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Our 25 Most-Anticipated Fall 2017 Festival Premieres

Written by on August 28, 2017 

Outside In (Lynn Shelton)


After taking a supporting turn in Gillian Robespierre’s Landline, Edie Falco is working with another top female director in independent cinema, Lynn Shelton. Also starring Jay Duplass, Outside In follows an ex-convict who connects with his former high school teacher when he returns home. As it’s already picked up by The Orchard for a release in early 2018, if you’re not at TIFF, thankfully you’ll be able to see it relatively soon. – Jordan R.

Plonger (Mélanie Laurent)


Mélanie Laurent hasn’t been onscreen a great deal as of late, but she has the ideal excuse: she’s been busy behind the camera. Following her astounding drama Breathe, she co-directed another feature and now she’s back with two more films. While the Elle Fanning-led Galveston won’t arrive until 2018, at TIFF this year she’ll debut Plonger, which follows a Spanish photographer who takes up deep-sea diving and falls in love with a French war correspondent. – Jordan R.

Racer and the Jailbird (Michaël R. Roskam)


Even though I seemed to be in the minority when it comes to being disappointed by his Bullhead follow-up The Drop, I still remain curious for Michaël R. Roskam’s next project, The Racer and the Jailbird. Once again starring Matthias Schoenaerts, the drama finds his character as part of a gang in Brussels who falls for a racing driver (Adele Exarchopoulos). Set to be Belgium’s Oscar entry, it’ll debut at Venice before stopping by TIFF. – Jordan R.

The Third Murder (Hirokazu Koreeda)


He already directed one of the best films of 2017 with After the Storm, and now Hirokazu Kore-eda will continue his prolific streak with this legal drama. Starring Masaharu Fukuyama and Koji Yakusho, The Third Murder centers on a criminal trial about a defense attorney who unravels a bigger conspiracy when it comes to his client’s murder case. While this most certainly won’t get a U.S. release this year, fingers crossed that we see it early in 2018. – Jordan R.

Submergence (Wim Wenders)


The first project she took part in after winning an Oscar, Alicia Vikander leads Submergence, the latest film from Wim Wenders. An adaptation of J.M. Ledgard’s novel, also starring James McAvoy, the story runs across the globe and shifts focus between James More, an English reporter, as he’s held captive by jiahdists in Somalia, and Danielle Flinders, a “biomathematician” exploring life on the ocean floor. As former lovers in their own perilous situations, they both remember better times spent at a French hotel on the Atlantic coast. While Wenders has been hot-and-cold lately, hopefully this caliber of actors provide a worthwhile drama.  – Jordan R.

Unicorn Store (Brie Larson)


After working with Edgar Wright, Lenny Abrahamson, Destin Daniel Cretton, James Ponsoldt, and more, Brie Larson segued from her Oscar win to her directorial debut. Unicorn Store, which the first-time director also stars in and produces. It follows Kit (Larson), who moves back in with her parents and receives an out-of-the-blue invitation to the titular store that “test[s] her ideas of what it really means to grow up.” Also starring Samuel L. Jackson, Joan Cusack, and Bradley Whitford, it’ll be interesting to see Larson’s directorial style and this will hopefully mark an uptick in what has been an otherwise disappointing year for the actor. – Jordan R.

Woman Walks Ahead (Susanna White)


Along with new films from Xavier Dolan and Aaron Sorkin, Jessica Chastain is leading a 19th-century period drama titled Woman Walks Ahead. Directed by Susanna White (who helmed this summer’s John le Carré adaptation Our Kind of Traitor), the script by Steven Knight (Eastern Promises, Locke) follows Chastain’s character as she leaves Brooklyn and heads to the Standing Rock Reservation in the Dakotas to help a Sioux chieftain (Michael Greyeyes) fight for his land. With Chastain continually giving great performances regardless of a film’s overall quality, this is one to watch. – Jordan R.

Zama (Lucrecia Martel)


Lucrecia Martel, commonly deemed one of the most unique voices in cinema after films such as The Headless Woman and La Cienaga, finally returns after a decade -ong hiatus with an adaptation of the Antonio de Benedetto penned Zama, a “heart of darkness”-type novel widely considered a masterpiece of Argentinean and Spanish literature. The film stars Daniel Giménez Cacho as Diego de Zama, an ambitious colonial officer in the late 1700s stuck in an unfamiliar new land, awaiting his promotion to Argentina, where he believes his life will become better. Zama premieres at Venice before coming to TIFF and NYFF later in the fall. – Jason O.

Continue: The 25 Best Fall 2017 Films We’ve Already Seen


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