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.
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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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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 »
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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The Sundance Film Festival often sets the tone for the entire year in film – it arrives early and plants a flag to announce “these are the first great and most promising movies of the next 12 months.” The /Film team was on the ground in Park City, Utah for the 2019 edition and we saw and reviewed a ton of movies. And we saw so many movies we loved that picking a select few to make a “best of” list turned out to be a bit of a challenge.
But make a “best of” list we did! These are the 15 best movies we saw at the 2019 Film Festival. Silly comedies, intense thrillers, incendiary dramas, horror flicks, feel-good tales…this list has something for everyone and you should put them all on your radar.
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Everyone has that one movie, TV show, book, or album that came along at the perfect time in their life. Just when everything felt like it was crumbling around you, this incredible piece of art lifted you up to make everything seem like it might be all right. In the irresistible coming-of-age indie Blinded by the Light, this revelation comes to a teenage Pakistani boy named Javed (Viveik Kalra) when he needs it the most. Suffocated by a small town, forced into a career he doesn’t want, and harassed by Neo-Nazis, Javed suddenly finds inspiration in an unlikely hero: Bruce Springsteen. Read More »
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How much brutality can you take from a movie? How much is too much? How many scenes of pain, suffering and bloodletting can you stand before you throw up your hands and cry uncle? With The Nightingale, her follow-up to the horror hit The Babadook, director Jennifer Kent seems to posing those direct questions to the audience. The filmmaker knows that we, as a species, have a thirst for violence. But that thirst has its limits. Kent wants to push beyond those limits, and then keep going. And then go further. And then ask, “Isn’t this what you wanted? Why so squeamish now?” As an experiment, it’s fascinating. As a film, it’s almost too much to stand.
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Dwayne Johnson now has a huge blockbuster career, but before that, he was one of the most popular professional wrestlers in the world. Now he’s returning to his roots as himself in the new comedy Fighting with My Family, written and directed by Stephen Merchant, the creator of the UK version of The Office.
But this isn’t the story of The Rock. Rather, it’s the true story of Divas wrestler Paige and how she worked her ass off and rose to WWE fame thanks to the support and obsession of her unconventional wrestling family. And the result is not only the wrestling movie fans have always wanted, but one of the best underdog sports movies ever made about a female athlete. Read More »