As the Sundance Film Festival gets underway, here are the titles most mentioned that buyers will have their eyes on.
Indignation – Director: James Schamus. Cast: Sarah Gadon, Logan Lerman, Tracy Letts. The Brokeback Mountain producer and ex-Focus Features head makes his directorial debut with an adaptation of Philip Roth’s coming of age novel. Marcus Messner is a working-class Jewish student from New Jersey who in 1951 attends a small Ohio college. He meets a beguiling young student and struggles with anti-Semitism, sexual repression, and the prospect of the ongoing Korean War ensue. This one I saw, and Schamus was clearly paying attention when observing great film making as Ang Lee’s writing partner, and prestige film executive. Section: Premieres. 1st Screening – Sunday, January 24th, 6:30 PM – Eccles
The Birth Of A Nation – Director: Nate Parker. Cast: Armie Hammer, Aja Naomi King, Jackie Earle Haley, Gabrielle Union, Mark Boone Jr. Former slave Nat Turner leads a liberation movement in 1831 to free African-Americans in Virginia that results in a violent retaliation from whites. U.S. Dramatic Competition. 1st Screening – Monday, January 25th, 3:15 PM – Eccles
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Christine – Director, Antonio Campos. Cast: Rebecca Hall, Michael C. Hall, Maria Dizzia, Tracy Letts. Drama about American television news reporter Christine Chubbuck, who committed suicide during a live television broadcast. U.S. Dramatic Competition. 1st Screening – Saturday, January 23rd, 6:00 PM – Library
Life, Animated – Director: Roger Ross Williams. Owen Suskind, an autistic boy who could not speak, slowly emerged from his isolation by immersing himself in Disney animated movies. U.S. Documentary Competition. 1st Screening – Saturday, January 23rd, 2:30 PM – MARC
Manchester By The Sea – Director: Kenneth Lonergan. Cast: Casey Affleck, Kyle Chandler, Michelle Williams. After his older brother passes away, Lee Chandler is forced to return home to care for his 16-year-old nephew and has to confront a tragic past. Early word is that Affleck’s performance is stellar and his Good Will Hunting co-star Matt Damon is one of the producers. Premieres Section. 1st Screening – Saturday, January 23rd, 3:00 PM – Eccles
Newtown – Director: Kim A. Snyder. The community of Newtown, Connecticut tries to come to grips with one of the most horrifying mass shootings of schoolchildren in U.S. history. U.S. Documentary Competition. 1st Screening – Sunday, January 24th, 3:00 PM – Temple
The Hollars – Director, John Krasinski. Cast: Krasinski, Anna Kendrick, Margo Martindale, Richard Jenkins, Sharlto Copley, Charlie Day. Krasinski plays an aspiring New York artist who returns home for his mother’s brain surgery operation. In tow is his 8-month pregnant girlfriend. The continuing emergence of Krasinski as a filmmaker and movie star. Premieres section. 1st Screening – Friday, Jan 29, 9:30 PM – Eccles
Hunt For The WilderPeople – Director, writer: Taika Waititi. Cast: Rhys Darby, Julian Dennison, Sam Neil. A national manhunt is ordered for a rebellious kid and his foster uncle who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush. Premieres section. 1st Screening – Friday, January 22nd, 9:30 PM – Eccles
Norman Lear: Just Another Version Of You – Directors: Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady. How a poor Jewish kid from Connecticut bring into American home humorous but polemic discussions of race relations, Vietnam, poverty, adultery, and politics through All In The Family, Good Times, Maude. Documentary Premieres. 1st Screening – Thursday, January 21st, 5:30 PM – Eccles
Other People – Director: Chris Kelly. Cast: Jesse Plemons, Molly Shannon, Bradley Whitford, Maude Apatow, Zach Woods, June Squibb. A struggling comedy writer breaks up with his boyfriend, and returns home to care for his ill mother and reunite with his conservative father and younger sisters. U.S. Dramatic Competition. 1st Screening – Thursday, January 21st, 9:00 PM – Eccles
Southside With You – Director, writer: Richard Tarne. Cast: Tika Sumpter, Parker Sawyers, Vanessa Bell Calloway. Chronicles the summer 1989 afternoon when the future President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, wooed his future First Lady on an epic first date across Chicago’s South Side that included watching Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing. U.S. Dramatic Competition. 1st Screening – Sunday, January 24th, 12:15 PM – Eccles
Swiss Army Man – Director: Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert, C: Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe, Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Are these guys the next Michel Gondry? Hank, a hopeless man stranded in the wild, discovers a mysterious dead body. Together the two embark on an epic journey to get home. As Hank realizes the body is the key to his survival, this once-suicidal man is forced to convince a dead body that life is worth living. U.S. Dramatic Competition. 1st Screening – Friday, January 22nd, 3:30 PM – Eccles
Under The Gun – Director: Stephanie Soechtig. The Sandy Hook massacre was considered a watershed moment in the national debate on gun control, but the body count at the hands of gun violence has only increased. Documentary Premieres. 1st Screening – Sunday, January 24th, 5:30 PM – MARC
Brahman Naman – Director: Q (aka Kaushik Mukherjee). Cast: Shashank Arora, Tanmay Dhanania, Chaitanya Varad. The misfit quiz team of Bangalore University’s gets into the national championships, leading to a booze fueled, virginity losing road trip to defeat their arch rivals from Calcutta. World Cinema Dramatic Competition. 1st Screening – Sunday, January 24th, 8:30 PM – Prospector
Certain Women – Director: Kelly Reichardt, Cast: Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams, Laura Dern, Jared Harris. With a strong cast, indie darling Reichardt explores the lives of three women intersect in small-town America, where each is imperfectly blazing a trail. Premieres Section. 1st Screening – Sunday, January 24th, 3:30 PM – Eccles
Gleason – Director: Clay Tweel. Steve Gleason, former NFL defensive back and New Orleans hero, was diagnosed with ALS at age 34. Doctors gave him two to five years to live. U.S. Documentary Competition. 1st Screening – Saturday, January 23rd, 11:30 AM – MARC
Goat – Director: Andrew Neel. Cast: Nick Jonas, Ben Schnetzer, Virginia Gardner. Reeling from a terrifying assault, a 19 year-old boy enrolls into college with his brother and pledges the same fraternity. The brutality tests their loyalties. U.S. Dramatic Competition. 1st Screening – Friday, January 22nd, 9:00 PM – Library
Joshy – Director: Jeff Baena. Cast: Thomas Middleditch, Adam Pally, Alex Ross Perry, Nick Kroll, Brett Gelman, Jenny Slate, Jake Johnson, Aubrey Plaza, Joe Swanberg. Title character uses his bachelor party as an opportunity to reconnect with his friends. U.S. Dramatic Competition. 1st Screening – Sunday, January 24th, 6:15 PM – Library
The Free World – Director: Jason Lew. Cast: Boyd Holbrook, Elisabeth Moss, Octavia Spencer, Sung Kang, Waleed Zuaiter. Mo serves a brutal prison stretch for a crime he didn’t commit and then struggles to adapt to freedom, and a collision with a mystery woman with a violent past that could put him back behind bars. U.S. Dramatic Competition. 1st Screening – Friday, January 22nd, 9:00 AM – Yarrow – P&I
Wiener-Dog – Director: Todd Solondz. Cast: Kieran Culkin, Greta Gerwig, Brie Larson, Danny DeVito. Chronicles the life of a dog as it travels around the country, spreading comfort and joy. Premiers Section. 1st Screening – Friday, January 22nd, 6:30 PM – Eccles
White Girl — Director: Elizabeth Wood. College student goes to extreme measures to get her drug dealing boyfriend out of jail in New York City. U.S. Dramatic Competition. 1st Screening – Saturday, January 23, 9:15 PM Library Center Theater
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