The three hottest attractions of the forthcoming, COVID-threatened NY Film Festival (Friday, 9.25 thru Sunday, 10.11) aren’t exactly award-season rocket fuel — be honest.

The opening night attraction is Steve McQueen‘s Lover’s Rock, an ’80s-era film about a blend of young lovers (Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn, Michael Ward) and music at a blues party…whatever that suggests or amounts to.

Lover’s Rock (apparently the strange apostrophe placement is correct) was cowritten by McQueen and Courttia Newland. Rock is one of three films from McQueen’s Small Axe anthology that will screen at NYFF. The other two are Mangrove, about an actual 1970 clash between black activists and London fuzz, and Red, White, and Blue, based on the story of Leroy Logan (John Boyega) who joined the police force after seeing his father assaulted by cops.

The centerpiece attraction, as previously reported, is Chloe Zhao‘s Nomadland, a sad-eyed-lady-of-the-highway film with Frances McDormand.

The closing-night attraction is Azazel JacobsFrench Exit, an allegedly surreal comedy about “a close-to-penniless widow moving to Paris with her son and cat, who also happens to be her reincarnated husband.” Michelle Pfeiffer, Lucas Hedges, Tracy Letts, Danielle Macdonald and Imogen Poots costar.

from Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland — the pink dusky sky and the brightly glowing lantern are ravishing.

Michelle Peiffer, Lucas Hedges in French Exit, which was only PARTLY filmed in Paris with the remainder in Montreal.