Well… there goes another summer movie season; this one, in my opinion, has been one of the least interesting in recent years. Very little appealed to me. So very little… then again, maybe I’m just getting even grumpier in my *old age.*

But really, I had difficulty getting excited for most of the studio movies released in the last 4 or so months (emphasis on *studio*) – dominated by franchise follow-ups. As I said in a post yesterday, of all the studio films I saw, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes was probably one of the few highlights. I actually walked out of the theater feeling like I hadn’t blown $13.

What about you? What were your summer movie highlights?

Fall movie season – aka award-bait season – now begins, as some of the world’s most prestigious film festivals get to show their wares, many of which are already considered contenders for one trophy or another. From the Toronto International Film Festival, to the Venice Film Festival (already underway), to the New York Film Festival (which I’ll be attending press screenings for beginning in about 2 weeks), and Telluride, expect to see the same handful of acclaimed films recycled at each of these events – including works by George Clooney, David Cronenberg, Pedro Almodovar, Lars Von Trier, Roman Polanski, Steve McQueen, Andre Arnold, Alexander Payne, Aki Kaurismäki and a few others…

I believe just about all the films by the above filmmakers are high on the short list of award contenders, in fitting categories (assuming they are all released this year of course; as of right now, some of them are without stateside distribution dates); and thankfully most of them (if not all of them) will be screened here in NYC, leading up to the NYFF. So, obviously I plan on seeing them all!

I can say with some certainty that I’m looking forward to that!

David Fincher’s adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is probably at the top of my most anticipated films to see this fall; curious to see what he does with the source material; also up there is Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, based on the Cold War espionage novel by John Le Carre, which stars an impressive cast of actors including Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy and John Hurt.

Warrior (starring Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy) is also getting some Oscar buzz; I like Tom Hardy as an actor, but, quite frankly, I’m not all that interested in seeing yet another film about Caucasian fighters (whether it’s boxing, MMA, wrestling…); The Wrestler, The Fighter, the Eminem/Antoine Fuqua boxing project announced recently, Warrior, and whatever else I’m forgetting, all released in the last 3 years.

Although I’m sure I’ll still see the movie.

is another, starring Brad Pitt; The Iron Lady, with Meryl Streep as former British PM Margaret Thatcher. You know she’ll be on the short list of Best Actress nominees next year, right alongside Glenn Close in Albert Nobbs.

I’m also curious to see what Ralph Fiennes does with Shakespeare’s Coriolanus.

Steven Spielberg will have 2 dogs in the fall movie fight with The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn and War Horse, both out in late December.

There are some *smaller*, less high-profile titles like Pariah, which, as I already noted in a previous post, will be pushed by Focus Features (its distributor) for awards consideration. I’ve seen it twice already, so it’s not on my “to-see” list for the fall. Though it should definitely be on yours, if it’s not already.

Martha Marcy May Marlene is another. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year, where it won the Directing Award for Sean Durkin.

What else? What’s on your fall movie “to-see” list?