Your Guide to the 11 Most Anticipated Films of NYFF 2014

By  · Published on September 26th, 2014

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Doesn’t it feel like we just finished up covering the Toronto International Film Festival and Fantastic Fest? Well, it should, because we did, but that’s festival season for you, and now we’ve got a whole other festival (in a whole other city) to get to work on. This year’s New York Film Festival (the fifty-second!) kicks off later tonight with the world premiere of David Fincher’s Gone Girl (side note: we cannot wait), followed by a hefty number of hyped and highly anticipated features.

This year’s festival boasts a solid mix of festival favorites – Whiplash! Pasolini! — and some brand new stuff that’s yet to rock audiences – Inherent Vice! CitizenFour! — all combining into one hell of a fun slate that should quite easily send its attendees into Oscar time feeling quite prepared. Festival season is here, and here’s what we can’t wait to see at this year’s NYFF.

Gone Girl

Hello, movie fan. Are you excited for the very first big screen adaptation of one of author Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novels? No? You must have missed reading this earlier in the week. It’s okay, catch up now.

Inherent Vice

This year’s NYFF boasts a tantalizing “big three” – an Opening film, a Centerpiece premiere, and a Closing entry. Of those three, only Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice has remained intriguingly unseen by festival and critical audiences. The film won’t even hit theaters until January, meaning that the Joaquin Phoenix-starring adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s novel of the same name is still fresh as a daisy. What does PTA have up his sleeves for us? We’ll find out very soon.


Michael Keaton has been deserving of a comeback for years now, and the meta nature of Alejandro González Iñárritu’s already hailed feature (it screened at both Telluride and Venice) sounds like the exact feature to put him back on top. The technically ambitious film – it’s meant to look as if it’s one continuous shot – chronicles a washed up actor, famous for playing the eponymous superhero, as he struggles to relaunch his career by way of a fresh turn on Broadway. Why not a Mr. Mom remake?


Another festival favorite, Yann Demange’s breathless, brutal tale of a lone British solider (rising star Jack O’Connell) trapped behind enemy lines – uh, a working class neighborhood in Belfast, “The Troubles” were nothing if they weren’t strange and problematic and heartbreaking like that – is pure adrenaline. The period piece never, ever lets up, and it’s the kind of movie that actually takes your breath away at every turn. No, really, I couldn’t breath while watching this one, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to see it again as soon as possible.


Laura Poitras’ Edward Snowden documentary was a late addition to the festival, and as such, anticipation for the just-finished feature is high. The film reportedly focuses on Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald as they journey around the world to meet with Snowden and hear his story. Will there be revelations? We’d bet on it.

Clouds of Sils Maria

Another festival favorite from Olivier Assayas, the Kristen Stewart- and Juliette Binoche-starring feature has garnered significant acclaim for months. Now it’s making its debut in New York City, establishing itself quite firmly as the catch-up title of the festival. Can Stewart really act? All signs point to yet, and Clouds could be the star-studded feature that makes that plain to all the haters and doubters (of which I may just be one, but damn if I wouldn’t love to be surprised by her).


Willem Dafoe playing Pier Paolo Pasolini in a Abel Ferrara feature? Is this the year’s most bonkers film or just the year’s most bonkers idea for a film? Let’s find out.


Is Asia Argento’s dramatic film autobiographical? After all, it centers on a young girl who is the victim of selfish, fame-driven parents on the cusp of divorce, and that sounds, well, a little familiar. Argento has long been working towards a break out, and her extremely strong short films signal a bold talent worth watching. The name is just a bonus.

The Princess of France

Here’s how the NYFF website describes the film:

As in his critical hit Viola (2013), Matías Piñeiro doesn’t transplant Shakespeare to the present day so much as summon the spirit of his polymorphous comedies. Víctor (Julián Larquier Tellarini) returns to Buenos Aires after his father’s death and a spell in Mexico to prepare a radio production of Love’s Labour’s Lost. Reuniting with his repertory, he finds himself sorting out complicated entanglements with girlfriend Paula (Agustina Muñoz), sometime lover Ana (María Villar), and departed actress Natalia (Romina Paula), as well as his muddled relations with the constellation of friends involved with the project. As the film tracks the group’s criss-crossing movements and interactions, their lives become increasingly enmeshed with the fiction they’re reworking, potential outcomes multiply, and reality itself seems subject to transformation. An intimate, modestly scaled work that takes characters and viewers alike into dizzying realms of possibility, The Princess of France is the most ambitious film yet from one of world cinema’s brightest young talents, a cumulatively thrilling experience.

Doesn’t that just sound wonderful?


This year’s Sundance kicked off with one hell of bang, crash, boom, thanks to Damien Chazelle’s raucous opening night feature, a deep and dark jazzy number that features career-best performances by both Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons. The film has mostly played it loose since then, save for a TIFF appearance, all in hopes of ramping it up for some awards season love. It undoubtedly deserves it. Get on board with this one right now.


Still more festival catch-up! The Bennett Miller joint tore up Cannes, and it’s finally ending its festival run at NYFF. If there’s a film the deserves a place on any most anticipated list (of any kind! who cares!), it’s this one. The true life tale might as well be subtitled “come see some goddamn acting,” and it would be perfectly appropriate. Do you want to see some goddamn acting? Yes, you do.

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The 52nd New York Film Festival runs from September 26th until October 12th.

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