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Cozy Up with Fall Films

by Sarah Soliman

It’s November, and there’s a chill in the air. Finally, fall is really here. If you’re anything like us, you love watching movies year-round, but there’s something special about fall movies; the sights of the season — the foliage, the colors, the fashion — are especially cinematic. As the temperature drops, there’s a unique pleasure to settling down with a great comfort movie. If you’ve been wanting to match your movies to the mood, here are some films that capture that fall feeling.

All That Heaven Allows Unrated / Far From Heaven PG-13

Has anybody ever done color like Douglas Sirk? Spanning many months, and featuring some astounding winter scenes as well (Rock Hudson feeding a deer in the snow is enough to make All That Heaven Allows a must-see), All That Heaven Allows features some of the most vivid outdoor fall scenes in cinema. In 2002, Todd Haynes released his homage to Sirk with Far From Heaven, which uses a similarly rich color palette. These two stories of romance stifled by American middle-class suburban mores, and the women facing their neighbors’ judgment, are beautiful and deeply felt — and you’ll probably want to keep the tissues handy.  

Coco PG

Although Día de Muertos has passed (the holiday is usually celebrated November 1 and 2), it’s never too late to watch Coco. This heartwarming film from Pixar is about a boy named Miguel who dreams of becoming a musician, but comes from a family where music is forbidden. On Día de Muertos, Miguel finds himself in the land of the dead on an odyssey to find the superstar musician he believes to be his great-great-grandfather.

Dead Poets Society PG

It’s difficult to think of something more autumnal than this boarding school-set film. Dead Poets Society captures that back-to-school feeling in the best way possible. It’s the start of a school year filled with possibility, youthful enthusiasm, and the once-in-a-lifetime kind of teacher who truly changes your life. 32 years after its release, it remains one of Robin Williams’ most enduring performances.    

Fantastic Mr. Fox PG

Fantastic Mr. Fox is the story of a clever, nimble, and exceptionally well-dressed wild animal. A compulsive chicken thief turned newspaper reporter, Mr. Fox settles down with his family in a new foxhole in a beautiful tree — directly adjacent to three enormous poultry farms owned by three ferociously vicious farmers. Mr. Fox simply cannot resist. Wes Anderson’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s novel is a meticulous work of stop-motion animation featuring gorgeous autumnal hues.  

Knives Out PG-13  

This whodunnit takes place in New England, and with every outdoor shot of towering trees and muddy ground, you can feel the chill in the air. Released in late November, and spotlighting the finest cable knit sweater ever seen on screen, Knives Out will forever feel like a fall movie — specifically a Thanksgiving one, despite the story not actually having anything to do with the holiday. It’s a great time, and the cast is an embarrassment of riches (Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Christopher Plummer, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette) playing a bickering family under investigation for murder after the wealthy patriarch, who happens to be a mystery writer, dies on his birthday.

Little Women (2019) PG

Greta Gerwig’s 2019 adaptation of this literary classic uses texture and color in a way that evokes a crisp autumn day. Watch your friends Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy as they grow up and pursue their dreams in Civil War-era Concord, Massachusetts.

Remember the Titans PG

Fall and football go hand-in-hand. This Denzel Washington film about a football team that inspires its segregated town to come together is both a classic sports film and a classic fall film. And as a bonus: spot a young Ryan Gosling!

Rushmore R

Wes Anderson makes his way onto the list again! Like Dead Poets Society, this one provokes a magical back-to-school feeling, although with Anderson’s signature quirkiness thrown in. Eccentric and ambitious Max has falls in love with the new first grade teacher at his school, but his friendship with a classmate’s parent (Bill Murray) throws a wrench in his plans for wooing his crush. This hilarious and moving film is sure to put you in the fall spirit.

You’ve Got Mail PG / When Harry Met Sally R

New York City in the fall (plus Meg Ryan!) is the stuff of classic rom-coms. These two are the ultimate in comfort movies. You know what’s coming, even if you haven’t seen the films before, but in a way that desperately makes you want to see those inevitable endings come to fruition. All with bookstores and shots of Central Park to boot. Perfect.

If you want to watch something on the big screen this weekend, two of fall’s most anticipated films are currently screening at The Picture House! Academy Award-winning filmmaker Chloé Zhao makes her mark on Marvel with Eternals, and Kristen Stewart is garnering Oscar buzz for her role as Princess Diana in Spencer. Whether you stay in or come to TPH (or both!) we wish you a happy weekend of movie-watching!