September’s Trailer Recommendations

15 September, 2021

Deep breath in and let’s make the most of it while cinemas still have their doors open and are not forced to close once again. We picked up some of the most tempting Romanian films that are scheduled to appear this fall, plus titles that had their world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and a fantasy series all set to make waves in November.

House of Dolls (dir. Tudor Platon, documentary)

It’s hard, very hard to find a more charming Romanian documentary than House of Dolls, DoP Tudor Platon’s feature debut as a director. Time catches up with everyone, but we would all like to age as nicely, relaxed, and with a smile on our face as the titular “dolls”, senior women who have stuck to their healthy habit over time: every year, they get away from the daily cares and enjoy a 1-week vacation with their oldest friends. It’s time for sharing secrets, jokes, but also some samples of wisdom.

Coming out in theaters on September 24.

Don’t Look Up (dir. Adam McKay, SF dramedy)

One of the funniest online remarks recently is that Netflix will double the price of its subscription after having to pay the battalion of stars (Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill, Ariana Grande, etc.) who appear in this satire about the extreme experiences of two low-level astronomers who are in for a fair share of surprises when they want to warn mankind of an impending cataclysm. The most interesting question in the movie? What do you do when everyone ignores you, but what you have to say could save or doom the entire human race?

Coming out on Netflix on December 10.

Blue Moon (dir. Alina Grigore, drama)

The first feature film directed by Alina Grigore, known for co-writing the screenplay of Adrian Sitaru’s Illegitimate, competes in the Official Selection of the San Sebastian Festival. The premise is undoubtedly promising and the film could have a long run since it explores the lack of opportunities faced by young women in rural Romania. At the core of the story, we have Irina (Ioana Chiţu), a young woman who dreams of studying in Bucharest, but for that, she has to break free from the family where men have the last word.

Premiering in cinemas on November 5.

Madres paralelas/Parallel Mothers (dir. Pedro Almodóvar, drama)

Almodóvar’s latest film had its world premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival and received an acting award for Penélope Cruz’s performance. The story revolves around two women giving birth on the same day, each facing this huge personal challenge in different ways. Variety magazine trumpeted that Parallel Mothers be “Pedro Almodóvar’s best film since All about My Mother”, and we wonder if the public will have the same opinion. We mention that Almodóvar’s short film The Human Voice launches in Romania on September 17, on a double bill with Gaspar Noé’s medium-length film, Lux Æterna.

Scheduled to be released in theaters on February 4, 2022.

The Hand of God (dir. Paolo Sorrentino, drama, biography)

“I don’t like reality anymore.” What better invitation to a world of fantasy and fascination with cinema? Paolo Sorrentino’s new film had its world premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize, as well as the Marcello Mastroianni Award, which recognizes the best performances by young actors, now received by Filippo Scotti. He plays a fictional version of Sorrentino himself, who is forced by the harsh reality of 1980s Naples to find his purpose elsewhere.

The Hand of God will be released on Netflix on December 15.

The Wheel of Time (created by Rafe Judkins, fantasy series)

This spring, Netflix’s fantasy series Shadow and Bone was unexpectedly well received by the public, and now, Amazon’s The Wheel of Time could have the same fate. The series is based on Robert Jordan’s novel series of the same name, with over 90 million copies sold since its release in 1990. The premise? A providential meeting of six characters will forever change the balance of forces in a realm where certain people have magical powers. The headliner is without a doubt Rosamund Pike, while the series invites audiences to discover a lot of fresh new names.

Premiering on Amazon Prime on November 19.

Otto the Barbarian (dir. Ruxandra Ghiţescu, drama)

Otto the Barbarian is a difficult film to watch, surely, but also necessary. Marc Titieni plays a teenager thrown into a deep crisis after his girlfriend (Ioana Bugarin, who received a lot of praise for her role as a novice in Miracle, which just had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival) commits suicide. An investigation by social services and the sorrow caused by the loss will make the hero react in unpredictable ways. The premiere is supported by a campaign that raises awareness about mental issues among high school students.

Coming out in cinemas on September 24.

The Last Duel (dir. Ridley Scott, action, history)

What strikes at this new historical film by Ridley Scott (apart from the bizarre faces of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Nicole Holofcener) is the timing of the #metoo movement: when the wife (Jodie Comer, fairly known from the successful Killing Eve, seems determined to conquer the big screen too) of a 14th-century French nobleman claims she has been raped by his best friend and squire (Adam Driver), a bloody sequence of events is set in motion. The reviews published after its premiere at the Venice Film Festival weren’t convincing altogether, but we shall see why next month.

To be released in theaters on October 15.

Ștefan Dobroiu
Born in Piteşti, Romania, in 1980, Ştefan is a graduate from the University of Bucharest, with a degree in Journalism and Communication Sciences. After trying his hand with financial journalism and photography (the latter still being very close to his heart), he put his career on a new path in 2006, when he became the senior editor of Cinemagia. He is also the Romania and Bulgaria correspondent for At Films in Frame he recommends monthly the newest film trailers.