Sundance Film Festival

Polite Society is a fun, spirited and charming genre mash-up: Sundance Film Festival Review

February 2, 2023

Polite Society tells the story of two Pakistani-Muslim sisters in London; plucky Ria (Priya Kansara), who dreams of being a stuntwoman, and Lena (Ritu Arya), her world-weary older sister who wants to be an artist. With Lena recently returned home after dropping out of art school, Ria constantly goads her into helping her make YouTube […]

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Fancy Dance is a heartfelt coming-of-age drama about family bonds and the trials of Indigenous women: Sundance Film Festival

January 30, 2023

Set in present day Seneca-Cayuga Reservation in Oklahoma, Fancy Dance follows Jax (Lily Gladstone), a Native American swindler who hustles for a living while caring for her niece Roki (Isabel Deroy-Olson), taken in following the sudden disappearance of her mother. With every spare moment spent trying to find the missing parent, time is running out […]

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Talk To Me shocks and lingers with dread as it submits to the cruel and comedic capabilities of the horror genre: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 28, 2023

Whilst it’s fair to be tired of the “elevated horror” tag that so many genre pieces aim for nowadays, and the attachment of the-little-studio-that-could A24 only fans the fire, one needn’t worry with Talk To Me, an Australian-made horror effort that’s been acquired by the aforementioned studio for US distribution following wild reactions out of […]

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Other People’s Children is an affecting French drama about the complexities of motherhood: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 28, 2023

There’s complexity within the rather simplistic narrative of Other People’s Children, Rebecca Zlotowski‘s affecting French drama about a certain definition of motherhood. Headlined by a captivating Virginie Efira, last seen dominating Paul Verhoeven’s controversial Benedetta, Other People’s Children focuses on her Rachel, a 40-year-old teacher – single and childless – whose blossoming relationship with Ali […]

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Cat Person is an uneven, personality-confused thriller spearheaded by a committed Emilia Jones and Nicholas Braun: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 27, 2023

It goes without saying that the topical interest in Kristen Roupenian’s 2017 short story “Cat Person”, which ran in The New Yorker, before going viral online, is ripe for a filmmaker to adapt and expand.  Unfortunately, director Susanna Fogel can’t quite secure a grip on proceedings, clumsily handling the film’s tone and undermining its central […]

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Infinity Pool is gluttonous, psychosexual excess: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 26, 2023

The wealthy whites and their easy skewering is a narrative mentality that we have been witness to in a variety of practices as of late.  But unlike The White Lotus and The Menu, two of the most recent examples of such a temperament, Brandon Cronenberg‘s Infinity Pool pushes further past being just a little wicked […]

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Fair Play is an intense, gripping thriller from Chloe Domont: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 26, 2023

Fair Play tells the story of a recently engaged young couple Emily and Luke (Phoebe Dynevor and Alden Ehrenreich) who both work at a corporate hedge fund in secret. As they witness a fellow employee crash and burn and is let go of their job, a new spot for PM has opened up, leaving a […]

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Shayda is a touching and harrowing look into the tribulations of Iranian women: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 26, 2023

Shayda tells the story of our titular heroine (Zar Amir Ebrahimi), an Iranian woman who is living in Australia with her 6-year-old daughter Mona (Selina Zahednia). She resides in a women’s shelter after having fled from Iran to hide from her husband Hossein (Osamah Sami) and she tries to establish a normal life for her […]

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Run Rabbit Run trips over due to lack of originality and well-done drama: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 26, 2023

Run Rabbit Run tells the story of Sarah (Sarah Snook), a fertility doctor and single mother who is trying to maintain a carefree existence for herself and her daughter Mia (Lily LaTorre). The two start to celebrate by planning Mia’s seventh birthday, with Sarah’s ex-husband Peter (Damon Herriman) his partner and their child in attendance. […]

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The Pod Generation is an amusing, if thematically lacking sci-fi satire on impending parenthood: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 26, 2023

Set in 22nd century New York, The Pod Generation tells the story of Rachel (Emilia Clarke) and Alvy (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a happy couple who live in a future where technology has become overabundant in terms of efficiency and convenience. Rachel is a rising executive at the Womb Center and Alvy is a botanist with a […]

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Magazine Dreams is a brutal, affecting drama bolstered by the terrifyingly perfect Jonathan Majors: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 24, 2023

A brutal movie to endure, Elijah Bynum‘s Magazine Dreams speaks to the strive for physical perfection within men and how such toxicity can consume them from the inside out. On that outside, Killian Maddox (Jonathan Majors in a demanding, raw performance that should already be favourited come award season next year) has the type of […]

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Sometimes I Think About Dying‘s at-times tedious pace doesn’t take away its emotional resonance in tackling the themes of social anxiety: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 22, 2023

Whilst it isn’t always moving at a tolerable pace, nor does it necessarily answer the questions it raises throughout, Rachel Lambert‘s at-times dreamy dramedy Sometimes I Think About Dying still manages an emotional resonance as it tackles social anxiety and the feeling of disconnection that can stem from such. Daisy Ridley – in a beautiful, […]

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Sharp Stick is an inconsistent, weird and endearing sophomore effort from filmmaker Lena Dunham: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 31, 2022

Multi-talent Lena Dunham is back into the realm of filmmaking after 11 years since her feature-film debut Tiny Furniture. For her latest film Sharp Stick, she writes, directs and appears in a supporting role in a story that invites discussion about sexual freedom, depiction and perceptions via gender, media, hypocrisy and empowerment. While the film […]

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You Won’t Be Alone is an engagingly wistful look into humanity wrapped up as a supernatural horror: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 31, 2022

A unique if uneven take of supernatural horror told through the veil of existentialism that is frustrating, beguiling and eventually emotionally rewarding. The film follows the story of a young woman who is kidnapped from her mother by a wolf-eateress, rendered mute and then turned into a shape-shifting demon. We see her inhabit various characters […]

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Piggy meshes both realistic horror and well-worn genre tropes into one aggressive experience: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 31, 2022

What make horror films successful is how it examines ideas that are truthful about the human condition with bloodcurdling, cinematic panache. In the case of Carlota Pereda’s feature-length film debut Piggy, she succeeds with flying colours. Adapted from her 2018 short film of the same name; Pereda has ample time to explore the horrors of […]

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Resurrection is a gripping, unpredictably wild thriller that commits to its perverse nature: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 29, 2022

Whilst Resurrection never deviates from its grim examination of motherhood, Andrew Semans‘ gripping, ultimately bonkers thriller refuses to stay on the course you expect it to. Portraying very much the type of Rebecca Hall-encapsulated character that Rebecca Hall effortlessly portrays, the actress here, strong-willed and properly presented, is Margaret, a pharmaceutical company representative who offsets […]

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Emily the Criminal; Aubrey Plaza personifies charming chaos in scrappy, oft intense thriller: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 29, 2022

They say crime doesn’t pay, but whoever stated as such may want to have a chat with the titular criminal in John Patton Ford‘s scrappy, oft intense thriller, one that furthers Aubrey Plaza‘s hold on chaos personified characters in the off-kilter subsect of cinema. Plaza’s Emily is a former art student with a $70,000 debt […]

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The gloriously entertaining horror flick Hatching will provide you a nice egg in this trying time: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 28, 2022

Hatching tells the story of Tinja (Siiri Solalinna), a 12-year old rising star gymnast who lives in the supposed perfect existence of domesticated suburbia; led by her image-perfectionist mother (Sophia Heikkilä), who runs a popular blog about exactly that. Tinja’s family also consists of her taciturn father (Jani Volanen) and her spoiled, irritable younger brother […]

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Maika is a flawed family film that has plenty of energy and charm but not enough innovation: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 28, 2022

Maika tells the story of Hung (Truong Phu), an 8-year old boy who is grieving over the loss of his mother who had died almost a year ago due to a severe illness. One would think that this type of emotional baggage is bad enough. However, it not only rains but it pours. His best […]

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Am I OK? is a neatly crafted journey of self-discovery and sexual acceptance: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 27, 2022

There’s something of a full circle moment experienced with Am I OK?, Tig Notaro and Stephanie Allynne‘s co-directorial feature debut.  The real-life couple, who met on the set of a Sundance selection title (2013’s In A World…), return to the festival as married women detailing their own journey of self-discovery and acceptance with a film […]

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Dual is a blend of deadpan satire and high concept sci-fi that mainly succeeds off Karen Gillan’s fascinating performance: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 25, 2022

With its mix of deadpan satire and high concept sci-fi – comparisons to Yorgos Lanthimos’ 2015 dystopian black comedy The Lobster feel imminent – Dual may be an off-putting experiment to many who can’t readily accept Riley Stearns‘ mentality.  It certainly helps that the film is headlined by the wonderful Karen Gillan though, delivering two […]

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Cha Cha Real Smooth is a funny, charming and poignant crowd-pleaser about people who hesitate to grow up: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 25, 2022

Cha Cha Real Smooth tells the story of 22-year old Andrew (writer/director Cooper Raiff), a recent college graduate who is stuck in his own purgatory before adulthood. Stuck in a dead-end job selling fast food and back living with his family including his mother (Leslie Mann), his step-father (Brad Garrett) and his younger brother David […]

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There is Something in the Dirt from Benson and Moorhead, but it doesn’t amount to much: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 25, 2022

Set-in present-day Hollywood Hills, Something in the Dirt tells the story of two neighbours Levi and John (Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead), who both meet after Levi had recently moved into an apartment, following a large amount of predicaments. The two strike up a quick camaraderie as they exchange life stories, intimate secrets and their […]

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Alice fails to marry its ambitions satisfyingly; despite Keke Palmer’s standout performance: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 25, 2022

Alice tells the story of its titular character played by Keke Palmer, a slave who has spent her entire life enslaved in a rural Georgia plantation. Like many of her family members, she yearns for freedom. Her recently wedded husband Joseph (Gaius Charles) plots an escape for the entire plantation but the plan backfires due […]

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Living, buoyed by innovative storytelling and Bill Nighy, makes a strong case for remakes: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 24, 2022

Set in 1950’s Britain, Living tells the story of Mr. Williams (Bill Nighy), a veteran civil servant who works every day in a meticulous and repetitive fashion in a government office while leading a group of colleagues to help him out. His work ethic and reputation are well known around the inner circle but the […]

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Summering is an appealing, if safe, drama about the bonds of female adolescence: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 24, 2022

Comparisons to Rob Reiner’s 1986 coming-of-age drama Stand By Me will be inevitable when discussing James Ponsoldt‘s Summering; the Sundance fixture returning to the festival following his last effort, the critically mauled 2017 Tom Hanks vehicle The Circle, the first of his filmography to not screen at the festival.  The dark elements, thematic inclinations, and […]

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Leonor Will Never Die is an enjoyably oddball and whimsical ode to cinematic escapism: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 24, 2022

Leonor Will Never Die tells the story of its titular character Leonor Reyes (Sheila Francisco), a once successful screenwriter in the Filipino film industry. Now, she is an aging mother who is struggling to keep her household in check. Desperately trying to recapture past glories as a path to escapism, she discovers a newspaper advertisement […]

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Speak No Evil taps into the awkwardness of human interaction and squeezes out all the horror to excruciating effect: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 24, 2022

Speak No Evil tells the story of a Danish family who are having a vacation in Tuscany, Italy. They meet a friendly and jovial family who are from the Netherlands. They both share common interests, they both have children the same age but most importantly, it is the polite camaraderie that they share that makes […]

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Emergency finds the danger and darkness within ’80s comedy hijinks in this racially-charged comedy/drama: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 24, 2022

Emergency tells the story of two best friends, the academic and accomplished Kunle (Donald Elise Watkins) and the jovial and casual Sean (RJ Cyler). After all the stresses of school, the two are determined to make school history by being the first Black students to complete the legendary frat party tour. With a laid-out plan, […]

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Good Luck To You, Leo Grande is an intelligent sex-positive comedy headlined by a career-best Emma Thompson: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 23, 2022

Whilst there’s no surprise revealed in the fact that Emma Thompson truly deserves to be considered one of the greatest living actresses working today, it’s always appreciated when a performance solidifies such a statement.  And in the deliriously charming and strikingly emotional Good Luck To You, Leo Grande, Thompson turns in career-best work that leans […]

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