With the Venice Film Festival underway, the Toronto Film Festival a week away and more to come, Hollywood is starting its award season engine.

As in years past, these festivals often prove to be solid early indicators of what films will rise to the top and have a chance at Oscar gold.

Though the public will have to wait, in some cases, several months before seeing some of the films themselves, here’s a look at what could have critics buzzing out of Venice and Toronto.

‘The Burnt Orange Heresy’

This heist film from Italian director Giuseppe Capotondi will premiere at the close of the Venice Film Festival on Sept. 7. A wider release date has not been announced. The movie follows the story of a pair of new lovers (Claes Bang and Elizabeth Debicki) who find themselves in the company of a powerful, reclusive art dealer, who gives them a mission. Mick Jagger plays the art collector. Donald Sutherland also stars. — Sandra Gonzalez

‘The Goldfinch’

Release date: Sept. 13, 2019

The much-anticipated film adaptation of author Donna Tartt’s 2013 best-seller finally arrives from “Brooklyn” director John Crowley and playwright Peter Straughan. Just one warning: It may require some tissues (the story’s catalyst is a museum bombing) and a bathroom break (it’s nearly two and a half hours). Oakes Fegley and Ansel Elgort play the younger and older versions of narrator Theo, a character who makes one ill-advised decision on a day that would, under any other circumstances, be enough alone to alter his life path. Nicole Kidman, Sarah Paulson, Jeffrey Wright and Luke Wilson also star. — Whitney Friedlander

‘Ad Astra’

Release date: Sept. 20, 2019

Filling this year’s “buzzy movies about space” slot is “Ad Astra,” a film starring Brad Pitt. (Previous occupants of this slot include Damien Chazelle’s “First Man,” which had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival last year, and Alfonso Cuarón’s “Gravity,” which opened the festival in 2013.) In the film, Pitt plays an astronaut whose father (Tommy Lee Jones) was an astronaut but disappeared while on a mission many years prior. James Gray directed the film, which also stars “Loving” breakout Ruth Negga and Liv Tyler. — Sandra Gonzalez


Release date: Sept. 27, 2019

Biopics have always been standard awards fare for years. This one, directed by British theater’s Rupert Goold and written by Tom Edge, takes on the story of Judy Garland (Renée Zellweger) with a slightly different approach. It is based on Peter Quilter’s stage musical “End of the Rainbow,” and instead of encompassing the performer’s life, it focuses on her waning years — specifically in 1969, when she arrives in London for a five-week run of shows. — Whitney Friedlander

‘The Laundromat’

Release date: Sept. 27, 2019 in theaters/Oct. 18, 2019 on Netflix

Meryl Streep teams with director Steven Soderbergh for a take on the Panama Papers scandal that seems to have shared DNA with the filmmaker’s more rompy outings, like “The Informant!” and “Ocean’s 11.” Streep plays a widow who investigates an insurance fraud, while Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas play two Panama City lawyers. The ensemble cast includes David Schwimmer, Sharon Stone and Jeffrey Wright. — Sandra Gonzalez


Release date: Oct. 4, 2019

Joaquin Phoenix takes on one of the most famous comic book villains of all time in this not-necessarily-funny take on the cackling baddie. (Warner Bros., which is the film’s distributor, is owned by CNN’s parent company.) In this iteration, Phoenix plays a clown/comic who is unhappy with his position in life and society and begins leaning into his darkest instincts. “The Hangover” director Todd Phillips helms the project. Robert Di Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy and Marc Maron also star. — Sandra Gonzalez

‘The Lighthouse’

Release date: Oct. 18, 2019

Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe star in this horror-fantasy about two lighthouse keepers in the 1890s who fight a battle for their sanity while working in isolation. The film is directed by Robert Eggers, the mind behind the well-received horror film “The Witch.” Filmed in black-and-white 35mm film, the movie reportedly has the style and performances to position it as a breakout favorite of the festivals. — Sandra Gonzalez

‘Jojo Rabbit’

Release date: Oct. 18, 2019

Written and directed by “Thor: Ragnarock’s” Taika Waititi, this black comedy billed as an “anti-hate satire” will probably get plenty of press and spark conversations about taste and the current political climate. Roman Griffin Davis plays a lonely German boy whose imaginary friend is none other than Adolf Hitler (played by Waititi). Meanwhile, Jojo’s mom Rosie (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie’s Elsa) in their house. Has Mel Brooks, the king of making a mockery out of Nazis, found a worthy successor to his crown? — Whitney Friedlander


Release date: Nov. 1, 2019

From director Kasi Lemmons, this movie is based on the life of Harriet Tubman, the legendary figure whose ingenuity and bravery helped free hundreds of slaves and change history. Cynthia Erivo takes on the iconic role. Leslie Odom Jr., Janelle Monáe, Jennifer Nettles and Joe Alwyn also star. — Sandra Gonzalez

‘Marriage Story’

Release date: Nov. 6, 2019 in theaters/Dec. 6, 2019 on Netflix

Potentially following in the footsteps of films like 2010’s “Blue Valentine” and 2004’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” writer-director Noah Baumbach’s new movie seeks to capture a relationship as it implodes. Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver play a married couple going through an exhausting, emotional divorce. Laura Dern, Alan Alda and Ray Liotta also star. — Whitney Friedlander

‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’

Release date: Nov. 22, 2019

How many American icons can Tom Hanks play? We’re about to see him do one more in this adaptation of journalist Tom Junod’s Esquire magazine profile of children’s television pioneer Fred Rogers. Directed by Marielle Heller, who last year released the biographical film “You Ever Forgive Me?” and written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster, the film also stars “The Americans’” Matthew Rhys as a version of Junod and stage actress Maryann Plunkett as Rogers’ wife, Joanne. — Whitney Friedlander

‘Just Mercy’

Release date: Dec. 25, 2019

Based on attorney and social justice activist Bryan Stevenson’s memoir of the same name — which is subtitled “A Story of Justice and Redemption” — this could be a holiday movie for the families looking to continue the fight to stop inequality. Michael B. Jordan plays Stevenson while Jamie Foxx plays Walter McMillian, a man serving time for murder despite evidence that proves his innocence. “Short Term 12’s” Destin Daniel Cretton directed this film, which he co-wrote with Andrew Lanham. Brie Larson, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Tim Blake Nelson and Rob Morgan also star. — Whitney Friedlander —(CNN)


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.