With the sun on Cannes finally set, we’re very much in the mood for film festivals and the wonderful cinematic delights it brings. Of the many to choose from, the next one on our lips is The Sundance Film Festival, making it’s way to the Picturehouse Central tomorrow in London following it’s main January event in native Utah. Let’s have a look at this year’s roster.
First, we have Miguel Arteta’s Beatriz at Dinner, starring Salma Hayek as a hollistic medicine practitioner who attends a wealthy client’s dinner party after her car breaks down. The recently released trailer for the film got a lot of positive reception, and Arteta has a knack for small but enjoyable comedies. It’ll surely be great, after all, what else can you expect from the man behind Cedar Rapids, Youth in Revolt and…Um…Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? Oh boy…
Any how, next up we have the The Big Sick, directed by Michael Showalter – The comedic genius behind Wet Hot American Summer – and focusing on a couple who deal with their cultural as their relationship grows. I’ll trust anything that man makes, especially anything with Paul Rudd. I mean, this doesn’t have Paul Rudd, but it’s got a great cast of fresher faces who are bound to be brilliant.
Up next is The Incredible Jessica James, a title that becomes addictive to say after you jumped back and forth from the IMDb page a few times. It stars Jessica Williams the titular playwright who starts an interesting new friendship (With Chris O’Dowd) while on the rebound from a break up. Then there’s the hilariously titled Bitch, about a young woman who completely snaps under pressure and takes on the persona of a vicious dog, forcing her family to band together and try to ease her through this difficult period. Don’t judge, we’ve all been there. And now we come to the most important film of the event…
Okay, it’s not the most important film, I’m just a huge Jon Hamm fan. That would be Marjorie Prime, the tale of an elderly woman who gets to revisit her deceased husband via a service that creates androids replicating the dead (In this case, Jon Hamm, as I’m sure we will actually do to him when he dies so as to preserve the greatness). It’s a fascinating concept with a great cast. It’s about time Hamm started making great movies. With Baby Driver on the horizon, we might just be able to forget about Keeping Up with the Joneses.
LaKeith Stanfield is really making a name for himself as of late, already starring in hit films like Straight Outta Compton, Short Term 12, Get Out, and the series Atlanta, plus another film in this year’s festival (The Incredible Jessica James), and now he’s hitting the streets of Brooklyn in Crown Heights. It tells the story of a man wrongly convicted for murder, and his best friend will stop at nothing to prove his innocence. Then there’s action thriller Bushwick, starring Brittany Snow as a young woman who discovers her home town has been taken over by the Texas military, and must depend on a war veteran (Dave Bautista) to survive, and finally the festival will close with A Ghost Story. Directed by David Lowery, it stars Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck in an eery tale that explores love, loss and the after life as a white sheeted ghost returns to visit his wife. Following this screening, there’ll be an exclusive In Conversation event with Lowery, titled I Get Overwhelmed: From Saints to Ghosts, featuring a screening of his past film Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, also starring Mara and Affleck. Friendly reminded that this man also made Pete’s Dragon. Yeah, let that one sit with you.
There’s some great documentary features to check out as well as a slew of great shorts (Including Kristen Stewart’s directorial debut Come Swim), and a heap of exciting events to check out Sundance London.