All the 2019 movies that could win the Oscars
As we leave the summer behind and start to move toward fall, the summer blockbusters fall away to intelligent and thoughtful dramas.
Below, we've found the 11 most promising films of fall 2019, and there's a bit of something for everyone: a slew of biopics, media stories, and a few musicals to boot.
1 Downton Abbey (September 20)
The British PBS series that dominated the Emmys is making a jump to the movies and coming for an Oscar. In one of the most grandiose TV to movie transitions ever, Downton Abbey is attempting to button up its period drama status with one final movie. The ongoing saga of the Crawley family continues, with Maggie Smith and all returning for the last hurrah. It seems that every awards season has one British juggernaut film, but none in recent memory have come with the built in fan base of Downton.
2 Joker (October 4)
The history of cinema is littered with iconic portrayals of the Joker. And it looks like Joaquin Phoenix is about ready to add another one to that list with his upcoming villain origin story. Coming out in October, that's the kind of release that is gunning for a bit of awards season play, and with a fresh take on a character covered so many times before, Phoenix and the crew at Warner Bros might just pull it off.
3 The Lighthouse (October 18)
The trailer for The Lighthouse is one of those that gives you the vibe of a film more than it does a "plot" per se. Starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe, the A24 film looks like it will take two lighthouse keepers to the brink of their sanity on a remote island off the coast of Maine. And sure, the premise sounds a little out there (no pun intended), but just the snippets of the performances alone looks like The Lighthouse is the kind of film you won't soon stop thinking about.
4 Harriet (November 1)
Harriet Tubman is finally getting that mega movie, big screen treatment. With Tony winner Cynthia Erivo cast in the leading role, the film also features Janelle Monae and fellow Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr. Following Tubman’s harrowing journey out of slavery and her eventual return to the Underground Railroad as a free woman, Harriet is poised to be a major Oscar contender—and an important one at that. If Erivo gets an Oscar, she will have completed an EGOT in near-record breaking time.
5 The Irishman (November 1)
De Niro, Pacino, and Pesci in a Scorsese movie? Is this the '90s? The Irishman is set for a release later this year before it moves to Netflix, but it's poised to be a major awards contender—how can it not be with those names attached? Telling the story of Frank Sheeran, the mobster looks back at the life he led and the role he had in the disappearance of one of the patriarchs of the biggest crime families in American history.
6 Ford v Ferrari (November 15)
It's been a while since Hollywood has released a big hitting racing movie (outside the franchise-turned-superhero saga known as Fast and the Furious). In this biopic, the story follows the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race, where the Ford company works with Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles to design a car with the specs to beat the Ferrari racing team. Led by Matt Damon and Christian Bale, this November release is going to be gigantic.
7 It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (November 22)
Based on Tom Junod's seminal Esquire profile “Can You Say Hero?,” It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is the stuff of Oscar dreams. Tom Hanks plays the beloved Mr. Fred Rogers, the children’s TV host known for his cheery demeanor and penchant for a quick sweater change upon coming home. The film follows a journalist, played by Matthew Rhys, as Rogers helps him re-think his cynical outlook on the world.
8 Bombshell (December 20)
Hoo boy. Don’t tell your conservative uncle, but that damn Fox News movie about Roger Ailes is dropping later this year. Starring Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly, Hollywood is thirsty for a good media movie right now, so expect this one to make a big splash. In the recent wake of the allegations made against Ailes, the comeuppance in the form of a blockbuster movie follows his victims and the path they took to finally bring him to justice in the public sphere. Additionally, Theron is an absolute killer Kelly.
9 Cats (December 20)
Where do you start with Cats? The Tom Hooper creation looks bombastic and terrifying and supremely annoying, but it’s also going to be one of the most talked about films of the year. With a stacked cast of heavy hitters (and also Taylor Swift in kitten heels), this year’s big movie musical is adorned with CGI fur, giant furniture, and outrageous choreography. The trailer alone set the internet ablaze with jokes and confusion, but that final product? December isn’t ready.
10 Little Women (December 25)
Little Women is the kind of movie practically designed for awards contention. Starring the likes of Laura Dern, Saoirse Ronan, and Timothée Chalamet, the iconic Louisa May Alcott novel is being adapted for a 2019 recreation with an insanely stacked cast. On top of that cast, Greta Gerwig is also adapting and directing the film, so it's surely going to be one to watch.
Sam Mendes' 1917 looks like a very close lookalike to Dunkirk from a couple years ago, but the trailer alone is enough to pull you in. With the visual literally closing in on itself, the film about two British soldiers trapped in the crossfires of World War I and a daunting mission looks like a must-see. Plus, it stars the likes of Game of Thrones' Richard Madden and Benedict Cumberbatch.