If the return of pumpkin spice lattes to Starbucks didn’t already tip you off, we’re here to let you know that the fall movie season is upon us. Keep reading for four new releases coming this month that we think are must-sees, along with the performances to watch in each. We’ll give you previews of the upcoming features and the talent they house, without giving away spoilers. You’re welcome.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Marvel’s upcoming movie is the first of its superhero tentpole films to feature an Asian lead character. Simu Liu stars as Shang-Chi, “who must confront the past he thought he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization,” according to the official Marvel synopsis. Tony Leung portrays his immortal crime lord father Wenwu, Michelle Yeoh plays his relative Jiang Nan, and Awkwafina is featured as his best friend Katy. These are just some of the names on a stacked cast list, and all main characters in the film are played by actors who are Asian or of Asian descent. Liu recently posted on Twitter about the groundbreaking nature of the upcoming Marvel feature. “We are the ceiling-breakers,” he wrote. “We are the celebration of culture and joy that will persevere after an embattled year … I’m fired the f**k up to make history on September 3rd.” On that day, you can find Destin Daniel Cretton’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in theaters and take in all of the A-list performances it holds.
Distributor Shout! Factory calls its upcoming dramedy “a disarmingly moving exploration of platonic love.” The film follows Adam (Mark Duplass), whose husband gifts him weekly Spanish lessons via video calls with his new teacher Cariño (Natalie Morales). She becomes a source of support after Adam suffers a tragedy, and the film explores their growing bond in the aftermath. IndieWire describes the innovative Language Lessons as a “Zoom film” and “one of the best uses of the format yet.” Duplass and Morales co-wrote the script, and the latter directed it as well. Beside the feature’s filmmakers who double as its lead actors in this pared-down pandemic production, you can also see Desean Terry as Adam’s husband Will when Language Lessons releases on September 10 in select theaters.
Multi-hyphenate Justin Chon wrote, directed, and starred in the upcoming Focus Features drama. Chon plays Antonio LeBlanc, a Korean adoptee who grew up in a small town in the Louisiana bayou. Alicia Vikander portrays his wife Kathy, and together they raise her young daughter from a previous marriage. But after being arrested, Antonio faces the threat of deportation from “the only country he has ever called home.” Along with Chon and Vikander, the film also boasts names like Vondie Curtis-Hall, and the performances from all its cast members can be viewed when Blue Bayou releases in theaters on September 17.
Netflix categorizes its upcoming drama as “heartfelt, emotional, and feel-good.” Melissa McCarthy stars opposite Chris O’Dowd respectively as a wife and husband struggling to move forward through their grief after loss. Lily (McCarthy) seeks out the help of a therapist-turned-veterinarian (Kevin Kline) and contends with an aggressive starling that’s taken over her garden while Jack (O’Dowd) recovers in a mental health facility. Timothy Olyphant, Daveed Diggs, and Loretta Devine also appear in the latest film from director Ted Melfi. The Starling releases in theaters on September 17 before coming to Netflix on September 24.
These are just our top picks. From the Camila Cabello-led Cinderella to Clint Eastwood’s Cry Macho, there are a number of highly-anticipated features releasing this month. You can find a stacked list here.