Posted on Wednesday, January 18th, 2017 by Angie Han
Team /Film (Peter Sciretta, Ethan Anderton, and myself) is headed up to the Sundance Film Festival this week. As always, we know to expect the unexpected — so often, our favorite films turn out to be ones we’d never even heard of until we arrived — but we can’t help but pick out a few we’re especially dying to see. After the jump, read our Sundance 2017 preview of 30 films we can’t wait to see at the fest.
Alexandre O. Philippe‘s documentary digs into the shower scene in Psycho, still one of the most famous movie scenes of all time, with help from filmmakers like Guillermo del Toro, Bret Easton Ellis, Karyn Kusama, Eli Roth, and Peter Bogdanovich. The title refers to the 78 setups and 52 cuts that make up the scene, but the film goes beyond the technical to examine the scene’s cultural context and place in cinematic history.
Beatriz at Dinner
Sundance favorite Miguel Arteta (Chuck & Buck, The Good Girl) returns with a dark dramedy about a holistic therapist (Salma Hayek) who inadvertently winds up at an upper-crust dinner — and becomes disturbed when she believes she recognizes one of the guests, and the sins he’s committed to get where he is.
Before I Fall
Like a YA Groundhog’s Day, Before I Fall centers on a high school mean girl (Zoey Deutch of Everybody Wants Some!!) who is forced to relive, over and over, the very last day of her life. Ry Russo-Young (Nobody Walks) directs the drama based on the bestselling novel by Lauren Oliver. Watch the trailer here.
A vacation fling turns into something more intense — and much more disturbing — in the new film by Somersault and Lore director Cate Shortland. Teresa Palmer plays a young Australian woman who hooks up with a handsome local (Sense8‘s Max Riemelt) while holidaying in Berlin. Their intense attraction turns into a sinister possessiveness on his part, as she finds herself locked in his apartment with no way out.
The Big Sick
Have you ever heard Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon‘s tragic, dramatic, and utterly romantic real-life wedding story? If not, it’s dramatized in the new dramedy written by Nanjiani and Gordon and directed by Michael Showalter. Nanjiani plays a fictionalized version of himself, while Zoe Kazan stars as Emily. Judd Apatow produced, so you know you can count on his signature mix of heart and humor.
Up and comer Gerard McMurray (he produced Fruitvale Station) wrote and directed Burning Sands, an intense hazing drama centered on a promising young freshman (Trevor Jackson) pledging a prestigious black fraternity. The supporting cast includes the great Alfre Woodard and Moonlight breakout Trevante Rhodes.
Call Me By Your Name
Luca Guadagnino, of I Am Love and A Bigger Splash fame, is back with what sounds like another intoxicatingly sensual drama. This one stars Timothée Chalamet as an American teenager visiting northern Italy in the summer of 1983. His life changes forever when he meets his father’s charismatic young assistant Oliver (Armie Hammer). Michael Stuhlbarg also stars.
You might know Kogonada for his elegant video essays, commissioned by the likes of the Criterion Collection, on the works of auteurs like Wes Anderson, Stanley Kubrick, and Richard Linklater. Now he’s making his feature directing debut with Columbus, starring John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson as two strangers who form an unexpected friendship after meeting by chance in Columbus, Indiana.
Lakieth Stanfield takes center stage in Crown Heights, based on the devastating true story of Colin Warner, who was wrongfully convicted of murder when he was just 16 and spent the next twenty years in prison. Warner’s story has a happy ending, relatively speaking — a friend devoted his life to exonerating him, and finally succeeded in 2001 — but the drama promises a good hard look at the broken system that failed him so badly to begin with.
Charlie McDowell hit Sundance 2014 with his mind-bender of a relationship drama, The One I Love, and now he’s coming to Sundance 2017 with another one. Jason Segel, Robert Redford, and Rooney Mara star as three lost souls who live in a world where the existence of an afterlife has been definitively proven. We can only assume it gets weirder and more complicated from there.