Sundance 2017 has wrapped up. During the course of the fest, I kept my eyes glued to social media and the major trades to get an idea of what I should be looking out for during the upcoming festival year. Here are my picks, in no particular order, of the movies that I can't wait to see.
The Big Sick - Based on the real life relationship of comedians Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley and co-host of The Meltdown) and Emily V. Gordon (a prolific writer and author of SuperYou: Release Your Inner Superhero), The Big Sick focuses on the cultural differences as the pair begins to date and deal with bigger issues, including a serious illness. Produced by Judd Apatow, The Big Sick was a breakout hit this year at Sundance and sold for $12 million to Amazon Studios. I can't imagine it will be too long before Amazon gets this tearful and funny rom-com into theaters.
Dave Made a Maze - Ok, so technically this movie was at Slamdance, not at Sundance, but it still makes my list. Dave Made a Maze is a movie about Dave, who like many of us, starts a lot of projects but never finishes them. For some reason, he starts building a cardboard maze full of deathtraps in his living room and becomes lost inside of it. His friends boldly venture into the maze to save Dave. This movie looks to join my two other favorite cardboard obsessed movies - The Science of Sleep and Be Kind Rewind. If you've read this description and are still scratching your head, check out the trailer below.
Get Out - From the mind of Jordan Peele (one-half of comedy duo Key & Peele) comes a horror movie unlike any other. A young black man visits his white girlfriend's family, only to suspect there may be something very wrong with this family and the community. This "race-conscious" thriller is funny and scary according to the early reviews. Some of the reviews probably spoil too much, so just stick to the trailer below and check out Get Out when it releases wide in February.
Brigsby Bear - Described by Vanity Fair as the "feel-good kidnapping movie of the year," Brigsby Bear instantly jumped to the top of my must see list. There's no trailer for it yet, so all we have so far is the description and the single image aove. Jim, the main character, obsesses over Brigsby Bear, a children's show character. He lives with his parents (Mark Hamill is somehow in this movie) in a very strange dome and just when you think it might be the future or the apocalypse, he is rescued by the police and meets his real parents in the real world. The most accurate description of this movie might be The Room meets The Truman Show. I really hope to see it soon.
A Ghost Story - Well on this next title, I am a little baffled. I've read a few reviews of A Ghost Story, but I'll need to see a trailer before I really get a sense of the feel or mood of this movie. Casey Affleck dies in a car crash and becomes a ghost that follows his wife home from the hospital and then continues to live in the house even after she moves out. When I say he's a ghost, he is literally playing a ghost wearing a bedsheet with two eyes poked out. That image above this paragraph is from the movie. Somehow Casey Affleck performs underneath a flowing bedsheet for the entire movie. It's not a comedy. All of the major trades loved this movie. It's certainly unique and I eagerly await a trailer so I can get a better grasp of what to expect.
Patti Cake$ - Fox Searchlight snatched up Patti Cake$ almost instantly. The Hollywood Reporter describes this movie as a far-fetched fairy tale about a young woman in New Jersey who is looking to rap her way out of her home and into stardom. Funny and serious in equal measures, the movie has a lot of crowd-pleasing potential and is a home run from first time director Geremy Jasper.
Kuso - The first feature from enigmatic artist Flying Lotus, Kuso was the talk of Sundance due to "20 or so" audience members walking out during the screening. I always take film fest walkouts with a grain of salt. There were reports of audience members walking out or vomiting during Raw, and once you see that movie you'll be left wondering if those audience members were just remarkably sensitive. Kuso looks like an amazing midnight movie to me. You either love these type of movies or hate them. Check out the trailer below and you should know instantly if it is for you or not. And if you like the trailer or are intrigued by it, check out all of Flying Lotus' videos on youtube and vimeo.