15 Films to Catch This Fall
The chaotic, ever-shifting landscape of commercial film exhibition offers a few morsels for LGBT fans this fall, along with a smattering of art-house fare that bears good buzz. Here are 15 upcoming releases to look out for.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower For queer filmgoers, Stephen Chbosky’s decision to translate his MTV-published cult novel into a movie where "the gay kid is the coolest kid," in effect the movie’s Ferris Bueller, pays huge dividends, especially since that character becomes a breakout role for the sharp and sassy Ezra Miller.
"Why do I and everybody I love pick people who treat us like we’re nothing?"
"We accept the love we think we deserve."
Miller’s Patrick, who won’t take no guff from either his school’s redneck shop teacher or his closeted jock boyfriend, becomes a role model and cheerleader for his only two friends, Charlie (Logan Lerman), a severely depressed high school freshman, and Sam (Emma Watson), a graduating senior saddled with a faithless beau and a niche on the Penn State waiting list. Fueled by the year’s hippest soundtrack, Perks turns the cruel roller-coaster ride of adolescent popularity into a life-affirming bell-ringer. (9/28)
Keep the Lights On Inevitably, this story about a doomed alliance between a documentary filmmaker (Thure Lindhart) and a literary lawyer plagued by substance abuse (Zachary Booth) will spark intense feelings among gay men who feel hopelessly at sea in a dating pool swamped by addiction issues. Ira Sachs wisely chooses to frame the nine-year affair from the point of view of the filmmaker Eric (Lindhart), although those in the recovery community may feel that this unfairly stacks the deck against those, like Paul, for whom recovery is a lifetime journey. (9/14)
How to Survive a Plague David France’s documentary traces how the 1980s fight against AIDS turned the tide and produced today’s treatment regimen. (9/21)
Little White Lies Guillaume Canet ("Tell No One") concocts a "Big Chill" spoof with dueling queer subplots to produce a nutty French folks-on-vacation romp. There’s an intriguing scene where a man makes an embarrassing confession to another man that could have paid dividends if Canet had resisted a propensity for Adam Sandler-worthy, anything-for-a-cheap-laugh gags. (8/31)
War of the Buttons Christophe Barratier, whose queer-friendly feature The Chorus examined the fate of a group of war orphans in a badly run state school, here tackles another contentious slice of WWII French history by focusing on the feud between rival kid gangs in occupied France. The leader of one of the gangs, Lebbrac (Jean Texier, a young star in the making), falls for a young Jewish girl, subsequently seeking a truce with his rivals to prevent the girl from falling into the clutches of the Nazis. The material was co-written by Oscar winner Thomas Langmann (The Artist) based on a 1912 cult novel by Louis Pergaud. (10/12)
Liberal Arts "Nobody feels like an adult. It’s the world’s dirty secret." A decade out of school, Jesse (writer/director Josh Radnor) attends the retirement dinner for his favorite college professor (Richard Jenkins). His old campus (the movie was filmed at Radnor’s actual alma mater, Kenyon College) looks deceptively familiar: there’s the female professor he had a crush on (Allison Janney), who’s rather mean after their night in the sack: "Put some armor around that gooey little heart of yours." There’s the bi-polar lost boy (John Magaro) who’s a little too devoted to the novels of David Foster Wallace. And there’s Zippy the available coed (Elizabeth Olsen), who constantly challenges Jesse’s 30-something "wisdom."
"So you’re saying things suck, and I should prepare myself for suckiness?"