Sundance Weekend Wrap-up

Lines, lines, everywhere a line. Talking up the scenery, blowing my mind. Loved this, loved that, can’t you see I love the lines?

To some, the worst aspect of the Sundance Film Festival is my favorite, the lines. I get see Sundancers from years past, meet new out of state peeps, and talk movies.

Ten movies in, and honestly liked them all. From biting my cuticles from being so nervous in Apollo 11 even though I know they landed on the moon and came back safely, cringing at seeing a father continually abuse his son or a person losing it because they are going to die, laughing and crying in the same movie, to noticing every single sound around me. It was a ride that was well worth the 30 hours of time it took to see them all.

The fest experience began with watching the Maiden doc. It started out a bit slow, but once they got into the story and the interviews, it had you going “GET ER DONE LADIES”. I did recall hearing about the first all-woman team to participate in the prestigious 1989 Whitbread yacht race when I was in college. It wasn’t an activist or feminist make a statement kind of intent, but rather a brilliant group of young women who deep down loved sailing. If only there was a Q&A on this one…

Up next was the hyped-up Julianne Moore/Michelle Williams After the Wedding, a Susanne Bier foreign film remake. Loved the cinematography and am in love with the Alexa film camera capabilities. I liked this move, although didn’t love it. On a high note, it wouldn’t be Sundance without Julianne Moore in a film and she never disappoints. Her scene where she breaks down screaming, “she doesn’t want to die” is raw, guttural and heart wrenching. If she doesn’t get nominated for a “best” for her performance, then shame on the filmies. We must thank the director for providing us with a long Q&A which in my opinion makes you like the film more.

Got a few hours of sleep, said good morning to the fam and was off.

The morning began with Honey Boy, which was awesome and BIG THANKS TO the main cast for showing up to SLC for and entertaining Q&A. Anyone who has experienced physical or mental abuse or has kids was likely very moved by this film. I know I was. It was a memoir about a point in time in Shia LaBeouf’s life that likely was his source of pain and longing that led to rehab. Noah Jupe (A Quiet Place/Wonder) is my new favorite 13-year old British actor on the planet.

I Am Mother appealed to my sci-if geeky side and I would rather have seen the “Alien” doc over this one. Maybe if I hadn’t binge-watched all the 100 series, I may have liked this move better. Too many parallels to the show with a twist. It was entertaining and if you are in to sci-fi, then highly recommend.

I was accompanied by my 11-year old to Apollo 11, who in his very words said… “Mom, that movie made me so anxious and it was awesome”. The Q&A was great and insightful. They will have to work out a few kinks in post-production, but all in all, they captured how it felt to be watching it for the first time. This is a must watch for anyone 50 and younger and educators are going to eat this movie up.

The last movie of the night was The Farewell, featuring Awkwafina. The best line was the opening line of the film, “This film is based on a lie”. If you liked Crazy Rich Asians, you may find this movie is more of the same. Nevertheless, it was funny and sweet.

A few more hours of sleep. Woke up and saw the boys for a hot minute as they were getting ready to ski Solitude for the day and was off to my final four movies to round out the weekend.

The first movie of the day is so far my best of the fest, To the Stars. I didn’t know what to expect on this one and fell in love with the beauty of this black and white movie. Great cast and characters, realistic story and was just everything a movie should be. The entire cast showed up for a lovely Q&A. All GIRLS, and bam, it was awesome. The director apologized to all the men out there and candidly said women producers are better to work with. This gives me hope for my future producer plan endeavors.

The second movie, which was picked up by Amazon for a good-sized penny should be a fav of the fest. The writing will remind you of The Big Sick and is entertaining in every way. My only dislike was the wardrobe for the main character, too many similarities to Ellen’s look.

The Sunlit Night was the next movie. It embodied the essence of Sundance. The movie was a book author to film producer project. It was clever and I did enjoy the movie, although I am more excited to read the book after the Q&A. I secretly think the movie would have been better if there would have been some sort “I like the older artist guy and the intriguing stranger” conflict with the main character.

The weekend finished with a Sundance short from years past being made into a film, The Sound of Silence. Another film embodying what Sundance is all about. It was an interesting take on how the sounds of our world and in our homes can contribute to our health. I will tell you after watching the movie, I noticed every sound in my sleeping house when I arrived home.

All in all, Sundance weekend one moving watching was awesome!

Movies that have been sold for distribution after opening weekend:

  • Late Night (Amazon)
  • Blinded by the Light (New Line)
  • Native Son (HBO)
  • The Souvenir (A24)
  • Ask Dr. Ruth (Hulu)
  • The Report (Amazon)
  • Little Monsters
  • The Lodge (Neon)
  • The Tomorrow Man (Bleecker Street)
  • The Nightingale (IFC)
  • Halston (CNN)
  • Share (HBO)
  • Monos (Neon)
  • The Farewell (A24)
  • Where’s my Roy Cohn? (Sony)

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