DuJour Navigation

What To See At The New York Film Festival

Our picks for the best of the fest—now in its 50th year

The tent pole movies at the New York Film Festival, which opens its 16-day run September 28, are more than likely going to end up in a theater near you—even if it’s an art-house cinema slightly off the beaten path. The festival is opening with Ang Lee’s Life Of Pi, closing with Robert Zemeckis’ Flight, and in between is screening David Chase’s Never Fade Away and Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy, the Precious director’s already much talked about new picture featuring Nicole Kidman and Zac Efron.

While the bigger films of the fest will surely dominate conversation (and awards shows) for months to come, there are dozens of other movies screening that are just as deserving of our attention.  DuJour’s editors dug through the slate to find what we think are some of the festival’s other, less obvious highlights.


Director Pablo Larraín’s Cannes-award-winning, Spanish-language film follows a 1980s Chilean advertising executive (Gael García Bernal) who is tasked with creating the television spots for the military party opposing dictator Augusto Pinochet.


Leave it to Brian De Palma, who directed Scarface and Carrie, to bring something as exciting as Passion, which comes complete with sexually tense intrigue, creepy masks, and the possibly Sapphic pairing of Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace, to the big screen.


In what’s surprisingly the first New York Film Festival appearance for legendary Italian director Federico Fellini, the still-weird 1969 classic Satyricon will screen as part of the festival’s Masterworks program on Oct. 13.

Little Shop Of Horrors

Director Frank Oz’s 1986 musical classic—featuring unforgettable turns from Rick Moranis, Steve Martin, John Candy and, of course, Audrey II—screens at the Film Festival with its little seen original (and not-so-happy) ending and 20 minutes of Oz’s restored footage.

Ginger & Rosa

1960s London is the setting for this coming-of-age story starring Elle Fanning and Alice Englert (daughter of filmmaker Jane Campion). After strong performances in Toronto and Telluride, the film, also starring Alessandro Nivola, Annette Benning, and Christina Hendricks, will get a limited release later this year.

Heaven’s Gate

At long last you can see the full, uncut version of Michael Cimino’s 1980 cult western. The re-mastered version was supervised by Cimino himself and features memorable performances from Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken and Isabelle Huppert in her first major Hollywood role.

Lawrence of Arabia

David Lean’s epic masterpiece starring Peter O’Toole as the titular T.E. Lawrence is widely acclaimed as one of the greatest movies of all time, and thanks to an extensive restoration its full visual magnificence can be enjoyed on the big screen as it was meant to be.


Michael Haneke’s (The White Ribbon) devastating drama was a Palme d’Or winner this year at Cannes and looks to be a strong contender for an Academy Award nomination. The film stars Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva as an elderly couple facing impossible circumstances.

The Princess Bride

In what is sure to be one of the most memorable events of the festival, cast members (including Westley and Inigo!) will reunite on October 3 for a special screening to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Rob Reiner’s beloved fairytale classic.

Frances Ha

Director Noah Baumbauch wrote the still-trailerless Frances Ha alongside its star—who’s also his girlfriend—indie queen Greta Gerwig. The movie follows Gerwig’s somewhat lost title character as she traverses a tough but, knowing Baumbach, twee, lovely, and somewhat heartbreaking New York City.