(This review originally ran during our coverage of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. The Farewell hits theaters on July 12, 2019.)
In 2018, rapper and actress Awkwafina broke out in a big way, delivering memorable turns in Ocean’s 8 and Crazy Rich Asians. Those two particular performances were indeed enjoyable and fun, but they also bordered on schtick – the actress was very much playing characters; individuals that felt cooked up primarily in the minds of screenwriters. In Lulu Wang‘s lovely, melancholy The Farewell, Awkwafina breaks out in a much bigger way with her first major role, creating a wholly realistic character, and revealing a talent for dramatic acting that you may not have realized she possessed. It’s an incredible performance.
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Three years ago, we were shocked to learn about the sudden and tragic death of Anton Yelchin, star of such films as Star Trek, Fright Night, Like Crazy, Green Room, Charlie Bartlett and more. At 27 years old, the actor was the victim of a freak accident that caused him to be found pinned between his Jeep Grand Cherokee and a brick pillar outside his house in Studio City, California.
Now fans can learn more about Anton Yelchin than they ever did before thanks to the new documentary Love Antosha, which tells the actor’s life story by way of archival footage, behind the scenes photos, and intimate details provided courtesy of the actor’s parents, Irina and Viktor Yelchin. Watch the trailer below. Read More »
Imagine living in a country that handles a crippling overpopulation problem by limiting families to having only one child. No, it’s not a dystopian future setting for a new sci-fi movie. That’s what actually happened in China in 1979, and the policy was only recently completely eliminated in 2015. Now, a new documentary called One Child Nation will explore the legacy of this controversial law that sparked tragedy among families, violated human rights, and resulted in countless abandoned newborns, forced sterilizations and abortions, and government abductions. Watch the One Child Nation trailer below to learn more. Read More »
(This review originally ran during our coverage of the Sundance Film Festival. The Souvenir is in theaters today.)
Almost all narrative films follow the same structure. A clear beginning, middle and end. A main storyline involving main characters. A problem or situation that must be worked out or resolved. There are very few deviations of this format, for two distinct reasons. One is that we’re accustomed to it – it’s all we’ve ever known. The other is that it works – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
So when a movie comes along that bucks the trend, shrugs off the norm, and unfolds in a different way, it can be quite jarring. Such is the case with Joanna Hogg’s transcendent The Souvenir. Hogg ignores a traditional narrative approach for a series of vignettes that make up a bigger picture. It works wonderfully – if you stick with it. But you need to prepare yourself for the long-haul.
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Emma Thompson is a late night talk show host looking for a career spark as she faces criticism for losing her edge and relying on an all-male writers room. Mindy Kaling is an aspiring comedy writer looking to break out of the chemical plant in which she spends her days cracking one-liners. Late Night is the movie that will bring them together in a sharp, hilarious comedy that you must see when it arrives in theaters this summer, and a new trailer will show you exactly why. Watch the new Late Night trailer below. Read More »
Every Sundance Film Festival comes with a handful of coming-of-age narratives showing kids struggling with adolescence in a variety of ways. At Sundance, teens frequently feel like outcasts, have their hearts broken, deal with shitty parents, hang out with unique friends, find inspiration from 1980s music and movies, and learn important lessons. First-time writer/director Jason Orley falls into some of these tropes with his own coming of age comedy Big Time Adolescence, but thankfully, a pair of endearing and hilarious lead performances from teenage Griffin Gluck and comedy prodigy Pete Davidson turn the movie into a real gem. Read More »
On the February 5, 2019 episode of /Film Daily, /Film editor in chief Peter Sciretta is joined by /Film weekend editor Brad Oman, senior writer Ben Pearson, and writer Chris Evangelista to talk about the best films of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
You can subscribe to /Film Daily on iTunes, Google Play, Overcast, Spotify and all the popular podcast apps (here is the RSS URL if you need it).
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There’s an endless number of zombie movies out there. So if you’re going to tackle this particular horror subgenre, you better have something unique to bring to the table. Thankfully, Australian filmmaker Abe Forsythe has exactly that. This the heartwarming story of an irresponsible, immature, and profane uncle and his adorable, gluten-intolerant, tractor and Darth Vader-obsessed nephew. But it’s blended it with a 1980s-inspired zombie invasion, and the result is a bloody laugh riot called Little Monsters. Read More »
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In 2014, the adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild followed Reese Witherspoon’s 1,100 mile-long hike across the Pacific Crest Trail. Five years later, Brittany Runs a Marathon (one of our anticipated titles from Sundance this year) also tells the true story of a woman who uses a long distance run to get her mess of a life in order. But playwright Paul Downs Colaizzo‘s approach as a first-time writer/director is infinitely funnier, fairly less harrowing, but equally significant as a portrait of a woman who needs to find confidence and comfort in her own body. Read More »
Another Sundance Film Festival has come to an end, bringing with it a whole new slate of films that will either be obsessed over for the following year, or consigned to the badlands of VOD. The festival ended with awards going to films such as One Child Nation, The Souvenir, the documentary Knock Down the House, and more. See the full list of Sundance 2019 awards below.
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