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Sundance 2022

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    starklinson
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    #1204748683

    Based on last year’s thread, here is a place where people can discuss the Sundance films.

    Rotten Tomatoes Scorecard: https://editorial.rottentomatoes.com/guide/sundance-2022-scorecard/

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    Hawk
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    #1204748879

    The 4 things I’ve seen the most passionate reactions surrounding them are After Yang, Cha Cha Real Smooth, Rebecca Hall’s performance in Resurrection, and John Boyega’s performance in 892. I don’t know if any of them will be in conversation for awards consideration later this year but I’m definitely excited to see all of them!

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    wolfali
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    #1204748932

    The 4 things I’ve seen the most passionate reactions surrounding them are After Yang, Cha Cha Real Smooth, Rebecca Hall’s performance in Resurrection, and John Boyega’s performance in 892. I don’t know if any of them will be in conversation for awards consideration later this year but I’m definitely excited to see all of them!

    Emma Thompson and Bill Nighy too!

    I just hope some of these films generating buzz don’t get Mass‘d and bought by Bleecker Street.

    FYC:

    "The Good Fight", "The Other Two" and "Station Eleven" in all categories, Sarah Lancashire ("Julia"), William Jackson Harper ("Love Life") and Luke Kirby ("The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel")

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    kamila
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    #1204748944

    Emma Thompson and Bill Nighy too! I just hope some of these films generating buzz don’t get Mass‘d and bought by Bleecker Street.

    Getting Mass‘d should be a term that sticks around

    There are the usual duds, but it’s sounding like a more promising festival compared to last year. I’m interested in hearing where some of these films go.

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    Hawk
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    #1204748948

    Emma Thompson and Bill Nighy too!

    I just hope some of these films generating buzz don’t get Mass‘d and bought by Bleecker Street.

    I did not know she was in an Sundance film somehow but now that I’ve looked it up I’m actually so excited. Can this please be her Oscar comeback vehicle?

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    laslo
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    #1204748962

    Cha Cha Real Smooth is the shit! I swear this movie was sooo great.

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    m_butterfly
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    Feb 3rd, 2021
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    #1204748965

    Apparently Searchlight wants to acquire Emma Thompson’s film https://deadline.com/2022/01/searchlight-sundance-deal-emma-thompson-good-luck-to-you-leo-grande-1234919314/

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    wolfali
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    #1204748985

    I did not know she was in an Sundance film somehow but now that I’ve looked it up I’m actually so excited. Can this please be her Oscar comeback vehicle?

    The fact she hasn’t been nominated in 26 years is criminal.

    FYC:

    "The Good Fight", "The Other Two" and "Station Eleven" in all categories, Sarah Lancashire ("Julia"), William Jackson Harper ("Love Life") and Luke Kirby ("The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel")

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    laslo
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    #1204748999

    Also I thought Living was an amazing film – A+ cinematography and production design. Bill Nighy gives a remarkable performance. Aimee Lou Wood was very good too. Lionsgate has the UK distribution rights so it could go places next season.

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    starklinson
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    #1204749452

    Sony Pictures Classics have acquired the rights to Living “in North America, Latin America, India, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Germany, South Africa, Southeast Asia and airlines worldwide.”

    https://variety.com/2022/film/news/sundance-sony-pictures-classics-living-bill-nighy-1235163499/

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    wolfali
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    #1204749468

    Sony Pictures Classics have acquired the rights to Living “in North America, Latin America, India, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Germany, South Africa, Southeast Asia and airlines worldwide.” https://variety.com/2022/film/news/sundance-sony-pictures-classics-living-bill-nighy-1235163499/

    The way with how hectic Sony Pictures Classics are in campaigning this could either be coming in a big way or not at all lol.

    FYC:

    "The Good Fight", "The Other Two" and "Station Eleven" in all categories, Sarah Lancashire ("Julia"), William Jackson Harper ("Love Life") and Luke Kirby ("The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel")

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    Prince1
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    #1204750345

    Apparently Searchlight wants to acquire Emma Thompson’s film https://deadline.com/2022/01/searchlight-sundance-deal-emma-thompson-good-luck-to-you-leo-grande-1234919314/

    I want her to happen but searchlight has so many contenders this year.

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    mf617
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    #1204750650

    I was so happy that Sundance decided to do a virtual component to their festival again this year, even before it went fully virtual. Their commitment to following up on the success of last year’s virtual festival by having a dual experience is a massive boon for film lovers all over the country, and their commitment to young film lovers especially is really encouraging to see. It’s hard to predict the future any more, but assuming things are much better for an in-person festival in 2023, I hope that they remain committed to the hybrid model that was originally in place for this year. I saw four films as a part of this year’s festival. I kind of wanted to see more, but initially bought tickets for titles I was most interested in and then waited for tickets to become available during the second window on titles I heard good things about, but it didn’t always work out that way. Pro tip for the future (and I can’t remember if it was the same way in 2021): around 9PM EST on Saturday-Tuesday, they made more tickets available to some of the hotter titles, both premiere and second viewing window.

    The first film I watched was “The Worst Person in the World,” which has already been widely seen so I knew I was going to get a high quality film based on the reactions and reviews I’ve seen over the past few months. It certainly did not disappoint. The themes of the film are not necessarily groundbreaking, but the manner in which they’re explored through the incisive screenplay that truly felt like a reflection of the times (not full of outdated tropes or references), as well as Joachim Trier’s visual choices that elevated this above a generic coming-of-age story took this film to a whole other level for me. Renate Reinsve is such a captivating screen presence and she gets to run the gamut of emotions, but dare I say that the MVP of the movie is Anders Danielsen Lie, whose character gets to go to places I certainly wasn’t expecting. His scenes in particular contain the film’s best moments of dialogue that I’ve been thinking about days after. It is a beautifully layered film that goes a bit off the beaten path and is a more enriching experience because of it.

    I originally planned to watch that and “When You Finish Saving the World” back to back, but social obligations got in the way and I ended up watching the latter very late at night. I say this only to provide possible context for when I follow up by saying this film did absolutely nothing for me. I have no problem with a film led by toxic characters, but this was ruthless and unsympathetic in a way that never really got me to cross over from rooting for these characters to merely being entertained by their unpleasantness, if that makes any sense. If the film was trying to be funny or quirky, it really didn’t land. Julianne Moore and Finn Wolfhard are good, but when you’re playing a one-dimensional piece of shit, that’s not necessarily a tall order. Frankly, I couldn’t wait for this film to be done. It is not the most inspiring debut for writer and director Jesse Eisenberg, an actor I usually at least like, if not really like, in other works, but this was a total bust for me.

    I guess my extremely lukewarm reaction to that film had me a bit worried about trying to add any other films to my lineup unless I really heard positive buzz, and that was the case with my third film of the week, “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande.” I had an inkling that this film might work for me based on the presence of Emma Thompson alone, and after I saw positive first reactions, I added the screening to my schedule. It is a really enjoyable film that is elevated by outstanding performances from Thompson and Daryl McCormack. I’ve never seen him in anything else, but he is so charming here it is hard to imagine it doesn’t elevate his career in some fashion regardless of how widely seen this film is when it eventually comes to Hulu, as has been rumored. The script is largely confined to a hotel room, which I assumed made this a pandemic project, but I learned during the Q&A that while the film was shot during the pandemic, the script was actually written pre-COVID. As a two-person character study, it works really well in exploring themes of self-love and confidence, as well as body and sex positivity, and while I would’ve loved to have seen the world around these two characters fleshed out a little more by expanding the scope of the film, I can understand how it would’ve lost the little flourishes that are captured by being a film that only centers around Nancy and Leo. It is a very pleasing film that will certainly find an audience, even if it is not quite what they’re expecting if you don’t know just how contained the movie really is.

    My final Sundance film was also the one I was most excited for, “Cha Cha Real Smooth.” I think I’ve written on here before about how Cooper Raiff’s 2020 debut “Shithouse” was one of my favorite films of the year and how I couldn’t wait to see what he followed it up with. With a bigger budget, more star power, and the experience of his first film under his belt, it is easy to see how this film could’ve just lost the luster of “Shithouse” and become something more basic, but Raiff does a really great job of elevating his visual flair and storytelling skills while also retaining the most human elements that made “Shithouse” such an affecting experience for me. “Cha Cha” works as a spiritual successor to “Shithouse” as it follows a recent college graduate finding his way, but you can tell that Raiff is bringing just a bit more life experience to this one while essentially crafting a guide to journeying through a specific period in your life like he did with his first film. I am a few years older than Raiff and his characters, so while these themes really resonate for me as someone who recently experienced them, I cannot imagine what this film would’ve done for me if I were actually the same age as Andrew, regardless of if we shared the same post-college experience. Raiff’s direction is much more assured and bold, and while I’m sure there are some that will look at this screenplay as too “neat” or perhaps even “hokey,” there is something so earnest in Raiff’s view of the world that I got sucked right in. Raiff said during the Q&A that he doesn’t think he is a good actor, and I’m sure he’s just being hard on himself, but as someone who was really awed by his performance in “Shithouse,” I think this performance takes him to the next level as a leading man. The effortless charisma he has makes even the character’s most grating choices land with a sense of understanding. Maybe it is just hard to separate Raiff the actor from the man behind the camera, but if this performance is the result, I wouldn’t change a thing. He is able to go toe-to-toe with Dakota Johnson, who brings such a specific energy to this film that instantly signals why Andrew is drawn to her. Johnson is magnetic in her own way, completely believable as a comforting presence while also understandably holding back parts of herself that unravel as the film progresses. The evolution of Domino is in the writing, but it is unsuccessful without an actress as careful and considerate as Johnson guiding that journey. Raiff and Johnson’s chemistry is just amazing, even as the film works its way through complications and catharsis for these characters as individuals. The rest of the supporting cast all get really nice standout moments, and in particular, Leslie Mann is amazing with little screentime. I just adored this film and after “Shithouse” and “Cha Cha,” Cooper Raiff has a lifelong fan in me. It seems to me like this film is the defining hit of Sundance, and as we wait to see where it lands, I am confident it’s a title we’ll be hearing about throughout the year as Raiff launches into the next phase of his career.

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    Atypical
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    #1204750761

    What about Lena Dunham’s “Sharp Stick”?

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    24fanatic
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    #1204750766

    I’ve seen After Yang, Master, Honk for Jesus Save Your Soul, Alice, Sharp Stick, Palm Trees and Power Lines, When You Finish Saving the World and Call Jane.

    The only one of these I felt had any awards prospects was After Yang. It’s still a very different movie though and unlikely… with its best shot being in Screenplay.

    No film has really moved me in the way that CODA or Flee did at last year’s fest.

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