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Here are the fall festival movie premieres that Oscar voters will be watching

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Javier Bardem and Jennifer Lawrence in Darren Aronofsky’s “Mother!”
(Paramount Pictures)

Are we about to get our first look at the next Oscar best picture winner?

The last five movies to take that award premiered at one of the three fall film festivals – Venice, Telluride and Toronto – now upon us.

That could change this year as there are several intriguing, late-arriving titles, films from Steven Spielberg (the Pentagon Papers drama “The Post”), Paul Thomas Anderson (a still-untitled movie about the London fashion world), Richard Linklater (“Last Flag Flying,” a sequel of sorts to “The Last Detail”) and Ridley Scott (“All the Money in the World,” a crime drama about the 1973 kidnapping of John Paul Getty III).

Still, the movies listed below — premiering at festivals in Venice, Telluride and Toronto — will likely comprise much of the meat of this year’s Oscar race. (Also factor in “Dunkirk,” Sundance standouts “Call Me by Your Name,” “The Big Sick” and “Mudbound,” and Cannes favorites “Wonderstruck” and “The Florida Project.”)

Here’s a look at how the upcoming premieres stack up.


Emma Stone as Billie Jean King and  Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs in "Battle of the Sexes."
Emma Stone as Billie Jean King and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs in "Battle of the Sexes." (Melinda Sue Gordon/Twentieth Cen)
Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy star as Robin and Diana Cavendish in "Breathe."
Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy star as Robin and Diana Cavendish in "Breathe." (Laurie Sparham / Bleecker Street)

Story: Andy Serkis makes his directorial debut with this portrait of Robin and Diana Cavendish (Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy), an adventurous couple who refuse to wave the white flag after Robin is diagnosed with polio.

Pedigree: Garfield earned an Oscar nom last year for “Hacksaw Ridge.” Costar Claire Foy received Emmy love for “The Crown.”

Best case: It’s a touching story of triumph and true love that reduces voters to puddles.

Worst case: Rookie director Serkis hews too closely to the conventions of the genre, and the film fails to earn crucial critical support.

Story: London judge (Emma Thompson) presides over the case of a young man (Fionn Whitehead) refusing a life-saving blood transfusion because of his religious beliefs.

Pedigree: The last Ian McEwan adaptation, “Atonement,” earned seven Oscar nominations.

Best case: Movie finds a distributor at Toronto eager to give it a prime release date and awards season push.

Worst case: Film leaves Toronto with an uncertain future.

Alfonso Gomez-Rejon directs Benedict Cumberbatch (pictured), Michael Shannon, Nicholas Hoult, Tom Holland, and Katherine Waterston in "The Current War."
Alfonso Gomez-Rejon directs Benedict Cumberbatch (pictured), Michael Shannon, Nicholas Hoult, Tom Holland, and Katherine Waterston in "The Current War." (Dean Roger / The Weinstein Company / TIFF)
Gary Oldman steps into the imposing persona of Winston Churchill in this period drama "Darkest Hour."
Gary Oldman steps into the imposing persona of Winston Churchill in this period drama "Darkest Hour." (Focus Features / TIFF)
Sareum Srey Moch as Loung Ung in Netflix's
Sareum Srey Moch as Loung Ung in Netflix's "They Killed My Father" directed by Angelina Jolie. (AccuSoft Inc. / Netflix / TIFF)
A rebellious young woman (Saoirse Ronan) navigates the pressures and constraints of Catholic school and life in Sacremento, in "Lady Bird."
A rebellious young woman (Saoirse Ronan) navigates the pressures and constraints of Catholic school and life in Sacremento, in "Lady Bird." (AccuSoft / TIFF)
Charlie Jaffe (Idris Elba) and Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain) in
Charlie Jaffe (Idris Elba) and Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain) in "Molly's Game." (Michael Gibson / STX Productions)
Jane Fonda, Robert Redford in "Our Souls At Night."
Jane Fonda, Robert Redford in "Our Souls At Night." (Kerry Brown / Netflix)
Richard Jenkins and Sally Hawkins in the film "The Shape of Water."
Richard Jenkins and Sally Hawkins in the film "The Shape of Water." (Kerry Hayes / Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Story: After losing his legs in the Boston Marathon bombing, Jeff Bauman (Jake Gyllenhaal) adjusts to his new life and resolves to walk again.

Pedigree: Gyllenhaal joined the Oscar club 12 years ago with “Brokeback Mountain.”

Best case: Remember how Gyllenhaal was robbed for “Nightcrawler”? The reception for his work here rights that wrong.

Worst case: Gyllenhaal winds up better remembered this year for his nutty turn in “Okja.”

Julianne Moore as Margaret, left, and Matt Damon as Gardner in "Suburbicon."
Julianne Moore as Margaret, left, and Matt Damon as Gardner in "Suburbicon." (Hilary Bronwyn Gayle / Paramount Pictures)
Judi Dench, left, stars as Queen Victoria and Ali Fazal stars as Abdul Karim in director Stephen Frears'
Judi Dench, left, stars as Queen Victoria and Ali Fazal stars as Abdul Karim in director Stephen Frears' "Victoria and Abdul." (Peter Mountain / Focus Features)

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glenn.whipp@latimes.com

Twitter: @glennwhipp

ALSO:

Full list of films to be released this fall

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