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Big Films in the Big Apple: Previewing the 59th New York Film Festival

Apple TV+ / A24

Starting this morning, Press and Industry screenings (better known as P&I screenings) will begin for the 59th New York Film Festival. To be sure, NYFF will be different this year, as it won’t be nearly as populated, screenings will be more spaced out, and as is the case with many festivals currently, food and beverages won’t be permitted. My slight concern about caffeinating myself aside, the fest is another opportunity to appreciate the most prestigious movies of the season. Hot on the heels of the Toronto International Film Festival for me, New York is very much a homecoming for me. After TIFF, NYFF will seem positively quaint. Make no mistake, however, the quality here is going to be off the charts. Much like I set the stage for my Toronto viewings here, so too will I be doing it today for New York.

NYFF is always home to the finest in a year’s cinematic offerings, and 2021 will be no exception. Having seen a number of them already at TIFF (highlighted here), I know this to be true. Things like Dune, The Power of the Dog, Titane, and The Worst Person in the World impressed me while in Canada, while a title like Passing already crossed my path during the virtual Sundance Film Festival. That’s just the tip of the iceberg too, as you’ll see below…


Here now are twenty films to look forward to at NYFF:

*Honorable Mention: Drive My Car, Introduction, and The Velvet Underground*


20. Bergman Island

19. Memoria

18. Petite Maman

17. Belle

16. Bad Luck Banging or Looney Porn

15. Vortex

14. Flee

13. The Souvenir Part II

12. Passing

11. Benedetta

10. The Lost Daughter

9. Parallel Mothers

8. The French Dispatch

7. Titane

6. The Power of the Dog

5. Dune

4. The Worst Person in the World

3. C’mon C’mon

2. The Tragedy of Macbeth

1. Red Rocket

Warner Bros.

As you can see above, the New York Film Festival is not hurting for content this year. Their big three movies are Joel Coen‘s The Tragedy of Macbeth as the Opening Night selection (a World Premiere), Jane Campion‘s The Power of the Dog as the Centerpiece selection, and Pedro Almodovar‘s Parallel Mothers as the Closing Night selection. Throw in Spotlight screenings of things like Mike MillsC’mon C’mon, Denis Villeneuve‘s Dune, Wes Anderson‘s The French Dispatch, Maggie Gyllenhaal‘s The Lost Daughter, as well as Sean Baker‘s Red Rocket, just to name a few, and there’s so much here. I may have seen a lot that the fest will be featuring, but that just means I can be even more of a cheerleader for the festival than usual.

All in all, NYFF holds a lot of promise in 2021, as always. Be sure to look out for our coverage of the fest here at Awards Radar. First up will be a review of Paul Verhoeven‘s Benedetta, followed by my take on The Tragedy of Macbeth. Then, it’s off to the races. Sit tight, enjoy, and if you’re near New York City, perhaps consider attending a screening? If you’re comfortable, the 59th edition of the New York Film Festival looks to be something special…

Sony Classics

Stay tuned for all of Awards Radar’s coverage of the 59th New York Film Festival!


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Written by Joey Magidson

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