America’s circuit of annual film festivals is fast beginning to take shape. With Toronto International Film Festival jam-packed with genuine Oscar contenders and intriguing indies alike – everything from Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven redo to Oliver Stone’s Snowden has booked its place at TIFF 2016 – we’re now beginning to form a clearer picture of what New York has to offer.
Set to take place from September 30 through until October 16, it’s understood that Ava DuVernay’s anticipated documentary The 13th will kick off the 2016 festival, paving the way for 20th Century Women to become the centerpiece. As NYFF draws to a close, though, it is James Gray’s adventure epic The Lost City of Z that will bring the curtain down as the closing night film.
Having emerged as an Oscar dark horse earlier this year, Gray’s long-anticipated picture is an adaptation of the eponymous New York Times bestseller by David Grann. If the talent behind the lens isn’t enough to pique your curiosity, the cast should. To date, The Lost City of Z has enlisted Charlie Hunnam and Robert Pattinson in lead roles, with Sienna Miller and Spider-Man: Homecoming star Tom Holland rounding out the ensemble.
James Gray’s emotionally and visually resplendent epic tells the story of Lieutenant Colonel Percy Fawcett (a remarkable Charlie Hunnam), the British military-man-turned-explorer whose search for a lost city deep in the Amazon grows into an increasingly feverish, decades-long magnificent obsession that takes a toll on his reputation, his home life with his wife (Sienna Miller) and children, and his very existence. Gray and cinematographer Darius Khondji cast quite a spell, exquisitely pitched between rapture and dizzying terror. Also starring Robert Pattinson and Tom Holland, The Lost City of Z represents a form of epic storytelling that has all but vanished from the landscape of modern cinema, and a rare level of artistry.
Beyond its appearance at New York Film Festival in October, there’s no official word on a release date yet. We do know that The Lost City of Z is expected to open before the year’s end though, and we’ll keep you updated as James Gray’s feature narrows that window down to a tangible date.