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Movies on Our Radar: Our Sundance Picks

Posted on January 25, 2014 by

The Sundance Film Festival kicked off this month introducing exciting new projects and breakout stars. Known to be one of the world’s biggest independent movie festivals, it was where films like Don Jon, (500) Days of Summer  and Reservoir Dogs found their way to mainstream success.

This year’s fest was no exception.  From Kickstarter campaigns to films that took 12 years to make, it really looks like 2014 is getting off to a good start. Here are three titles we’re already looking forward to seeing!

Frank

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Michael Fassbender might have one of the most expressive and handsome faces in Hollywood. But you won’t get to see any of that in Frank. Playing the title role, Fassbender plays the enigmatic frontman of an outsider band who insists on wearing a plaster mask at all times – even when he’s offstage. Joining the fun is Domhnall Gleeson playing a wannabe musician and Maggie Gyllenhaal as a theremin player who’s suspicious of everybody’s motives.

I’m pretty intrigued by how all of this will play out. Described as a “weird and wonderful musical comedy” by Variety’s Peter Debruge, I’d really like to see Fassy play something quirky and endearing for once after viewing his intense performance in 12 Years A Slave. 

Boyhood

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What makes Boyhood so interesting is the fact that its taken director Richard Linklater 12 years to shoot the film. Documenting the life of a boy named Mason (played by Ellar Coltrane), the film unfolds as he ages from grade 1 to 12 and examines the relationship he has with his parents (played by Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette).

I can’t imagine the amount of dedication that went into making this film in terms of finding a willing child to be able to shoot scenes for 12 consecutive years. But now that the project’s completed, I bet the results were worth all that work.

Life After Beth

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Zombies aren’t the most lovable creatures in the world. But if you found the zombie rom-com Warm Bodies sweet and charming, then Life After Beth should be up your alley.

Aubrey Plaza (Parks & Rec) plays the title role of Beth who unexpectedly dies and leaves her heartbroken boyfriend Zach behind (Dane DeHaan). But to his surprise, she comes back from the dead and they continue dating. Seeing this as a second chance, Zach decides to do and say every thing he wishes he had while Beth was alive.

Written and directed by Jeff Baena, the script for this film was actually written ten years ago. But as it was put off for several years, it was Plaza (who’s dating Baena in real life) who helped persuade the director to do the film because she thought the role was perfect for her.  I just love it when couples collaborate. And judging by some of the warm reactions the film’s received so far, I can’t wait to see this one!

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