With summer over, movie fans now hope that the fall movie season will have better results. Since Oscar time is on the horizon, the usual fall Oscar bait, and late blockbusters, are to come with it. By the end of 2010, new stars will have awards buzz and breakout stardom, while established A-listers could have their biggest success to date. Many familiar names have a lot to offer this fall, and have already fueled high expectations. Here are some of the names that stand to be on everyone’s lips this fall – perhaps even multiple times.
Trailers for The Town merely said it was from “the acclaimed director of Gone Baby Gone”. Perhaps Ben Affleck’s past backlash still keeps him from being taken seriously, despite recent success. Yet this fall gives him a golden chance for another giant leap forward. The Town already has big buzz, as Affleck returns to the Boston crime drama format – although this isn’t based on a Dennis Lehane book.
If he tops or matches Gone Baby Gone, Affleck may be that much closer to erasing the “Bennifer” years for good. If that doesn’t work, Affleck will try again in front of the camera, as he, Chris Cooper, Tommy Lee Jones and Kevin Costner become Company Men in late October.
At this time last year, Bridges was just coming out of nowhere to emerge in the Oscar race. But now that Bridges has his first Oscar, he isn’t resting on his overdue laurels. Not only does he take over an Oscar winning character first played by the Duke, he also reprises two of his most notable 80’s roles.
True Grit both reunites Bridges with the Coens, and fits him into the eye patch of Rooster Cogburn himself. Another blast from the past comes in the fall’s biggest blockbuster, as Tron: Legacy returns Bridges to VR – and even makes him look 28 years younger.
The cast of The Social Network
This movie already had everyone fired up, as David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin detail the origins of Facebook. But well before it even comes out, The Social Network has already spawned the biggest stars of tomorrow. Andrew Garfield and Rooney Mara have been elevated as the next Peter Parker and Lisbeth Salander, thanks in part to this film.
In addition, Jessie Eisenberg is set to destroy all those Michael Cera comparisons, Disney Channel star Brenda Song is trying a new genre, and Justin Timberlake may have his biggest movie breakthrough. Add in protests from Facebook itself, and The Social Network has the highest Oscar hopes of any film this fall.
If the movie version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows gets as much hype as the book version, Warner Brothers should dominate the fall box office. Of course, if Part 1 doesn’t do that, they can try again with Part 2 next summer. For this first Deathly Hallows movie, Harry and company begin the quest to destroy Voldemort once and for all. But since most of the final battles are saved for Part 2, this initial grand finale might have a harder task ahead.
It wouldn’t be fall if Damon wasn’t starring in a few Oscar-friendly movies. After Clint Eastwood got him his first Oscar nod in 13 years last fall, Damon now headlines Eastwood’s Hereafter in late October. Afterwards, he joins Bridges in True Grit, allowing Damon to cross the Coens off his director checklist. But Damon also has enough downtime to be part of Liz Lemon’s latest romantic disaster on 30 Rock.
Two years ago, Hathaway shed her Disney princess image for good with her breakout dramatic turn in Rachel Getting Married. More Oscar attention is rumored to come for Love and Other Drugs, as she is paired again with unrequited Brokeback Mountain love Jake Gyllenhaal. However, the first trailer didn’t give away the biggest challenge in their relationship. Suffice to say, it fulfills one of the traditional Oscar-bait requirements for Hathaway.
Mirren stands to have one of the busiest falls in Hollywood, as she has three starring roles to tout. First, she gets to fire up the comic book crowd in Red, as Mirren, Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman shoot up the young. Second, she makes Shakespearian history as she turns The Tempest’s Prospero into Prospera for Julie Taymor. To wrap things up, she plays a Mossad agent out to collect The Debt. Despite being around for decades, this fall promises to show Mirren with a few new tricks up her sleeves.
Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling
Last year, Precious and Mo’Nique rode Sundance buzz towards Oscar glory. This year, Sundance brought past nominees Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling back into the mix, for their work in Blue Valentine. The two play a couple whose marriage disintegrates over the course of several years, as their battles raised eyebrows at Sundance and Cannes. Now, they test the award season waters as a new couple off screen, with the chance that they could walk the Oscar red carpet soon enough.