Sun is still around, a cool breeze is in the year, trees and falling leaves look like a beautiful painting, and we can start wearing cosy jumpers. So for those who love this time of year, DS has compiled a list of 12 great autumnal movies for the 12 equinox hours to get you in the mood.
The Lake House
While the time-travel elements may be confusing and make little sense, this underrated gem reunites Speed's Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock in a film that really showcases the beauty of autumn throughout.
With much of the film taking place in the title location during the fall months in Chicago, it includes many scenes with stunning backdrops, so much so that you could probably pause it any moment and use a screenshot as your desktop background. It's not quite drama, but it's not quite comedy, and thus has a lovely mood that fits perfectly with autumn. Featuring the music of Paul McCartney, Nick Drake and Carole King, this is a great way to start your autumn viewing.
When Harry Met Sally
One of the best romantic comedies, featuring the former queen of the genre Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal. The film may take place throughout different seasons, including one of the most iconic New Year scenes ever, but there are some scenes that, while brief, encapsulate autumn romances brilliantly. In particular, the moments with Harry and Sally strolling and chatting in New York with a sea of orange and green behind them just makes you want to put on your jacket and kick the leaves.
Autumn isn't only good for romantic films - horror can also benefit from the season with Halloween taking place right in the middle of it. John Carpenter's groundbreaking slasher film utilises the briskness of fall to mirror the coldness of Michael Myers's pursuit of Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis). The terrifying villain's mission gives the Illinois town a darker tone to the year following the warmth of summer.
Zach Braff's directorial debut couldn't provide more of a mellow mood that often goes hand in hand with autumn. The lonely and almost dreary feeling of the main characters in New Jersey combine greatly with the dead leaves that are seen in the background of many scenes. The film's positive ending also gives hope to those who may suffer a bit from SAD as summer leaves us. Braff's soundtrack choices of Joshua Radin and Simon & Garfunkel, among others, also represent the season well.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Although the film technically takes place in the spring, it was actually shot in autumn, and features the Von Steuben Day parade in Chicago, which takes place in September, so we'll count this one. It's obviously an awesome film to watch at any time of year, but use this as an excuse. Several leafy scenes take place, including the memorable Ferrari moment.
Wes Anderson's 1998 comedy takes place throughout the entire fall semester, starting at the beginning of the school year, and taking in Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Shot in Texas during the autumn months, Anderson uses the changes in weather and temperature to symbolise the mood of Jason Schwartzman's Max Fischer as time goes on.
500 Days of Summer
As the title suggests, the film takes place throughout all four seasons during an overall relationship between Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Summer (Zooey Deschanel). While the spring and summer months see Tom at his happiest, the breakup occurs around autumn, and it shows perfectly how the period can either help or hinder a wistful mood. Another film with a brilliant autumnal soundtrack (Regina Spektor, Feist, Doves).
Thomas Newman's soundtrack would make help place the Sam Mendes classic on this list alone. Its minimalist, moody sound always brings a shiver upon listening. Many parts include autumn hints, especially the iconic plastic bag scene. It is a fantastic movie that showcases autumnal yearnings for a new start halfway through the year.
Not necessarily about autumn or obviously taking place there, but there are many brilliant scenes involving winter jackets and leaves on the ground. If you haven't seen Woody Allen's story of romance in the city of Manhattan yet, use the transition into autumn as a perfect reason.
You've Got Mail
"Don't you just love New York in the fall?" Meg Ryan returns for another autumn-y love film, this time with her Sleepless in Seattle co-star Tom Hanks. It may be another relatively formulaic romantic comedy, but if you like a good soppy film every now and then, this is a great starting point. Similar to Love Actually for winter, this film displays the romantic notion that maybe something exciting could happen as autumn arrives.
M Night Shyamalan's film had a mixed reaction upon release, to put it lightly. While you may not be fond of the film's ultimate direction, it at least has an awesome, sinister mood throughout. It is a leaves and forest galore in this film, and it is actually a beautifully-shot movie. Maybe just don't watch the last 15 minutes or so (though we quite liked it).
Good Will Hunting
Matt Damon's launch into the spotlight with writing partner Ben Affleck uses Boston as a brilliant backdrop during the autumn months. There are only a few scenes that feature the season in all its glory, but those that do are beautiful - in particular, Robin Williams telling Damon's title character that he's not as smart as he thinks he is.
Honourable mentions: Scream, Being There, Persuasion, Autumn in New York, Dead Poets Society, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving/Halloween, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, In Bruges, Vanilla Sky, Stepmom, Practical Magic, October Sky, Hannah and Her Sisters, Harold and Maude.
What are your favourite films to watch during autumn? Let us know in the comments box below.