterpiece some critics have made it out to be, but my expectations are sewer-level low for this one.

    I already know part of my birthday will be spent watching “Rise of Skywalker,” so it’s a given that I’m looking forward to that one as well. I may try to check out “IT: Chapter 2” in theaters if I can. I loved what they did with the first chapter, so I’m eager to see how this plays out. Of course, this one clocks in at nearly 3 hours, so we’ll see if I can wriggle myself free to see it.

    Hope all is well with you, your wife, and the little one.


    • Thanks, Chris – we just spent the day in Philly – hiking the Wissahickon and then early-bird dinner in Manayunk – our son’s first Manayunk experience. He loves people watching.

      I think two greyhounds might be more work than a 1 year old!

      Thanks for the warning about It: Chapter 2! I had no idea – no quick trip to the theater for that. Why is everything a 3 hour epic, now? Not the trend I want to see in movies.

      I admit I have low expectations for Joker (from the director of The Hangover???) – but Joquin Phoenix is a fascinating performer so that alone is why it’s on my radar.

  3. The Irishman is my most anticipated film! Looking forward to Marriage Story, 1917 and Hidden Life.
    Also looking forward to Harriet, The Woman in the Window, and Downton Abby. Unsure about Ad Astra.

  4. Saw ‘Marriage Story’ and ‘A Hidden Life’ at TIFF. The former might get Adam Driver an Oscar nom. The latter is well worth the 3 hrs. watch, thought-provoking and more like ‘Tree of Life’ than ‘New World’, well, me speaking as a Malick fan. ‘Jojo Rabbit’ which I didn’t see won the top prize at TIFF, the Grolsch People’s Choice Award. Not a fave with critics, but the win could catapult it to more awards in the months ahead.

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