Fox Searchlight Fall 2011 Preview: 'The Descendants,' 'Margaret' and 'Martha Marcy May Marlene'

On the heels of the Warner Bros. preview earlier today, Fox Searchlight Pictures has delivered five new images for their three upcoming fall releases: Margaret starring Matt Damon and Anna Paquin, Martha Marcy May Marlene with Elizabeth Olsen and The Descendants starring George Clooney and directed by Alexander Payne (Sideways).

Of the bunch, I saw Martha Marcy May Marlene in Cannes and you can read my review here, but Kenneth Lonergan's Margaret is going to be the more interesting title considering it wrapped six years ago, but legal entanglements kept it shelved until now. Considering Anna Paquin was around 23 when the film completed shooting and is now almost 30 and Damon is now being suggested by Michael Moore as a potential presidential candidate and will be just shy of 41 when the film hits theaters, this will definitely serve as a journey back in time. Considering the film uses the events of September 11th as a back-drop perhaps that's only appropriate, but it sure will be interesting to see how it turns out.

Otherwise, I will be seeing The Descendants in Toronto, prior to its November 23 release.

All of that said, here's the preview including some new images and links to a few more. Enjoy.

September 30
Matt Damon and Anna Paquin in Margaret
Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Director:Kenneth Lonergan
Cast: Anna Paquin, J. Smith-Cameron, Jean Reno, Jeannie Berlin, Allison Janney, Matthew Broderick, Kieran Culkin, Mark Ruffalo, Matt Damon

SYNOPSIS: MARGARET centers on a 17-year-old New York City high-school student who feels certain that she inadvertently played a role in a traffic accident that has claimed a woman's life. In her attempts to set things right she meets with opposition at every step. Torn apart with frustration, she begins emotionally brutalizing her family, her friends, her teachers, and most of all, herself. She has been confronted quite unexpectedly with a basic truth: that her youthful ideals are on a collision course against the realities and compromises of the adult world.

October 21
John Hawkes and Elizabeth Olsen in Martha Marcy May Marlene
Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Director:Sean Durkin
Cast: Elizabeth Olsen, Christopher Abbott, Brady Corbet, Hugh Dancy, Maria Dizzia, Julia Garner, John Hawkes, Louisa Krause, Sarah Paulson

SYNOPSIS: MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE is a powerful psychological thriller starring Elizabeth Olsen as Martha, a young woman rapidly unraveling amidst her attempt to reclaim a normal life after fleeing from a cult and its charismatic leader (John Hawkes). Seeking help from her estranged older sister Lucy (Sarah Paulson) and brother-in-law (Hugh Dancy), Martha is unable and unwilling to reveal the truth about her disappearance. When her memories trigger a chilling paranoia that her former cult could still be pursuing her, the line between Martha's reality and delusion begins to blur.

November 23
George Clooney, Shailene Woodley and Amara Miller in The Descendants
Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Director:Alexander Payne
Cast: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Beau Bridges, Robert Forster, Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard, Nick Krause, Amara Miller, Mary Birdsong, Rob Huebel, Patricia Hastie

SYNOPSIS: From Alexander Payne, the creator of the Oscar-winning SIDEWAYS, set in Hawaii, THE DESCENDANTS is a sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic journey for Matt King (George Clooney) an indifferent husband and father of two girls, who is forced to re-examine his past and embrace his future when his wife suffers a boating accident off of Waikiki. The event leads to a rapprochement with his young daughters while Matt wrestles with a decision to sell the family's land handed down from Hawaiian royalty and missionaries.

  • m1

    All three of these movies look terrific. Can't wait to see them!

  • Alejandro Roggio

    Yup, I want to see all of them. Fox Searchlight rarely disappoints.

  • Colin

    In an era of astoundingly terrible popcorn entertainment, Fox Searchlight is always a breath of fresh air.

  • JM

    Whoa, Margaret is finally being released? I thought that thing was dead forever. It was filmed back in 2006 or 2007, you know.

    • KJA

      I think it wrapped in 2005! can't wait to see it!

  • tina muse page

    The Descendants??? Breathtaking, soul shaking , hilarious , heartbreaking book.. Kaui Hart Hemmings is , by far, one of the finest writers of our for the film... good luck getting out of that theatre dry eyed! genius! Alexander Payne has - like no other- offered up unapologetic razor sharp wit -with the perfect sensuous dash of heartl He somehow makes shame so inviting.. guilt delicious but - as importantly- without sappy sensitvity he brings to the screen and straight to our heart ,the beauty of loss, cluster mess family forgiveness, irony .. all of it.. He honors Kaui's perfectly flawed walking contradictions of characters... Mr Payne has done it again! And, his hauntingly intuitive producing partner, Jim Burke, is a gift to any of our A-List directors, to emerging talent.. his integrity, humility and genuine love for great story alone is a dream for the suits ... and audience alike.. the man has soul! This film has SOUL! It is a beautiful thing to witness the making of a film that you know will go down as one of the finest works of art in Film History.. as for the Breathtaking Mr Clooney.. Mr Rubber Face ... Mr Aloha filled angel has brought expression and emotion that i have never before seen in him .. I have always disliked that whole "he lost himself in the role" comment. But, seriously, this is his finest work! He and Mr Payne somehow managed to lure us in ... unexpectedly.......very quietly and stealth like..truly exquisite film!! I was unaware that a person can experience two feelings layered on top of each other ( thought that was just for shoe shopping . you know?guilt and bliss entangled) anyway, they did it... it will rip you apart and tenderly , like the skillful braiding of the old Hawaiian Kapunas , they weave you back together.. just enough to leave the theatre in one piece...mascara running down you face , heart in your throat but other than that you will be good to go! By far, the most heartfelt film i have seen . congratulations boys! Congratulations you beautiful Kaui Hart Hemmings!!!!!!!!!!!!! And big Congrats to Fox Searchlight and those genius ladies running the show!