From Harry Potter to Facebook: Fall movie preview

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Technically autumn doesn’t begin until September 23, but for most studios, the fall movie season started last Friday, September 3. That’s because studios look for their strongest films to release during the months of September through December, searching for Oscar gold. Between now and December 31, close to 100 films will be released in theaters, seeking our attention, money and praise. It is the fall movie season.


I’ll try to see every one of these movies. There are a few fall releases I’ve already seen and can recommend (Catfish, The Company Men, Blue Valentine), some I’ll see opening day, and others fall into “the abyss” (see Resident Evil: Afterlife, opening this Friday). These are only a few of the films I’m excited seeing, with links to trailers and notation of tentative Twin Cities release dates.


Never Let Me Go, based on the acclaimed novel by Kazuo Ishiguro. Director Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo) weaves a sublime romance at an English boarding school, with a sci-fi twist. Featuring Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, and Keira Knightley. September 24.


The Social Network, directed by David Fincher (Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and written by Aaron Sorkin, is the story of how Facebook began and the aftermath that followed when “friendship” got in the way of friendship. October 1. (See Jay Gabler’s blog entry about The Accidental Millionaires, the book that is the basis for this film.)


Let Me In. While some couldn’t believe the 2008 Swedish vampire film was getting an American adaptation by the guy who brought us Cloverfield, this version looks just as dark and sinister as the original, and it doesn’t hurt having Richard Jenkins (The Visitor) in your cast. October 1.


Buried. Ryan Reynolds is trapped in a coffin, six feet under, with only a cell phone and a lighter. I’m not a Reynolds fan myself, but the idea has miles of potential and has received great buzz since Sundance. October 8.


127 Hours. The new film by Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) stars James Franco as Aron Ralston, a mountain climber whose arm gets pinned by a boulder. The title refers to how long Ralston was trapped for. November 19.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—Part 1. The last book in the series gets the first in a two-part film treatment. November 19.


Black Swan. Based on the trailer alone, director Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller set in the competitive world of ballet looks deranged, haunting, and mesmerizing. It stars Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder, and Vincent Cassel. (Photo above, courtesy Fox Searchlight.) December 17.