After highlighting 55 anticipated titles confirmed to arrive in theaters this fall, we now turn our attention to the festival-bound films either without distribution or awaiting a release date. Looking over Venice International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and New York Film Festival titles, we’ve rounded up 20 movies — most of which we’ll be checking out over the next few weeks — that we can’t wait to see.
Check out our 20 most-anticipated festival premieres below, and return for our review.
American Dharma (Errol Morris)
We apologize for the triggering image right off the bat in this feature, but as much he doesn’t deserve any more attention, the thought of watching master interviewer Errol Morris interrogate one of America’s most warped minds does have its intrigue. The Fog of War director’s documentary on former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon will premiere at Venice and play at TIFF (where we’re surprised it’s not part of the Midnight Madness section), followed by an NYFF showing.
The Death and Life of John F. Donovan (Xavier Dolan)
His seventh film in nine years, Xavier Dolan’s English-language debut will finally unspool at the ideal launching point close to his hometown: the Toronto International Film Festival. Starring Kit Harington, Natalie Portman, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, Thandie Newton, Jacob Tremblay, and Ben Schnetzer, the story of a troubled actor and his pen pal correspondence with an 11-year-old boy. While not on the streak that launched his career, here’s hoping Dolan’s seemingly glamourous story will strike a nerve.
Dragged Across Concrete (S. Craig Zahler)
There are only a few American filmmakers working today who couldn’t care less what Hollywood’s four-quadrant marketing plan-minded studios think. One of them is S. Craig Zahler, whose shaggy, brutally visceral dramas Bone Tomahawk and Brawl in Cell Block 99 have no room for any sort of politically-correct politeness, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to the casting of his next movie. Dragged Across Concrete stars Mel Gibson as a police officer alongside Vince Vaughn as they find themselves in hot water when they abuse the powers of their badge. If this was in the hands of someone like David Ayer, we’d be dreading a Blue Lives Matter bore, but Zahler’s way with words has us intrigued, perhaps moreso than the 159-minute runtime.
Greta (Neil Jordan)
In his first film since 2012’s Byzantium, Neil Jordan returns with quite the trio of actresses: Isabelle Huppert, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Maika Monroe. Greta follows Moretz’s character as she returns a lost item to Huppert, who begins a strange, dangerous fascination with the young woman. Even if this is Elle light in terms of psychological thrills, we look forward to seeing Huppert lead this twisted cat-and-mouse game.
Her Smell (Alex Ross Perry)
The last time Elisabeth Moss led an Alex Ross Perry film, we had one of the best psychological thrillers of the decade thus far. The Queen of Earth actress once again looks like she’s giving it her all, this time for a rock epic featuring a star battling with her own demons. Featuring the wild supporting cast of Cara Delevingne, Ashley Benson, Amber Heard, Virginia Madsen, Dan Stevens and Eric Stoltz, here’s hoping Perry’s longest film is also his best.
High Life (Claire Denis)
Will Claire Denis deliver two of the best movies of the year? Judging from her track record, that’s likely to be a resounding yes. Following Let the Sunshine In she is switching gears entirely with her long-gestating sci-fi feature High Life, starring Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, André Benjamin, and Mia Goth. Intriguingly, she is teaming with Olivier Assayas’ frequent cinematographer Yorick Le Saux rather than Agnès Godard. For much, much more on the film read our recent interview with the director.
In Fabric (Peter Strickland)
After breaking out with his second feature Berberian Sound Studio, Peter Strickland followed it up with The Duke of Burgundy, which astounded with its erotic style and committed performances. The director is now back and getting stranger with In Fabric, which follows the head of a department store and her wicked fascinations. Said to be a ghost story, the cast includes Gwendoline Christie, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Caroline Catz, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, and Steve Oram.
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See More: 2018 Fall Preview, Festivals, NYFF 2018, TIFF 2018, Venice 2018