5 New York Film Festival Films You Must See This Fall

The New York Film Festival, which runs from September 27 through October 13 this year, has again delivered a marvelous selection of films. From foreign film gems to the latest releases from big-name stars and directors, the festival offers a glimpse at the pictures that will lead the way in the Oscar race early next year. Here are just five films debuting at the festival that you should watch for:  




  1. 1. The Irishman (dir. Martin Scorsese; in theatres November 1, on Netflix November 27)

    Martin Scorsese’s comeback feature reunites his usual entourage of actors in another gangster drama.

    Perhaps the greatest American filmmaker to ever live, Martin Scorsese’s latest film The Irishman has been well worth the wait, based on the rave reviews it’s receiving. The film chronicles the life of Frank Sheeran (played by Robert DeNiro), an Irish mobster who rose to prominence in the 1970s; also co-starring are some familiar faces in Scorsese’s usual repertoire, including Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. The film has also been lauded for its inventive use of CGI to digitally “de-age” its main stars, a landmark in computer graphics that makes the film experience all the more immersive.

  2. 2. Parasite (dir. Bong Joon-ho; in theatres October 11)

    Korean film Parasite is a dark and strange film that has been racking up awards worldwide.

    Parasite, which won the Palme d’Or after a unanimous jury vote at the Cannes Film Festival this past May, follows an unemployed family living day to day. Strange things start to happen when their son becomes an English tutor for the wealthy Park family’s daughter and the two families are drawn closer together. Director Bong Joon-ho’s film depicts a clash of classes and, as always, has the distinct sinister undertone that colors his past works, including Okja and The Host. ​

  3. 3. Varda by Agnes (dir. Agnes Varda; in theatres November 22)

    The late great French filmmaker Agnes Varda’s posthumous release, Varda by Agnes, offers insight into her decade-spanning career.

    Although pioneering French filmmaker Agnes Varda passed away this past March, she continues to have a major influence on the world of cinema, even still releasing films posthumously. Her latest work, Varda by Agnes, is a visual autobiography in which she offers insight into her diverse filmmaking career, from her early feminist films, to documentaries about the Black Panther movement, to Vagabond, a drama about homelessness. She describes how she arrived at cinema from still photography, but that her artistic sense never changed — she always sought to showcase humanity with pure empathy. 

  4. 4. Marriage Story (dir. Noah Baumbach; on Netflix December 6)

    Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver star as a divorced couple who still have feelings for each other in Marriage Story

    In Marriage Story, Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson star as Nicole and Charlie, a couple going through a divorce despite lingering feelings of love. The story alternates between their points of view, painting a picture of how confusing and complicated romance can be. Indie visionary Noah Baumbach, best known for Frances Ha and The Meyerowitz Stories, again tackles complex human relationships through a quirky, humorous lens in this new film. Marriage Story currently has a 100% rating on review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes and is sure to cause some buzz come awards season.

  5. 5. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (dir. Celine Sciamma; in theatres December 6)

    Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a passionate lesbian drama set in eighteenth-century France.

    French director Celine Sciamma is best known for her poignant films featuring LGBT characters, and her newest film Portrait of a Lady on Fire is perhaps her most seductive yet. Set in eighteenth century, Brittany Heloise is a fiery young woman who refuses to be married off. When Marianne, a painter, is commissioned to paint her portrait, the two women begin an intense romance that is complicated by Marianne’s artistic responsibilities and Heloise’s inevitable marriage. The film won the Queer Palm at the Cannes Film Festival this year, making Sciamma the first female director to win the prize. 

Don't miss out on these must-sees from the NYFF, you'll regret it!

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