New York Film Festival selections will inspire and enlighten

Every year, the New York Film Festival reminds us how powerful an experience the movies can deliver.

Through its curated collection of the best of cinema from around the around, the festival celebrates how movies can touch, inspire and enlighten. And we’re lucky enough to be just up the road from Lincoln Center where it all happens.

Check out three of the films that will highlight this year’s 57th annual festival, starting Sept. 27.

The Irishman

For more than 50 years, Martin Scorcese has captured the imagination of moviegoers with his detailed recreations of life in the underworld. From “Casino” to “Goodfellas” to his Oscar-winning “The Departed,” Scorcese has become the master of making us feel we are there, at the center of criminal masterminds creating their latest schemes.

This year, Scorcese grabs the festival’s coveted opening night slot with his new epic, “The Irishman,” based on “I Heard You Paint Houses” by Charles Brandt. As with many of his earlier films, Scorcese again focuses on some favorite themes, including bonds that build between colleagues who refuse to admit any wrongdoing or accept anyone’s disloyalty.

Helping the director tell this story are some of his favorite actors, including Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino. But all eyes will again be on this master moviemaker who rarely disappoints, and almost always thrills, with a brand of storytelling no one else delivers.

“The Irishman” will be shown Sept. 27, 28 and Oct. 13.

Marriage Story

Once again, the personal filmmaking of Noah Baumbaugh will highlight the festival when his new film “Marriage Story” appears as the event’s centerpiece attraction.

Much as his previous selections at New York, including “The Squid and the Whale” and “Frances Ha,” Baumbaugh’s new film focuses on the intense differences that people who love each other can experience, from how they express what they want to how they demand what they need. In his new film, moviemaker Baumbaugh follows a married couple as they negotiate the terms of divorce including — the custody of their son. As well-intentioned as these adults may be, and as hard as they try to remember they are adults, the proceedings reveal the many layers people can feel when threatened with personal loss.

As always, Baumbaugh recruits a rich collection of actors to bring his material to life, led this time by Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson as the couple, supported by veterans Laura Dern, Ray Liotta and Alan Alda. But it’s Baumbaugh we savor when Baumbaugh brings a movie to the festival. And we can’t wait.

“Marriage Story” will be shown Oct. 4 and 12.

Motherless Brooklyn

Every few years, a talented movie actor demonstrates a range of skills that also include writing, directing and producing a movie, as well as appearing in its cast.

This year’s closing night attraction at the New York Film Festival offers Oscar nominee Edward Norton the chance to demonstrate the full range of his cinema command when he stars in this adaptation of Jonathan Lethem’s novel.

But Norton doesn’t simply star in the film as a private detective in the 1950s who lives with Tourette syndrome. This masterful actor also wrote, directed and produced the film, bringing together all his passions for storytelling into one movie experience. Never predictable as an actor, with a range that continues to impress, Norton’s commitment to film promises to make this a sterling close to this year’s event.

Joining Norton are such veterans as Alec Baldwin, Bruce Willis and the fabulous Cherry Jones who always impresses on film no matter the size of the role. But all eyes will be on Norton. Because there’s likely no limit to what his movie passions can create.

“Motherless Brooklyn” will be shown Oct. 11.

For tickets to the 57th Annual New York Film Festival, go to The event runs Sept. 27 through Oct. 13.