From familiar favorites to overlooked to hidden gems, these nine movies each capture the fall season in their own special way.
Written by: Cooper Carr
When Harry Met Sally (1989):
One of the best romantic comedies of all time, “When Harry Met Sally” is a great choice to watch at any time of year, especially fall. The changing of the seasons, which we love about fall time, is mirrored in the lives of Harry and Sally. Watch it with friends for a night full of laughs, or watch it when you’re sad and be comforted.
Late August, Early September (1998):
“Late August, Early September” is about the slow but inevitable progression from youth to adulthood. It is meditative in tone, and muted reds and blues dominate the color palette. The cinematography stands out here, with the camera constantly moving and changing focus. It captures a whirlwind of feelings in many small pieces that add up to something honest and enduring.
School of Rock (2003):
“School of Rock” is one of those special movies that truly is for everyone. It emphasizes the excitement of fall. While spring is often seen as the season of new beginnings, the same could be said about fall. There is always something to look forward to this season and in “School of Rock,” making it one of the most unwaveringly joyful movies ever made.
Jules and Jim (1962):
“Jules and Jim” feels like an epic, but one concerned with the heart’s affairs. Its story is sprawling and quietly devastating, but there is an undeniable sweetness in many of the scenes. A landmark of the French New Wave, this movie is captured gorgeously by the camera and leaves the lasting impression that while change might not always be welcome, it is necessary.
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001):
“The Royal Tenenbaums” is one of Wes Anderson’s best works because it is one of his most heartfelt. Seemingly every shot of this movie has a golden hue. It is an ode to family, who we need even when we have grown up. This movie is comforting in both its humor and its dramatic beats.
The American Friend (1977):
Shot beautifully in auburn and pale greens, “The American Friend” is a thriller, but categorizing it strictly in that box would belie how genuinely moving it is. It is a movie with heart that will turn your expectations upside down. There is something arresting unfolding beneath the surface, but you won’t need to think too hard to get the most out of it.
In the Mood for Love (2000):
99 minutes Wong Kar-wai packs an amount of emotion into this movie that, from any other director, would be shocking. Moreover, he delivers it in a way that will affect even the most stoic viewer. The color red has never been as ravishing as it is in “In the Mood for Love,” which is a melancholy stylistic revelation as a movie. Like the fall, this movie is heartbreakingly, perfectly grand, and it lands its punches with just the right touch every time.
Little Women (2019):
“Little Women” is part soft smile and part single tear. If you haven’t seen it yet, let this fall be the season you do. The Massachusetts countryside looks lovely on the screen, and the story is drenched in all the feelings that are typical of the fall. You will be crushed, and you will feel better for it. It is melodramatic, but it deserves to be.
Autumn Sonata (1978):
Regret and sorrow can not precisely be made to be pleasant, but in “Autumn Sonata” they are portrayed with a rare fullness that proves even our least favorite feelings have a place on the screen. The movie’s intense performances show its story in a perfectly fitting amber hue. While “Autumn Sonata” is not for the faint of heart, it is exquisite and executed so well by Ingmar Bergman that those who care to watch it will not be able to look away.