Hey everyone! Today is not only my birthday but it is the official start of the Sundance Film Festival. This will be my 4th year attending the festival and my goal is to see more than the 25 films I saw last year! I didn’t get the locals pass 🙁 that I’ve had the last 2 festivals so I won’t have quite the flexibility of the past but I am still going to see some incredible films!
My plan is to post daily recaps of everything I see for the next 10 days just like I did last year, so make sure to check out the site every day for the latest updates! I may not make all the films on this preview but I thought I would give you a peak at what’s to come.
Day 1 1/24- The Grand
First up on Friday is the documentary Crip Camp. This tells the story of a camp near Woodstock called Camp Jened for disabled teens. It is billed as ‘a rousing film about a group of campers turned activists who shaped the future of the disability rights movement.’ I love inspirational documentaries so this sounds just up my alley. It’s also sponsored by the Obamas production company Higher Ground and their first film American Factory was great.
This is a documentary about Taylor Swift and I’m not much of a celebrity person but hopefully it will be interesting. It’s by the same people who did 20 Feet From Stardom which was pretty good.
Day 2 1/25- The Grand
Day 2 is one of my whole days at The Grand Theater because I have a Grand Pass (they only show movies there on the weekend). So I am seeing everything I can at The Grand, which should be interesting!
This one looks really interesting. It is about a girl who has a scar from a perm burn. Her dream is to get on to a music video TV show called Culture. She gets a weave to help her get on the show but the hair ‘has a mind of its own’. So I don’t know what to expect with this one!
This is a period piece starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jessie Buckley and appears to be some kind of espionage thriller involving the Soviet’s and Cuban Missile Crisis. I haven’t quite forgiven Cumberbatch for the atrocious ending to Sherlock but I LOVE Jessie Buckley so that’s enough there for me to be interested.
In this film Michael Keaton stars as an attorney who is put in charge of the Victim Compensation Fund after September 11th. Stanley Tucci and Amy Ryan appear so it should be a good one.
Day 3 1/26- The Grand
This a documentary by Ron Howard about the men and women trying to rebuild their town of Paradise, Nevada. Any film that has the words ‘a testament to the human spirit’ is right up my ally. Should be good
Four Good Days
I am very intrigued about this film. It stars Glenn Close as a woman who gets a visit from her daughter played by Mila Kunis. The daughter has been a long-time drug addict and at first Glenn’s character refuses to let her in the house because of her destructive past. This one will either be really good or really boring but I’m hoping for good.
This is a documentary about the kids at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and their protesting after the school shooting there. Should be an emotional one.
Promising Young Woman
This one I admit I’m a little nervous about because I am not a huge horror person but I am trying to be more open about the genre this year. Plus it looks pretty R rated but again I’m trying to be more open this year. It stars Carey Mulligan as a woman who is raped in college and sets out on a revenge spree with the supposed ‘good guys’ who really aren’t so good after all. We’ll see…
Day 4 1/27- (Rose Wagner Theater)
This stars Evan Rachel Wood and Gina Rodriguez as 2 young women who get caught up in Wood’s family of scam artists and thieves. It’s billed as an ‘absurd comedy bursting with uncanny sweetness’. Hopefully I find it so amusing!
Monday is just my day for comedies because I will be seeing Kajillionaire and this film which is about a couple who are addicted to their phones who finally take a break from them. Unfortunately when they do is when aliens attack the earth. Sounds funny!
Day 5 1/28- (Rose Wagner Theater)
On the Record
I must admit I’m not expecting much from this as I think it was barely finished. It was on the schedule as the ‘Kirby Dick/Amy Ziering Film’ until yesterday but I signed up for it because with tickets it’s easiest to be in the same building for both shows. Anyway, this is a documentary about a music executive named Drew Dixon and her struggle with #metoo movement.
Charm City Kings
I’ve heard great things about this film. It is about a young kid from Baltimore that wants to join a group of dirt-bike riders called the Midnight Clique. It looks funny and sweet so I’m excited for it.
Day 6 1/29- (Rose Wagner Theater)
My biggest draw for this movie is star Cristin Milioti who I loved on How I Met Your Mother and was furious when they killed her off in the finale! I also loved her in AtoZ which was cancelled way too soon! Anyway she is in this and it is billed as a ‘lighthearted romp’ about a woman putting up with her family at her sister’s destination wedding. Andy Samberg stars as well as JK Simmons, Meredith Hagner and Camila Mendes.
This is another one I signed up for because of the location more than anything else. It is a supernatural thriller I think about a girl who loves crime shows and horses and starts having strange dreams. I’m not sure but it sounds interesting.
Day 7 1/30- (Broadway and SLC Library)
Some Kind of Heaven
This is a documentary about a ‘utopian retirement community’ in Florida and a couple of misfits who struggle to fit in with this ‘Disneyland for Retirees’. It sounds sweet and funny so I’m in.
I must admit I’m a little nervous about this film because I’m not sure how horror it will be. It’s billed as a ‘drama, full of contemporary intrigue and dynamic style’ but it could be scary. Hard to tell. It’s about a couple who take a job in a small town where they end up living with horror author Shirley Jackson and her husband. Things evidently get a little crazy so we will see! Stars Elizabeth Moss, Michael Stuhlberg, Odessa Young and Logan Lerman
One of my most anticipated of the festival is Spaceship Earth. It sounds like a bonkers documenatry about a group of people in 1991 who entered a biosphere to try and live for 2 years. It sounds like things went downhill pretty fast and I’m beyond curious about it!
Day 8 1/31- Broadway, and The Grand
The Truffle Hunters
I’m really looking forward to this documentary. It’s about a bunch of grumpy old men who have the skill for hunting special truffles in Italy and I’ve heard it is very funny. I like my grumpy old men movies so this should be delightful.
The summary is claiming this film is the ‘spiritual child of Charlie Kaufman and Michel Gondry’ which is quite the claim. I figure it will either be terrible or really cool. It’s about a man that is interviewing souls to see if they are worthy to be born on earth. We’ll see about this one…
This film has a lot going for it. Julianne Moore playing feminist activist Gloria Steinem seems like a perfect fit. It is also directed by Julie Taymor who usually does interesting things. It also features Janelle Monae, Alicia Vikander, and Bette Midler. I hope it doesn’t fall into the trap of message over story but we will see!
Day 9 2/1- The Grand
Dick Johnson is Dead
This movie looks really strange. According to the summary it is ‘part observational documentary and fictional fantasy’. The director is making a movie about her father dying but also using as a way to deal with death or something like that. According to the summary it is ‘creative, joyous, funny and heartbreaking’ so that’s quite a promise! We will see how it turns out.
I’m looking forward to this film which stars Tessa Thompson as a young lady in the 1950s who falls in love with a jazz saxophonist while her fiance is serving in the army overseas. The cast is eclectic with Wendi McLendon-Covey, Eva Longoria and Lance Reddick appear. Hopefully it is my kind of romance!
Nikola Tesla just appeared in an episode of Doctor Who so it will be fun to learn more about him in this film. Ethan Hawke plays the famous inventor and Kyle MacLachlan plays Edison so that should be fun. A lot of Sundance biopics are pretty basic but hopefully this is well done.
A long day of movies ends with a documentary about the early punk group The Go-Go’s. It obviously features Belinda Carlisle and Jane Wiedlin and should be a lot of fun.
Day 10 2/2- The Grand
One of my most anticipated of the festival is Wendy. This is directed by Benh Zeitlin who directed Beasts of the Southern Wild, which I really enjoyed. This is his first movie since then and it is a new reimagining of Peter Pan. I didn’t think I needed another Peter Pan but the trailer looks very whimsical and charming, so I’m excited.
This looks like a pretty unique and funny comedy. Will Farrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus play a married couple who get into a quarrel during a trip to a ski resort. Evidently there is an avalanche and Farrell’s character fails to protect his family in his fear. I’m a little worried this will be trying too hard to be edgy and Sundancy but I hope I enjoy it. Sometimes these types of indie comedies come off mean-spirited to me rather than funny but we will have to see.
And that’s it! Let’s hope I don’t get stuck in traffic or have problems with lines or work. I certainly hope I can make all of the films! What looks the most interesting to you? Let me know in the comments section. On to Sundance I go!