The leaves are falling, the pumpkin-spiced drinks are being sipped, and it's time to dig your favorite knit sweater out of the closet. Fall has arrived.
The colors, fashions and cozy vibes of the season are a regular inspiration for Hollywood, whether that be for back-to-school stories, new romances, family drama, or a little magic and whimsy. Halloween and Thanksgiving often dominate the back end of fall, but the season is worth enjoying on its own with a variety of movies suited to any fall taste.
Below, A.frame presents 12 movies to get you ready for sweater weather season.
Directed by Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk contains elements of warmth, family, and hope, despite the difficult circumstances Tish and Fonny (Kiki Layne and Stephan James), the couple at the center of the story, find themselves in as they deal with a prejudiced legal system that could leave Fonny behind bars for years. Costume designer Caroline Eselin, who also worked with Jenkins on his Best Picture Oscar-winning film Moonlight, captures a realistic early '70s style that feels lived in.
If Beale Street Could Talk received an Oscar nomination Best Adapted Screenplay and another for Best Original Score, and won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Regina King.
Coco, Pixar’s touching ode to memory and music, is bursting with golden hues fit for fall, inspired by the Mexican holiday of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). The story follows a young boy, Miguel, who ends up transported to The Land of the Dead where he finds his great-great-grandfather, who helps him return him and reignite the family’s love for music. The Land of the Dead is a vivid, colorful, and indeed lively place, dotted with marigolds, used in traditional Dia de los Muertos ofrendas. Coco took home the Best Animated Feature Film Oscar, and also won for Best Original Song, for the sweet and versatile tune "Remember Me."
The entire color palette for Wes Anderson’s stop-motion charmer is pulled right off a leaf pile in the yard. Oranges, yellows, reds, and browns inform every frame of this Roald Dahl classic, modernized with Anderson's symmetrical style. Adding to the cozy familiarity is the director's stable of regular performers, including Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe, and Owen Wilson, led by Oscar winners George Clooney as the slick Mr. Fox and Meryl Streep as his equally clever wife, Mrs. Fox.
Fantastic Mr. Fox received Oscar nominations for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Score.
Good Will Hunting finds its characters heading back to school, in both literal and figurative ways, with Will (Matt Damon) enrolling in Harvard as a math prodigy. One of the conditions of his attending school is that he meet with therapist Dr. Sean Maguire, played by Robin Williams.
Directed by Gus Van Sant, the film captures the chilly east coast aura of academia, countered with the warm performance delivered by Williams, aided in no small part by his rumpled, sweater-clad professor look, put together by costume designer Beatrix Aruna Pasztor.
Good Will Hunting received nine Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director, and went on to win an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and an Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Williams.
Autumn often leads to new romance, which is the case in the charming teen rom-com The Half of It. Writer and director Alice Wu crafts a clever twist on the Cyrano format, with reserved Ellie (Leah Lewis) writing love letters on behalf of football player Paul (Daniel Diemer) for his crush, Aster (Alexxis Lemire), who Ellie begins to fall for.
The Half of It is set in the chilly Pacific Northwest, with the young cast decked out in modern flannels from costume designer Vicki Farrell necessary for the weather.
Kicking off the popular Harry Potter franchise, this Chris Columbus film introduced moviegoers to the wizarding world with a friendly, welcoming tone that captured Harry, Hermione, and Ron's (Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint, respectively) journey through a new school and a whole new world of adventure and magic at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Judianna Makovsky artfully created the magical wardrobe for the young cast, including the now classic Hogwarts school uniform.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone received Oscar nominations for Best Costume Design, Best Original Score, and Best Art Direction-Set Decoration.
Robin Williams and warm, fall, scholarly vibes seem to go hand in hand, as evidenced by another beloved performance of his as prep school teacher John Keating in Dead Poets Society. Keating inspires his young students, including Todd (Ethan Hawke) and Neil (Robert Sean Leonard), through his passion for poetry, livening up the stuffy academic halls populated by uniformed students, in looks put together by costume designer Nancy Konrardy.
Director Peter Weir also lovingly films the orange and gold falling leaves on the boarding school's campus as the boys learn and grow, adding warmth to the characters' journeys through an otherwise stone-cold environment.
Hayao Miyazaki's 1989 animated adventure Kiki’s Delivery Service radiates coziness, telling the story of a young witch, voiced in the U.S. dub by Oscar-nominee Kirsten Dunst, who creates her own business delivering goods for people in a small town. Kiki struggles with her newfound purpose and friendships, but breaks through to find herself and resume her high-flying adventures in the end. It might not be a Halloween movie, but is there anything more fitting for fall than a tale about a witch, her broom, and her cat?
Knives Out, Rian Johnson's twisty murder mystery takes place in the visibly chilly and damp late fall, and features an all-star cast, including Daniel Craig, Oscar nominee Ana de Armas, and Oscar winners Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Plummer, in one of his final performances on-screen.
But if there's a breakout performance that stands out from all the others, it might be that of the 90% wool, 10% cashmere cream-colored cable-knit sweater worn by Ransom Drysdale (Chris Evans). Supplied by costume designer Jenny Eagan, the clothing worn by the spoiled and arrogant Ransom adds to the cozy vibe emanating from Knives Out, in spite of its plot being heavy on murder and betrayal.
The film received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
In America, football is synonymous with fall, and Remember the Titans captures the spirit of the game bringing people together as the weather cools down. Based on the true story, Denzel Washington stars as coach Herman Boone, who must get the Black and white players of the football team of a newly desegregated Virginia high school to work together on and off the field in the early 1970s. The feel good story is absolutely perfect for fall, with a cast that's bundled up during the chilly nights on the football field by costume designer Judy L. Ruskin.
Fall holidays often revolve around food and tradition, and the 1997 comedy-drama Soul Food captures that spirit perfectly. The movie features an all-star cast, including Vanessa Williams, Vivica A. Fox, Nia Long, and Mekhi Phifer, and centers on the story of a Chicago-based family who gather every Sunday for dinner, even as significant life changes begin to impact their beloved tradition. The titular dishes, presented with care by director George Tillman Jr., are certainly a highlight, but everyone seated around the table also looks great thanks to costume designer Salvador Pérez Jr.
There are many memorable moments from director Rob Reiner and screenwriter Nora Ephron's rom-com masterpiece, When Harry Met Sally…, but one of the things that makes it a perennial fall favorite is the titular couple, played by Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal, strolling through an autumn-hued New York City dressed in comfortable sweaters, getting to know each other better and slowly fall in love.
Costume designer Gloria Gresham kept the cast comfortably stylish with looks that still inspire generations to don their best fall layers every year. (Billy Crystal even re-wore his ever popular white cable-knit sweater in a social media post celebrating his 75th birthday earlier this year. He even crouched to truly bring Harry back for all of the fans of this beautiful fall film.)