Under the Radar
The Master Among the cognoscenti, a film about a man not unlike Scientology’s mastermind, L. Ron Hubbard, is the most eagerly anticipated film of the fall. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will be Blood), it has an all-star cast (Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Joaquin Phoenix, Laura Dern) and takes place in the post-war prim of suburbia in the 1950s, when a spiritual movement is led by Hoffman’s Lancaster Dodd.
Looper Directed by indie wunderkind Rian Johnson (Brick) this is a mobius-strip time travel movie about someone sent back in time to kill himself: the two versions of the same character are played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis.
10 Years High school buddies reunite in this Channing Tatum (Magic Mike) vehicle but all does not go well.
Cloud Atlas The Wachowskis present a multi-story tale starring Tom Hanks and penned by Tom Twyker. Halle Berry and Hugh Grant co-star, each portraying up to six characters.
Seven Psychopaths Writer-director Martin McDoagh (In Bruges) re-unites with Colin Farell for this laugh-laden, but violent dramedy. Woody Harrelson co-stars.
Chasing Mavericks This surfing tale, set in the l990s, is said to be inspirational. Co-directed by–get this, film buffs–Curtis Hanson and Michael Apted.
The Sessions An ultra-controversial, Sundance prize-winner, based on a truish story about a polio victim in an iron lung who enlists the aid of a sexual surrogate (Helen Hunt) in order to lose his virginity. The lead is played by John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone).
Life of Pi The hugely popular best-seller, thought to be unfilmable, is turned into a highly-touted 3D fantasy by the unstoppable Ang Lee. The story: a man and wild beasts adrift in the ocean.
Lincoln Steven Spielberg goes against the grain by presenting this bio-pic, starring Daniel Day-Lewis. Enough said. Or not.
Anna Karenina Here is an unconventional version of the great novel, starring Keira Knightley and directed by Joe Wright, who also directed her in another classic literary adaptation, Pride and Prejudice.
Holiday season brings out the big guns, featuring such titles as Les Mis, The Hobbit, Django Unchained, Hyde Park on the Hudson (Bill Murray as FDR), and Skyfall (James Bond again).
Also look for certain sleepers: Argo, directed by Ben Affleck; Zero Dark Thirty (the hunt for bin Laden); Killing Them Softly (Brad Pitt mobster tale), and Tim Burton’s stop-motion Frankenweenie.