October has arrived with all its spookiness – and hopefully some cooler weather! Although only one film on this month’s list has any horror elements, there are still plenty of excellent films to see as Oscar season gets underway.
First up is a drama titled Tár. Starring Cate Blanchett as the titular, renowned classical music conductor and composer Lydia Tár, the film explores her life and musical creations. The trailer almost solely consists of Blanchett breathing out smoke in slow motion as a voiceover waxes poetic about power and destroying oneself publicly … so the film is sure to be an artistic ride when it releases on Oct. 7.
Next, the big horror for the month arrives with the final installment of the new Halloween franchise, aptly named Halloween Ends. The third film from David Gordon Green, the movie continues four years after Halloween Kills, with Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) returning to try and take down Michael once and for all. Although the first film was a large critical and financial success, the second didn’t fare as well – so here’s hoping Green and Curtis have rekindled the magical mayhem when it hits theaters on Oct. 14.
For your overseas choice, take a look at Decision to Leave. A South Korean romantic mystery, the plot finds a detective falling for a mysterious widow – even though she’s the prime suspect in his latest murder investigation. Directed by Park Chan-wook, known best for his 2003 film Oldboy and more recently for the miniseries The Little Drummer Girl, this film looks to have all the intrigue and potential violence we’ve come to expect from Chan-wook. The movie won Best Director at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival and early reviews are extremely positive, so this is one to keep an eye on when it drops on Oct. 14.
For your comedy drama by one of the best filmmakers working today, check out The Banshees of Inisherin. Written and directed by Martin McDonagh, the story sees two friends, played by Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, abruptly end their friendship with disastrous results for both. Also starring Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan, this is one of my most anticipated films of the year. McDonagh has a brilliant and explosive way with words in both his plays and films, and I cannot wait to see what he does next. The film releases on Oct. 21.
Lastly – and regrettably – I must inform you that the Disney Plus miniseries Obi-Wan Kenobi is not very good, and you would do well to avoid it. Not only does it waste a lot of time meandering around for nearly four episodes before anything of value happens (it could have been a small, concise film), Obi-Wan as a character just makes bafflingly stupid choices that don’t add up – despite Ewan McGregor acting his heart out. With each subsequent mediocre Star Wars release, it becomes easier and easier to just ignore everything other than the original trilogy of films.