Keep your pumpkin spices and knitwear, give us great cinema for adults. Yes, these are exciting times. We're looking to add to our favorites of the first half of 2016, make up for a mediocre summer season, and crown new frontrunners in the all-important Oscar race. Below you'll find the twenty films we're most anticipating between now and the end of the year. Clicking on a film's title will take you to the trailer. To see what we were looking forward to last year or the year before (as a basis for our judgment), click here or here.
Now bring us prestige or bring us death.
Matt's Top 10 Most Anticipated
The Girl on the Train (10/7)
QUESTION: The member of this film's amazing cast I'm most excited to see in this twisty mystery based on the successful novel (of which I'm a fan) is:
A) The luminescent Emily Blunt
B) The delicious Justin Theroux (who gave one of my favorite performances in all of television last year on The Leftovers)
C) Mission:Impossible - Rogue Nation standout Rebecca Ferguson
D) Music and Lyrics standout Haley Bennett (what? I like Music and Lyrics)
E) Allison f*ing Janney
ANSWER: E. The answer is always National Treasure Allison Janney - regardless of the size or type of role.
QUESTION: How many films featuring black, gay, male protagonists have received Academy Award nominations?
ANSWER: What a stupid question. Though that number (zero) may climb if the festival hype on this one proves true like I sincerely hope it does.
QUESTION: Director Jeff Nichols' best film is:
A) Shotgun Stories
B) Take Shelter
D) Midnight Special
ANSWER: B, though not for long? This true story of love, the Supreme Court and interracial marriage looks to supplant it. The ever-reliable Joel Edgerton stars alongside Ruth Negga.
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (11/11)
QUESTION: Masterful filmmaker Ang Lee (Sense & Sensibility, The Ice Storm, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain, Life of Pi - the same man directed all of those!) brings us a big-budget satire of America's obsession with football and the military--featuring high-frame-rate battlefield scenes, Steve Martin as a football team owner, and...Vin Diesel? I trust Ang Lee implicitly, but is this something we should be looking forward to?
ANSWER: I guess we'll find out!
QUESTION: My patronus is:
A) A calico cat
B) A dragon
C) A mink
D) A weasel
E) A wolf
ANSWER: D. If you are intimately familiar with patronuses, then you are probably just as excited to return to a J.K. Rowling world as I am.
Nocturnal Animals (11/18)
QUESTION: Who is sexiest?
A) Director Tom Ford (back for his second feature film following the appropriately stylish A Single Man)
B) Amy Adams
C) Jake Gyllenhaal
D) Isla Fisher
E) Aaron Taylor-Johnson
F) Armie Hammer
G) Laura Linney's wig in this trailer
ANSWER: C, no question, but you would be forgiven for thinking otherwise, and any of these is an acceptable answer.
Manchester by the Sea (11/18)
QUESTION: The best performance in a Kenneth Lonergan film is:
A) Laura Linney in You Can Count on Me
B) Mark Ruffalo in You Can Count on Me
C) Anna Paquin in Margaret
D) Jeannie Berlin in Margaret
ANSWER: Trick question, as it looks like Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, or newcomer Lucas Hedges in Lonergan's latest is the correct answer. Otherwise, it's narrowly A.
La La Land (12/2)
QUESTION: My stratospheric excitement for this film is mostly because:
A) It's an original musical
B) Stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone have proven chemistry on screen (and who on Earth doesn't want to watch them sing and dance?)
C) It is already the Best Picture frontrunner
D) It is the second film from Whiplash director Damien Chazelle
ANSWER: A, B, and C. Definitively not D, but I'm über excited anyway.
20th Century Women (12/21)
QUESTION: Four-time nominee Annette Bening is in a rowboat being steered by director Mike Mills (Beginners) going 14 miles per hour, and the current is going 4 miles per hour. How long does it take Annette Bening to get into town and win an Oscar?
A) Annette is hoping this year for this film (Mike Mills directed Christopher Plummer to an Oscar for his previous film, after all)
B) But wouldn't it be cute if Annette won for her work in her husband Warren Beatty's long-awaited return, Rules Don't Apply (out 11/10)?
C) The Best Actress field is already very crowded this year, Annette will have to wait
D) Like, who cares? Who wants to go to town with a guy who drives a rowboat?
ANSWER: Unfortunately, C.
Nathan's Top 10 Most Anticipated
American Honey (9/30)
1. Hypnotic trailer.
2. Hopes of another Spring Breakers.
3. My man Shia.
1. Ava DuVernay.
2. Ava DuVernay.
3. Documentary mania.
1. Experimental form.
2. SXSW buzz.
3. Documentary mania.
1. Science fiction.
2. SCIENCE fiction.
Office Christmas Party (12/9)
1. Kate McKinnon
2. A cheese board.
3. Stubborn hope for a new holiday comedy classic.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (12/16)
1. Umm... Star Wars.
A Monster Calls (12/23)
2. A sickly British boy.
3. Shades of Pan's Labyrinth?
1. Viola Davis.
2. Viola Davis in a role suitable for her talent.
3. Viola Davis.