By Kristen Lopez | The Playlist September 3, 2013 at 4:02PM
Synopsis: Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is a single-mother who believes she’s found the perfect man upon meeting Albert (James Gandolfini). The problem is that Albert is the ex-husband of Eva’s best friend Marianne (Catherine Keener). The more Marianne unwittingly tells Eva about her ex, the more Eva starts to alienate Albert.
What You Need to Know: The recent death of Gandolfini cast a dark pall over the film, but his death could inspire audiences who might never have given this a shot to go to the theater and see it. Director Nicole Holofcener hasn’t gained quite the cache as her contemporaries like Lisa Chodolenko, but despite that, “Enough Said” still found a place on our 10 movies that could be surprise Oscar contenders list. The trailer presents a charming romantic comedy where Gandolofini is allowed to be a leading man; it’s a shame we’ll never see where that would take him, but at least there’s a movie out there to remind us of his exemplary acting talent.
Release Date: September 20th in limited release.
Synopsis: An interweaving story unfolds while recounting events and the people affected, during the chaotic hours after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
What You Need to Know: The Kennedy assassination and the ensemble drama has been done before; back in 2006, “Bobby” followed a group of citizens leading up to the assassination of Bobby Kennedy. “Bobby” did okay, although it never broke out as an awards contender or became a box-office bonanza. Does the same fate befall “Parkland”? It is scheduled to play amongst an already fantastic line-up of films at the Toronto International Film Festival, but comments have already been made about some of the iffy casting decisions; Zac Efron playing a doctor who examines JFK produced snickers around the Twitterverse. It isn’t enough to damn the film outright, but questionable casting and the treatment of the story could turn off audiences if it’s too cloying.
Release Date: September 20th in limited release.
Synopsis: When Keller Dover’s (Hugh Jackman) daughter is abducted, he decides to take the law into his own hands to find her. This puts him at odds with Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) who is stymied by the lack of evidence to solve the case.
What You Need to Know: This intense drama stars recent Golden Globe winner Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, and it has already sneaked at Telluride in advance of its official premiere at TIFF. And critics are already taken with it (including ours). You can’t deny that the two actors are compelling enough to watch on-screen, particularly Jackman who moves away from musicals to return to gritty drama. And he's just one fierce ingredient in this gritty, dark drama, one that is both rewarding and draining and is already swinging for potential awards season fences.
Release Date: September 20th
Synopsis: “Rush” details the rivalry between Formula 1 racers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl). Hunt, a cocky playboy, clashes with the Austrian perfectionist that is Lauda, culminating in a fiery disaster that almost ends with Lauda dead. Determined to beat Hunt, once and for all, Lauda becomes hell-bent on returning to racing.
What You Need to Know: Director Ron Howard moves into the glamorous, white-knuckle world of Formula 1 racing; a far cry from his last film, the much maligned 2011 rom-com, “The Dilemma.” Chris Hemsworth is certainly steaming up the fall between this (the trailers are finding plenty of time to emphasize his lack of shirt) and “Thor: The Dark World” in November. Oscar predictors say to look at Bruhl, who might be gearing up for a Best Actor campaign as the disfigured Lauda. Bruhl’s claim to fame for U.S. audiences was in 2009’s “Inglourious Basterds,” so this should be a perfect breakout role for him, as well as a return to form for Ron Howard.
Release Date: September 20th in New York and Los Angeles; September 27th in wide release
Synopsis: Jon Martello (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a good-looking, confident young man who may have a little trouble with pornography. When he meets the beautiful Barbara (Scarlett Johansson), Jon believes he’s found the girl he’ll be with forever; however, his issues with sex could complicate their burgeoning relationship.
What You Need to Know: Originally titled “Don Jon’s Addiction,” first-time director Joseph Gordon-Levitt crafts a “vulgar, hilarious, and charming” film according to our own Rodrigo Perez during the film’s bow at Sundance. He gave the film an in-between grade, “that sweet spot being a B and B+” although there are rumors that the sexiness and vulgarity has been trimmed down slightly so it can play at a theater near you. But by all accounts, “Don Jon” is a proving ground of Gordon-Levitt as he adds "director" to his CV.
Release Date: September 27th
Honorable Mentions: A few movies didn’t quite make the cut, but you should still check them out. “Thanks for Sharing” (out in limited release September 20th), “C.O.G.” (out in limited release September 20th), “Metallica Through the Never” (opening in IMAX 3D September 27th), “Riddick” (opens September 6th), and “Informant” (opens in limited release September 13th)