From sumptuous period films and tragic romances to the latest instalment of the Harry Potter universe, these are our autumn films to watch

Words Catherine Hales

The Light Between Oceans
Directed by: Derek Cianfrance
Starring: Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz and Michael Fassbender

This romantic drama is based on the novel of the same name by M.L. Stedman and features Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander as a couple living on an island off Western Australia. Tom (Fassbender) is a lighthouse keeper and Isabel (Vikander) a local girl who falls in love with him and moves to the island. The couple’s marriage is marred by loss as Isabel miscarries several times; when a wrecked boat containing a dead man and a baby girl washes up on the shore it seems as though their prayers are answered. However, when a woman comes looking for her lost baby, the couple are faced with an impossible decision.

In cinemas 4th November

Arrival
Directed by: Denis Villeneuve
Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker

An alien invasion movie with a difference; Arrival focuses on the experiences of Louise Banks (Amy Adams), a linguist who is dealing with the loss of her daughter. When alien crafts arrive in various countries throughout the world, Louise’s services are sought by US Army Colonel Weber (Forest Whitaker) to help translate their language and allow the government to communicate with the visitors. With the help of mathematician and scientist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner), she must forge a connection before any of the other countries involved decide to take action against the extraterrestrial invaders.

In cinemas 11th November

The Innocents
Directed by: Anne Fontaine
Starring: Lou de Laâge, Agata Kulesza, Agata Buzek and Vincent Macaigne

Based on a true story, The Innocents is set against the backdrop of a ravaged 1945 post-war Poland. Mathilde (Lou de Laâge) is French Red Cross medical student who has been sent to the country to administer aid to war survivors. Early on she encounters a nun in the woods who is begs her to come to the convent; this leads her to discover a secret with dark implications. As she tries to help, she becomes even more deeply embroiled in the stories of the nuns and everything they have been through since the end of the war.

In cinemas 11th November

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Directed by: David Yates
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol and Colin Farrell

The much anticipated offshoot of the Harry Potter series is finally here. There are growing dangers in the wizarding world of 1926 New York. Something mysterious is leaving a path of destruction in the streets, threatening to expose the wizarding community to the Second Salemers, a fanatical faction of No-Majs (American for Muggles) bent on eradicating them. And the powerful, dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, after wreaking havoc in Europe, has slipped away… and is now nowhere to be found. Unaware of the rising tensions, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) arrives in the city nearing the end of a global excursion to research and rescue magical creatures, some of which are safeguarded in the hidden dimensions of his deceptively nondescript leather case. But potential disaster strikes when unsuspecting No-Maj Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) inadvertently lets some of Newt’s beasts loose in a city already on edge…

In cinemas 18th November

Allied
Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
Starring: Marion Cotillard, Brad Pitt, Lizzy Caplan and Jared Harris

Not much is known about the plot of this romantic thriller other than that it centres around the relationship between Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) and Marianne Beausejour (Marion Cotillard). Set in 1942 North Africa, intelligence officer Max Vatan meets French Resistance fighter Marianne Beausejour on a dangerous mission behind enemy lines. The couple reunite in London, only to have their relationship threatened by the pressures of the war. Expect sumptuous period set pieces, costumes and an undoubtedly electrifying performance from the ever-talented Cotillard and Pitt.

In cinemas 23rd November

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