8 Must-See Movies at This Year’s New York Film Festival

Our mini-reviews of 'The Florida Project,' 'The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected),' 'Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold,' and more.

The 55th New York Film Festival kicks off tonight at Lincoln Center, launching more than two weeks of fabulous foreign films, thoughtful documentaries, and fall prestige pictures. Year in and year out, it’s one of the most reliable slates on the festival circuit, combining premieres with the best of Cannes, Venice, Toronto, and Sundance (last year’s selection included Moonlight, 20th Century Women, 13th, Paterson, Manchester by the Sea, Personal Shopper, Things to Come, Elle, Fire at Sea, and Toni Erdmann). We were lucky enough to get an early peek at some of this year’s films; here are a few worth checking out, either here at NYFF or at your local theaters and home screens in the weeks and months to come.

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

Harold Meyerowitz, the sculptor and father (played by Dustin Hoffman) at the center of Noah Baumbach’s latest comedy/drama, bears a more-than-passing resemblance to the patriarch of his 2005 Oscar nominee The Squid and the Whale, from his unsolicited cultural critiques (“I find Maugham to be skillful without being an artist…”) to his questionable parenting techniques to the manner in which both can be traced to his own status as an also-ran (and the resentments that breeds). But Meyerowitz doesn’t just find Baumbach retracing his steps; he moves beyond dramatization of familial passive-aggression and into maturity and analysis, telling a story about getting older, coming to terms with who these people are, and figuring out how to be your own person anyway. It’s an uproariously funny movie, and a genuinely tender and moving one as well.