1.30.2018

Sundace Film Festival 2018

The Sundance Film Festival ended yesterday and I'm excited for so many films! Apparently that's not the way the movie biz saw it though. Studio execs said the lineup was weak and not many deals were made. Netflix and Amazon walked away empty handed. Bummer. I basically write this post for myself so I can keep track of all the movies I need to see this year, but I hope you get some information or enjoyment out of it as well.

A Kid Like Jake (Claire Danes, Jim Parsons, Octavia Spencer, Priyanka Chopra, Ann Dowd, Amy Landecker) As married couple Alex and Greg navigate their roles as parents to a young son who prefers Cinderella to G.I. Joe, a rift grows between them, one that forces them to confront their own concerns about what’s best for their child, and each other.



*America to Me (Documentary) This 10-part documentary series spends a year at Oak Park and River Forest High School, a diverse and high-achieving school outside of Chicago. Digging deep into the experiences of black students.


*American Animals (Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, Jared Abrahamson, Ann Dowd, Udo Kier) The unbelievable story of four young men who mistake their lives for a movie and attempt one of the most audacious art heists in U.S. history.


An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn (Aubrey Plaza, Emile Hirsch, Jemaine Clement, Matt Berry, Craig Robinso) Lulu Danger's unsatisfying marriage takes a fortunate turn for the worse when a mysterious man from her past comes to town to perform an event called 'An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn For One Magical Night Only.’


Arizona (Danny McBride, Rosemarie DeWitt, Luke Wilson, Lolli Sorenson, Elizabeth Gillies, Kaitlin Olson) Set in the midst of the 2009 housing crisis, this darkly comedic story follows Cassie Fowler, a single mom and struggling realtor whose life goes off the rails when she witnesses a murder.


*Assassination Nation (Odessa Young, Suki Waterhouse, Hari Nef, Abra, Bill Skårsgard, Bella Thorne) This is a one-thousand-percent true story about how the quiet, all-American town of Salem, absolutely lost its mind.


Bad Reputation (Documentary) A look at the life of Joan Jett, from her early years as the founder of The Runaways and first meeting collaborator Kenny Laguna in 1980 to her enduring presence in pop culture as a rock ‘n’ roll pioneer.


*Beast (Jessie Buckley, Johnny Flynn, Trystan Gravelle, Geraldine James, Charley Palmer Rothwell) In a small island community, a troubled young woman falls for a mysterious outsider who empowers her to escape from her oppressive family. When he comes under suspicion for a series of brutal murders, she learns what she’s capable of as she defends him at all costs.


*Believer (Documentary) Imagine Dragons’ Mormon frontman Dan Reynolds is taking on a new mission to explore how the church treats its LGBTQ members. With the rising suicide rate amongst teens in the state of Utah, his concern with the church’s policies sends him on an unexpected path for acceptance and change.


Beirut (Jon Hamm, Rosamund Pike, Shea Whigham, Dean Norris) A U.S. diplomat flees Lebanon in 1972 after a tragic incident at his home. Ten years later, he is called back to war-torn Beirut to negotiate for the life of a friend he left behind.


*Blindspotting (Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal, Janina Gavankar, Jasmine Cephas Jones) Collin is trying to make it through his final days of probation for an infamous arrest he can’t wait to put behind him. Always by his side is his fast-talking childhood bestie, Miles, who has a knack for finding trouble. But when Collin’s chance for a fresh start is interrupted by a life-changing missed curfew, his friendship with Miles is forced out of its comfortable buddy-comedy existence.


*Burden (Garrett Hedlund, Forest Whitaker, Andrea Riseborough, Tom Wilkinson, Usher Raymond) After opening a KKK shop, Michael Burden falls in love with a single mom who forces him to confront his senseless hatred. After leaving the Klan and with nowhere to turn, Burden is taken in by an African-American reverend, and learns tolerance through love and faith.


The Catcher Was a Spy (Paul Rudd, Mark Strong, Sienna Miller, Jeff Daniels, Guy Pearce, Paul Giamatti, Connie Nielsen) The true story of Moe Berg – professional baseball player, Ivy League graduate, attorney who spoke nine languages – and a top-secret spy for the OSS who helped the U.S. win the race against Germany to build the atomic bomb.


Clara's Ghost (Paula Niedert Elliott, Chris Elliott, Abby Elliott, Bridey Elliott, Haley Joel Osment, Isidora Goreshte) Set over the course of a single evening at the Reynolds’ family home in Connecticut, Clara, fed up with the constant ribbing from her self-absorbed showbiz family, finds solace in and guidance from the supernatural force she believes is haunting her.


*Crime + Punishment (Documentary) Over four years of unprecedented access, the story of a brave group of black and Latino whistle-blower cops and one unrelenting private investigator who, amidst a landmark lawsuit, risk everything to expose illegal quota practices and their impact on young minorities.


Dark Money (Documentary) "Dark money" contributions, made possible by the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, flood modern American elections – but Montana is showing D.C. how to solve the problem of unlimited anonymous money in politics.


The Devil We Know (Documentary) Unraveling one of the biggest environmental scandals of our time, a group of citizens in West Virginia take on a powerful corporation after they discover it has knowingly been dumping a toxic chemical — now found in the blood of 99.7% of Americans — into the local drinking water supply.


Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far On Foot (Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, Jack Black) John Callahan has a talent for off-color jokes...and a drinking problem. When a bender ends in a car accident, Callahan wakes permanently confined to a wheelchair. In his journey back from rock bottom, Callahan finds beauty and comedy in the absurdity of human experience.


Eighth Grade (Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton) Thirteen-year-old Kayla endures the tidal wave of contemporary suburban adolescence as she makes her way through the last week of middle school — the end of her thus far disastrous eighth grade year — before she begins high school.


Generation Wealth (Documentary) Lauren Greenfield’s postcard from the edge of the American Empire captures a portrait of a materialistic, image-obsessed culture. Simultaneously personal journey and historical essay, the film bears witness to the global boom–bust economy, the corrupted American Dream and the human costs of late stage capitalism, narcissism and greed.


*Hearts Beat Loud (Nick Offerman, Kiersey Clemons, Ted Danson, Sasha Lane, Blythe Danner, Toni Collette) In Red Hook, Brooklyn, a father and daughter become an unlikely songwriting duo in the last summer before she leaves for college.


*I Think We're Alone Now (Peter Dinklage, Elle Fanning) The apocalypse proves a blessing in disguise for one lucky recluse – until a second survivor arrives with the threat of companionship.


Jane Fonda in Five Acts (Documentary) Girl next door, activist, fitness tycoon, Oscar winner: Jane Fonda has lived a life of controversy, tragedy and transformation – and she's done it all in the public eye. An intimate look at one woman's journey.


*Juliet, Naked (Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke, Chris O'Dowd) Annie is the long-suffering girlfriend of Duncan, an obsessive fan of obscure rocker Tucker Crowe. When the acoustic demo of Tucker's celebrated record from 25 years ago surfaces, its release leads to an encounter with the elusive rocker himself. Based on the novel by Nick Hornby.


The Kindergarten Teacher (Maggie Gyllenhaal, Parker Sevak, Rosa Salazar, Anna Barynishikov, Michael Chernus, Gael Garcia Berna) When a Staten Island teacher discovers what may be a gifted five year-old student in her class, she becomes fascinated and obsessed with the child -- spiraling downward on a dangerous and desperate path in order to nurture his talent.


King In The Wilderness (Documentary) From the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 to his assassination in 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. remained a man with an unshakable commitment to nonviolence in the face of an increasingly unstable country. A portrait of the last years of his life.


Kusama - Infinity (Documentary) Now one of the world’s most celebrated artists, Yayoi Kusama broke free of the rigid society in which she was raised, and overcame sexism, racism, and mental illness to bring her artistic vision to the world stage. At 88 she lives in a mental hospital and continues to create art.


*Leave No Trace (Ben Foster, Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, Jeff Kober, Dale Dickey) A father and daughter live a perfect but mysterious existence in Forest Park, a beautiful nature reserve near Portland, Oregon, rarely making contact with the world. A small mistake tips them off to authorities sending them on an increasingly erratic journey in search of a place to call their own.


*Lizzie (Chloë Sevigny, Kristen Stewart, Jamey Sheridan, Fiona Shaw, Kim Dickens, Denis O'Hare) Based on the 1892 murder of Lizzie Borden’s family in Fall River, MA, this tense psychological thriller lays bare the legend of Lizzie Borden to reveal the much more complex, poignant and truly terrifying woman within — and her intimate bond with the family’s young Irish housemaid, Bridget Sullivan.


*The Miseducation of Cameron Post After being caught having sex with the prom queen, a girl is forced into a gay conversion therapy center. Based on Emily Danforth's acclaimed and controversial coming-of-age novel.


Monster (Kelvin Harrison Jr., Jeffrey Wright, Jennifer Hudson, Rakim Mayers, Jennifer Ehle, Tim Blake Nelson) “Monster” is what the prosecutor calls 17 year old honors student and aspiring filmmaker Steve Harmon. Charged with felony murder for a crime he says he did not commit, the film follows his dramatic journey through a complex legal battle that could leave him spending the rest of his life in prison.


*Monsters and Men (John David Washington, Anthony Ramos, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Chanté Adams, Nicole Beharie, Rob Morgan) This interwoven narrative explores the aftermath of a police killing of a black man. The film is told through the eyes of the bystander who filmed the act, an African-American police officer and a high-school baseball phenom inspired to take a stand.


NANCY (Andrea Riseborough, J. Smith-Cameron, Steve Buscemi, Ann Dowd, John Leguizamo) Nancy becomes increasingly convinced she was kidnapped as a child. When she meets a couple whose daughter went missing thirty years ago, reasonable doubts give way to willful belief – and the power of emotion threatens to overcome all rationality.


Quiet Heroes (Documentary) In Salt Lake City, Utah, the socially conservative religious mono-culture complicated the AIDS crisis, where patients in the entire state and inter-mountain region relied on only one doctor. This is the story of her fight to save a maligned population everyone else seemed willing to just let die.


*RBG (Documentary) An intimate portrait of an unlikely rock star: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. With unprecedented access, the filmmakers show how her early legal battles changed the world for women. Now this 84-year-old does push-ups as easily as she writes blistering dissents that have earned her the title “Notorious RBG.”


*Search (John Cho, Debra Messing) After his 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a desperate father breaks into her laptop to look for clues to find her. A thriller that unfolds entirely on computer screens.


*Seeing Allred (Documentary) Gloria Allred overcame trauma and personal setbacks to become one of the nation’s most famous women’s rights attorneys. Now the feminist firebrand takes on two of the biggest adversaries of her career, Bill Cosby and Donald Trump, as sexual violence allegations grip the nation and keep her in the spotlight.


*The Sentence (Documentary) Cindy Shank, mother of three, is serving a 15-year sentence in federal prison for her tangential involvement with a Michigan drug ring years earlier. This intimate portrait of mandatory minimum drug sentencing's devastating consequences, captured by Cindy's brother, follows her and her family over the course of ten years.

 

*Sorry to Bother You (Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Steven Yeun, Jermaine Fowler, Armie Hammer, Omari Hardwick) In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, black telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success – which propels him into a macabre universe.


STUDIO 54 (Documentary) Studio 54 was the pulsating epicenter of 1970s hedonism: a disco hothouse of beautiful people, drugs, and sex. The journeys of Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell -- two best friends from Brooklyn who conquered New York City -- frame this history of the "greatest club of all time."


Summer of '84 (Graham Verchere, Judah Lewis, Caleb Emery, Cory Grüter-Andrew, Tiera Skovbye, Rich Sommer) Summer, 1984: a perfect time to be a carefree 15-year-old. But when neighborhood conspiracy theorist Davey Armstrong begins to suspect his police officer neighbor might be the serial killer all over the local news, he and his three best friends begin an investigation that soon turns dangerous.


The Tale (Laura Dern, Isabelle Nélisse, Jason Ritter, Elizabeth Debicki, Ellen Burstyn, Common) An investigation into one woman's memory as she’s forced to re-examine her first sexual relationship and the stories we tell ourselves in order to survive; based on the filmmaker's own story.


TYREL (Jason Mitchell, Christopher Abbott, Michael Cera, Caleb Landry Jones, Ann Dowd) Tyler spirals out of control when he realizes he’s the only black person attending a weekend birthday party in a secluded cabin.


White Fang (Rashida Jones, Nick Offerman, Eddie Spears, Paul Giamatti) An updated re-imagining of Jack London's classic novel, this thrilling tale of kindness, survival and the twin majesties of the animal kingdom and mankind traces the loving and magnificent hero White Fang, whose intense curiosity leads him on the adventure of a lifetime.


*Wildlife (Carey Mulligan, Ed Oxenbould, Bill Camp, Jake Gyllenhaal) Montana, 1960: A portrait of a family in crisis. Based on the novel by Richard Ford. (Paul Dano's directorial debut!)


Won't You Be My Neighbor? (Documentary) Fred Rogers used puppets and play to explore complex social issues: race, disability, equality and tragedy, helping form the American concept of childhood. He spoke directly to children and they responded enthusiastically. Yet today, his impact is unclear. Have we lived up to Fred's ideal of good neighbors?



Does anything look good to you?

*Picked up by a distributor

1 comment:

Audrey Louise said...

Whew. These are SUPER heavy. The Assassination Nation looks terrifying. Definitely not my type of movies, hahaha! The spy one looks good, though! And the Mr. Rogers one. You can tell I'm more of a softy. Lol