September is often viewed in negative terms as the end of summer, though frankly that waltzed out the door at the end of July. Soon it will be back to school, though possibly that'll be a momentous relief if you’re a parent, frazzled after six weeks of Frozen stuck on repeat. But in cinematic terms, the start of autumn is always a joy as it heralds the very first of the awards season contenders. This month the acting race begins with Meryl Streep and Tom Hardy casting their hats in the ring. And as always, there are a slew of London-y films packed with London talent and London locations to look forward to.
Legend – London set, London talent
Director: Brian Helgeland Certificate: TBC Release Date: 9 September 2015
Stars: Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, David Thewlis, Christopher Eccleston, Taron Egerton
Tom Hardy seeks to single-handedly go where only 40% of Spandau Ballet dared before. The oh-so-talented Hammersmith boy roughs up to play both, err, ‘legendary’ gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray. Shot on location in the East End with a top notch supporting cast, we’re only disappointed Barbara Windsor didn’t manage to muscle her way in.
Miss You Already – London talent, London set
Director: Catherine Hardwicke Certificate: 12A Release Date: 25 September 2015
Stars: Toni Collette, Drew Barrymore, Dominic Cooper, Paddy Considine
Stop Press: mainstream film portrays age appropriate relationships shocker! This one pairs 40 year old Drew with 40 year old Paddy and, even more astoundingly, 42 year old Toni with 37 year old Londoner Dominic. Miss You Already tests the friendship between two women as one faces difficult personal circumstances. Not only does it pass the PC test, but much of it was filmed in our fair city.
The Messenger – London Talent
Director: David Blair Certificate: 15 Release Date: 18 September 2015
Stars: Robert Sheehan, Joely Richardson, Tamzin Merchant, Lily Cole, Jack Fox
A schpooky schtory of death and the afterlife, The Messenger centres around troubled soul Jack. He hears voices and has spent his life in and out of mental health units until his unwitting involvement in the murder of a journalist almost becomes his undoing. Robert Sheehan gives a terrific central performance as Jack, supported by a sterling cast that includes Jack Fox and Joely Richardson.
99 Homes – London talent
Director: Ramin Bahrani Certificate: 15 Release Date: 25 September 2015
Stars: Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, Laura Dern
Jay Z bemoans the heavy administrative workload of his sizeable property portfolio. Oh sorry, got confused there for a moment. Central School Of Speech And Drama graduate Andrew Garfield stars in a timely moral drama that rails against estate agent greed and corruption. Before you nod off at the back, it won director Ramin Bahrani Best Film at the Venice Film Festival. And we Londoners do love nothing better than grumbling about property prices…
Life – London talent
Director: Anton Corbijn Certificate: 15 Release Date: 25 September 2015
Stars: Robert Pattinson, Dane DeHaan, Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley
Barnes boy R-Patz’s post-Twilight career choices continue to impress. The sensible lad has eschewed further blockbusters in favour of low key, indie roles and Life is no different. Rob plays LIFE magazine photographer Dennis Stock, who struck up a friendship with rising star James Dean through photoshoots. Directed by Anton Corbijin, himself a talented stills photographer, it portrays an unlikely relationship between two troubled souls.
The Martian - London talent
Director: Ridley Scott Certificate: TBC Release Date 30 September 2015
Stars: Matt Damon, Kate Mara, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Sean Bean, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Matt Damon is lost in spaaaaaace when a mission to Mars goes wrong and leaves him stranded with minimal supplies. A bit like when he went all psycho in Interstellar then. It also features Dulwich's Chiwetel Ejiofor trying to get him down. Directed by maestro Ridley Scott, this is one of 2015’s most anticipated releases, so get those IMAX seats booked now.
Captive – London talent
Director: Jerry Jameson Certificate: 12A Release Date: 25 September 2015
Stars: David Oyelowo, Kate Mara
Talented LAMDA alumni David Oyelowo was always the bridesmaid never the bride until finally hitting the big time as Martin Luther King in Selma. Captive sees him cement that leading man status and take on another true story, albeit a somewhat less worthy one, playing an escaped murderer who holds a single mother hostage. Kate Mara, clearly a glutton for punishment after an entire series of being bullied by Frank Underwood, plays the mother.
Everest 3D – London talent
Director: Baltasar Kormákur Certificate: 12A Release Date 18 September 2015
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightley, Robin Wright, Josh Brolin, Sam Worthington, Emily Watson
You can tell what they’re trying to do here. This year’s Gravity! On a mountain! With a frisson of competitiveness thrown in! Two separate expeditions, attempting to climb Everest, are faced with an almighty storm that threatens to destroy them all. We’re more fascinated by the utterly random cast list, not least with how Richmond girl Keira Knightly managed to sneak out of her corset and into an all-action part.
Ricki And The Flash
Director: Jonathan Demme Certificate: 12A Release Date: 4 September 2015
Stars: Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Maime Gummer, Audra McDonald
OK ladies, step away from the awards rostrum and tear up the acceptance speeches. Hollywood is echoing to the sound of hissing and gnashing of teeth as actresses the town over bemoan the landing of a new Meryl Streep movie. And just to rub their noses in it, Ricki And The Flash sees Meryl reinvent herself yet again as a guitar heroine rock star. Played unironically. Can she pull it off? What do you think?
Director: Rick Famuyiwa Certificate: 15 Release Date: 4 September 2015
Stars: Shameik Moore, A$ap Rocky, Zoe Kravitz, Forest Whitaker, Tony Revolon, Kiersey Clemons
Dope, currently taking the indie festival circuit by storm, is almost too cool for school. Three adorably geeky kids, obsessed with 90’s hip hop, find themselves inadvertently involved in a drug smuggling gang in a dodgy LA neighbourhood, in an often hilarious dramedy of errors. Featuring a stonking old skool soundtrack that will make you feel horribly old, it rattles along at a cracking pace and is a proper breath of fresh air.
By Ruth Sloss