"The Lovely Bones," "New Moon," "Nine," "Whip It," "Avatar." These are just some of the movies that will be coming to a theatre near you this fall. As most moviegoers know, fall is the season Hollywood trots out its "serious" films, those they hope Academy members will want to vote for come Oscar nominating time in January.
But because next year there will also be ten best picture nominees at the Academy Awards, all kinds of films might fall into the Oscar Bait category that wouldn't have in the past. A lot of those films will be premiering this fall.
Here are some highlights:
The Lovely Bones: 12/11, Starring Saoirse Ronan, Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon.
Based on the best selling novel by Alice Klebold this film sounds like the most promising of this fall's crop and the most disturbing. Directed by Peter Jackson, the story is about a 14 year old murdered girl, told from her heavenly point of view.
New Moon: 11/20, Starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner
Yeah I know I may be pushing it, putting this in the Oscar Bait category, but since it's predecessor, "Twilight" was a huge hit, making nearly $400 million at the box office worldwide, the Academy just might take notice. Even though the cast is populated with vampires and werewolves.
Nine: 11/25, Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman
This is a film adaptation of the Broadway musical about a film director and the nine incredibly complicated and talented women in his life.
Invictus: 12/11, Starring Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon.
Directed by Clint Eastwood, this film tells the story of Nelson Mandela after the fall of apartheid and during the early days of his presidency. During that time, South Africa was host to the 1995 Rugby World Cup and Mandela used the event as a way to help bring the country together.
It's Complicated: 12/25, Starring Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin.
Meryl's a woman of a certain age who divorces her husband after he cheats on her, and then starts an affair with him.
Shutter Island: 10/2, Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Kingsley, Mark Ruffalo, Michelle Williams.
Based on a Dennis Lehane novel and directed by Martin Scorsese, this film is set in 1954 and tells the story of a US Marshall who's investigating the disappearance of a patient from a mysterious insane asylum.
Whip It: 10/9, Starring Drew Barrymore, Ellen Page, Eve, Kristen Wig, Juliette Lewis
I don't know about you, but I was just saying the other day how much I wished there was a good roller derby movie out. Now I'm being facetious of course, but I know there are a lot of people out there who take their roller derby very seriously. And some of them are BlogHers. This film is Drew Barrymore's directorial debut, and it's about a small town girl who learns to fit in by joining a roller derby league. The theme of the film, "Be Your Own Hero."
The Boys Are Back: 9/25, Starring Clive Owen, Nicholas McAnulty.
A man tragically loses his wife and is suddenly a single father. The film is based on the true story of newspaper columnist Simon Carr. Clive Owen takes a break from playing action man types in this one, and since he's been nominated for an Oscar before, the Academy may be ready to anoint him again.
Avatar: 12/18, Starring Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Zoe Saldana, Michelle Rodriguez.
James Cameron's 3-D, sci-fi epic about a battle for survival on a distant planet called Pandora. This one's going to have cutting edge CGI up the ying yang, so all you sci-fi fans, start lining up.
This Is It: 10/28, Starring Michael Jackson
Rehearsal footage of Michael Jackson during his final days will make up a large portion of this tribute film.
Alvin and the Chipmunks - The Squeakquel: 12/25
It's Alvin, it's the Chipmunks, you and your kids both know what to expect.
A Christmas Carol: 11/6, Starring Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Robin Wright Penn.
It's Christmas, it's Ebeneezer Scrooge, you and your kids both know what to expect. Except this one is given "The Polar Express" treatment.
The Princess and the Frog: 11/25, Starring Anika Noni Rose, Terrance Howard, Oprah Winfrey.
Tiana, the star of this animated movie is Disney's first animated, black heroine. Took 'em long enough, didn't it? No really, what did take them so long?
Affairs of the Heart
Love Happens: 9/18, Starring Jennifer Aniston, Aaron Eckhart.
In this movie Aaron is blond and pretty, and Jennifer is blond and pretty. Then they fall in love.
Bright Star: 9/18, Starring Abbie Cornish, Ben Whishaw, Paul Schneider.
Directed by Jane Campion this costume drama tells the story of the 19th century romance between British poet John Keats and his lady love, Fanny Brawne. Somehow I have the feeling this won't end well.
Serious Moonlight: 12/4, Starring Meg Ryan.
A take charge kind of woman takes her husband hostage when she thinks he's about to leave her. Based on the decriptions, I'm not sure what this movie is trying to be, comedy, drama, comedy and drama? But since I like Meg Ryan, I'm willing to give it a go.
Did You Hear About The Morgans?: 12/18, Starring Hugh Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker, Mary Steenburgen.
A New York couple whose relationship is on the rocks, witness a murder and are forced to live together in the Witness Protection Program. They end up in Wyoming. What do you want to bet that by the end of the movie their relationship is no longer rocky?
Fame: 9/25, Starring Naturi Naughton, Asher Book Kherington Payne, Paul McGill.
Yep, they're gonna live forever...at least if Hollywood has anything to say about it. All those young, starry-eyed, high school kids with big dreams, they're gonna make us pay, in sweat!
The Stepfather: 10/16, Starring Penn Badgley, Dylan Walsh, Sela Ward.
A teen comes home from military school to find a "too good to be true" new man has moved in with his mother. Turns out, he is too good to be true. In fact, he's worse. Psycho-like worse. What more is there to say?
Tell me, what movies are you looking forward to this fall?
And a courtesy link to Entertainment Weekly where I got some of my fall movie preview info.
Megan Smith is the BlogHer Contributing Editor covering Television and Online Video. Her personal entertainment blog is Megan's Minute, Quirky Commentary Around The Clock.
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