As a first time attendee of the New York Film Festival, it’s difficult not to be overwhelmed by this year’s selection of films. I’ve been mentally preparing for the slew of world premieres and other festival favorites that will surely play a crucial part in the upcoming awards season. I’ve never attended a film festival in any sort of capacity before, so I plan on hunkering down, watching as many movies as humanly possible, and cutting off all social activity so I can write as fast as my hands can type. So without further delay, here are the film’s that I’m looking forward to the most at NYFF.
Bridge of Spies | Directed by Steven Spielberg
It’s hard not to look forward to a new Spielberg film. While Bridge of Spies continues his foray into the historical genre, there’s no denying that Spielberg has what it takes to make a compelling film based on a true story. The main concern is that it won’t be anything too new that we haven’t seen from him before, mostly in regards to his recent films. But as always, he’s lined up a great cast, with Tom Hanks at the helm and what looks to be great performances from supporting actors Mark Rylance and Amy Ryan. The anticipation is all in the question of whether or not this film will prove itself as a contender for leading film of 2015.
The Lobster | Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
Getting a lot of great buzz from what seems to be all of the festivals (especially Cannes), The Lobster is Yorgos Lanthimos first English speaking film, having made waves with his first few films, most notably Dogtooth in 2009. With notable actors such as Colin Farrell, Ben Wishaw, John C. Riley, Rachel Weisz, and Olivia Colman, Lanthimos is definitely moving his career in the right direction while still unafraid to stick to his absurd and disturbing storylines. The uniqueness of the film is what’s so appealing about it, and there are high hopes that Lanthimos and his cast will pull off all of the great strangeness that will inevitably come with it.
Steve Jobs | Directed by Danny Boyle
This is definitely the biopic that’s been on everyone’s radar screen this year. With the story revolving around one of the most iconic visionaries of our time, written by arguably the best screenwriter in the business, and directed by a filmmaker not too known for entering bio-pic territory, Steve Jobs has a lot going for it. I’m mostly anxious to see how Michael Fassbender handles Aaron Sorkin’s script and to see of Boyle’s directing is suitable for this kind of story.
The Walk | Directed by Robert Zemeckis
There’s also a lot going on with Robert Zemeckis’ new film The Walk: the harrowing story of the tight roper who is determined to walk between the Twin Towers, Joseph Gordon Levitt’s questionable French accent, and the fact that it’s in 3D. While my feelings about the use of 3D tend to lean towards ‘no,’ I’m still very interested in seeing how this movie plays out. Levitt has proven his talent over the years, and seeing him pull off this enormous film as the lead will certainly be a game changer in terms of where his career is going. It’s also an intriguing true story that, if done well, will certainly become an important film of 2015.
Experimenter | Directed by Michael Almereyda
Of the five films on this list, this is the one I’m truly counting down the days for. After what feels like a lifetime of watching Peter Sarsgaard nail supporting roles, he’s finally the lead in this new film from Michael Almereyda (Cymbeline), with an intriguing supporting cast including Winona Ryder, Jim Gaffigan, Anton Yelchin, Taryn Manning, and John Leguizamo. Chronicling the experiments of social psychologist Stanley Milgram, this film doesn’t just display his experiments but also the effects they have on his professional and family life. In comparison to the other films on the list, it’s certainly an underdog that looks to have the potential to be one of the most memorable films of the year.
There you have it! And yes, I do realize that three of the films on here are the biggest films of the festival, but I do welcome any and all surprises. The festival starts this Saturday as does my coverage, so stay tuned to see if my anticipation was in the right place.