It’s Oscar fighting season — the time when all of the good films come out to contend for the ever-coveted Academy Awards. Here are just a few of the movies throwing their hats into the ring this fall:
The Social Network
Jesse Eisenberg gives a reportedly spot on performance as the young Facebook creator, CEO and billionaire boy genius Mark Zuckerberg, in this tale of how the online social network not-so simply came to be. A story of friendship, betrayal and human nature, both on and offline. Justin Timberlake also stars. October 1.
It’s Kind of a Funny Story
A comedy about a depressive teen who checks himself into a psychiatric ward and forges odd relationships with another teen (an attractive girl) and a middle-aged mental home expert. Zach Galifiankas stars. October 8.
Based on one of the best selling books of the decade, Freakonomics reveals the hidden side of everything by using sheer facts to explain supposed phenomena. Documentaries demonstrate this in five different examples in five short films that make up one fascinating movie. October 1.
When a simple woman (Hillary Swank)’s brother (Sam Rockwell) is convicted of a murder he didn’t commit, she makes it her mission to prove him innocent, spending 18 years getting her GED, going to college, law school and passing the bar exam — all to retry his case. October 15.
A British film about a man who upon discovering his wife’s pregnancy, begins to reconsider the life of crime he leads, having inherited it from his father – still narrowly escaping jail time. The film follows his family of common criminals as their situation starts to get hairy and horrifying decisions are made. Though presented in humorous way, the clan to still manages to come off as endearing and completely ordinary. October 15.
The film follows three men (Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper and Tommy Lee Jones) who have been affected by company layoffs — one, an upper middle class suburbanite and rising star sacked, another, an older Vietnam vet looking to find work until retirement and the third, a disenchanted CEO who stands to gain no matter what happens to his company. A story about what happens after the layoffs. October 22.
In this otherworldly thriller, Man Damon stars as an unwilling psychic who can communicate with the dead. Viewing his abilities as a curse, he struggles to reconcile his feelings about his visions of impending disaster with those who feel they have the right to know about them. October 22.
If you missed it in September, go see this movie now:
Never Let Me Go
Adapted from Kazuo Ishiguro’s excellent novel, the film follow three children as they grow up and eventually leave a mysterious school where they are being prepped for a grim future. A story about friendship, love and the value of life. Cary Mulligan, Kiera Knightly and Andrew Garfield star. In theaters now.
InÂ Obama’s Wars, Bob Woodward provides the most intimate and sweeping portrait yet of the young president as commander in chief. Drawing on internal memos, classified documents, meeting notes and hundreds of hours of interviews with most of the key players, including the president, Woodward tells the inside story of Obama making the critical decisions on the Afghanistan War, the secret campaign in Pakistan and the worldwide fight against terrorism.
At the core ofÂ Obama’s Wars is the unsettled division between the civilian leadership in the White House and the United States military as the president is thwarted in his efforts to craft an exit plan for the Afghanistan War.Â ”So what’s my option?” the president asked his war cabinet, seeking alternatives to the Afghanistan commander’s request for 40,000 more troops in late 2009. “You have essentially given me one option…. It’s unacceptable.”
“Well,” Secretary of Defense Robert Gates finally said, “Mr. President, I think we owe you that option.”Â It never came. An untamed Vice President Joe Biden pushes relentlessly to limit the military mission and avoid another Vietnam. The vice president frantically sent half a dozen handwritten memos by secure fax to Obama on the eve of the final troop decision.
President Obama’s ordering a surge of 30,000 troops and pledging to start withdrawing U.S. forces by July 2011 did not end the skirmishing.Â General David Petraeus, the new Afghanistan commander, thinks time can be added to the clock if he shows progress. “I don’t think you win this war,” Petraeus said privately. “This is the kind of fight we’re in for the rest of our lives and probably our kids’ lives.”
Hovering over this debate is the possibility of another terrorist attack in the United States. The White House led a secret exercise showing how unprepared the government is if terrorists set off a nuclear bomb in an American city–which Obama told Woodward is at the top of the list of what he worries about all the time.Â Verbatim quotes from secret debates and White House strategy sessions–and firsthand accounts of the thoughts and concerns of the president, his war council and his generals–reveal a government in conflict, often consumed with nasty infighting and fundamental disputes.
Woodward has discovered how the Obama White House really works, showing that even more tough decisions lie ahead for the cerebral and engaged president.Â Obama’s Wars offers the reader a stunning, you-are-there account of the president, his White House aides, military leaders, diplomats and intelligence chiefs in this time of turmoil and danger.