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2012 Fall Preview: 10 Best Films We’ve Seen & 10 Festival Titles We Hope Will Get Released

Written by on September 6, 2012 

Yesterday we gave a rundown of our most-anticipated films of the fall, but there’s still much more to look forward to in these last few months of the year. In our final 2012 fall preview rundown, we’ve got ten must-see films that we’ve already checked out on the festival circuit. In addition to that, we’ve rounded up 10 festival titles that we hope will see a release this year, some with distribution already in place and others that will surely get snatched up soon. With the Toronto International Film Festival kicking off today, check our our list below and continue to follow The Film Stage for reviews from the fest.

10 Best Films We’ve Seen

Note: Before we dive into the top ten, we’ve reviewed much more then just below, so check out our take on other fall titles like The Words (9/7), Bachelorette (9/7), The Cold Light of Day (9/7), Arbitrage (9/14), Liberal Arts (9/14), V/H/S (10/5), The Paperboy (10/5), The Details (11/2), This Must Be the Place (11/2), The Comedy (11/16) and On the Road (12/21) by clicking on the titles. There’s also many films such as The Hunt, Simon Killer, Wrong, Sightseers, Like Someone in Love, No and Reality that we loved, but unfortunately have yet to set official releases, so check back with more information on those and others.

10. Rust and Bone (Jacques Audiard; Nov. 16th)

Derived from a collection of short stories of the same name, Jacques Audiard (A Prophet, The Beat That My Heart Skipped) has created an intriguing love story, one that evolves out of a rather unusual friendship. With a cast including Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts, the performances are vivid and memorable, giving the viewer a lot to absorb. Like his previous films, Audiard masterfully creates internal struggle, as subjects try to grapple with life’s consequences, with the occasional glimmer of hope. Check out our Cannes review. – Kristen C.

9. Sinister (Scott Derrickson; Oct. 5th)

Scott Derrickson‘s previous film, the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still, didn’t live up to the promise he showed with The Exorcism of Emily Rose, an effective tale of an exorcism gone wrong. Sinister, his newest film, serves as a reminder that the filmmaker has a talent for conjuring up a creepy and dread-ridden atmosphere. This isn’t the typical haunted house story; from the pacing to the structure, Derrickson and co-writer C. Robert Cargill deliver both the familiar and the new in a year sorely lacking in the scare department. Read our SXSW review. – Jack G.

8. Wuthering Heights (Andrea Arnold; Oct. 5th)

After Cary Fukunaga‘s Jane Eyre last year, Andrea Arnold’s take on Wuthering Heights has set another benchmark for adapting classic literature. The Fish Tank director paints this world with a deft touch, crafting tightly focused close-ups to convey emotion rather than words. Establishing shots only open wide a handful of times, instead opting for a beetle crawling through the grass or a spiderweb oscillating in the cold wind. These little touches build the world more than any sort of exposition could dream to do. Read our TIFF review. – Jordan R.

7. Holy Motors (Léos Carax; Oct. 17th)

Leo Carax’s contribution to the Cannes Film Festival this year was a masterful rollercoaster of a film. Denis Lavant stars as a man who travels between multiple parallel in a limo, making the streets of Paris seem as if they were from another world, with absolute blurring between the real and unreal. It’s strange and beautiful, captivating and challenging, playing with the boundaries of cinematic expression. For the cinephiles out there, this one is a wild ride I can’t recommend enough. Check out our our Cannes review. – Kristen C.

6. Smashed (James Ponsoldt; Oct. 12th)

Delivering my favorite performance of Sundance was Mary Elizabeth Winstead, with her heartbreaking turn as an alcoholic in Smashed. While there are some conveniences in the story’s structure, they do not detract from this powerful showing from a promising up-and-comer. A single scene where Winstead smiles, talking about her addiction, then sinks into sorrow just moments later epitomizes the talent on display here. Check out our Sundance review for the film also showing at TIFF before a limited release. – Jordan R.

The Film Stage’s 2012 Fall Preview

10 Best Films We’ve Seen: [#10-6] [#5-1]
10 Festival Titles We Hope Will Get Released: [#10-6] [#5-1]
20 Most-Anticipated Films: [#20-#16] [#15-11] [#10-6] [#5-1]

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