Five films to catch in September

Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Five films to catch in September

The leaves may sit securely on the trees, but the first Oscar movies are with us all the same.


I had hoped to avoid writing this for a month or so. But in the next few weeks we really will see the first Oscar bait of the new season. Don’t pinch yourself. We do have six months to go until the 2016 ceremony. Yet at least two of the films below have been positioned to profit from the voters’ supposedly short memories. Everest and The Martian arrive after high-profile premieres at the Venice/Toronto/Telluride trifecta that marks the launch of the supposed prestige period. Oh well. We shouldn’t complain too much. At least they’re not being crammed into that crazy rush either side of Christmas.

You never know exactly what you’re going to get. August didn’t look like any sort of classic when it kicked off, but, in our survey on the film show, we came up with two or three that looked like candidates for the 10 best of 2015 list. So let’s remain optimistic. That noted, it does seem a slowish period in what we used to call the arthouse sector.

September remains, however, one of the year’s most diverting periods for film fans. We will be digesting the news from Tribeca, Toronto and Venice at a distance. In three weeks or so we will have clues to the answers to many key questions (if not the answers themselves).


Where does the latest from Woody Allen register on the Konigsberg Scale? Well, this strange anti-comedy — featuring Joaquin Phoenix as a man contemplating murder — got fairly terrible reviews in the US. I rather enjoyed it at its premiere in Cannes. OPENS SEPTEMBER 11TH


The word in on the street. It’s a return to form the (rather unfairly hounded) M Night Shyamalan. Two kids travel into the country to encounter the grandparents they have never previously met. Can this rural gothic really find new buttons to push? I recommend cautious optimism. OPENS SEPTEMBER 11th


Baltasar Kormákur, director of Jar City and 101 Reykjavik, tackles the true story of a 1996 climbing disaster on Mount Everest. Everyone in in the bleeding thing: Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, Emily Watson, Keira Knightley, Robin Wright. And an independent voice told me it’s awesome. OPENS SEPTEMBER 18th


Greatly admired at the recent Galway Film Fleadh, Alex Fegan’s lovely follow-up to The Irish Pub talks to 30 of Ireland’s centenarians and uncovers endless wisdom and no little humour. Warning: features people living past 100 while smoking lots of fags. OPENS SEPTEMBER 25th


After duds such as Prometheus, The Counsellor and Exodus, even Ridley Scott’s most ardent fans must have begun to wonder if he would ever regain his mojo. The signs are good. There is certainly a great Robinson Crusoe story at the heart of Andy Weir’s love and the trailer is a cracker. OPENS SEPTEMBER 30th


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