Year after year, the Sundance Film Festival prides itself on showcasing shining new talents, poignant documentaries and films bound to cause a star at next year’s award show season. Despite the tons of buzz-worthy movies that showed this year, we took on the difficult task of picking out the ten films which are bound to be on everyone’s radars over the coming months.
Miles Teller steals the screen in this emotional story of a passionate jazz drummer who stops at nothing to become the best. Teller plays Andrew, a young man who gets the opportunity to hone in his skills as a drummer under the tutelage of Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), a famous and temperamental jazz master. The film opened the Sundance Festival, won the Grand Jury Prize (Dramatic) and Dramatic Audience Award, and has been picked up by Sony Pictures Worldwide for distribution.
White Bird In A Blizzard
When Kat Connor (Shailene Woodley) discovers that her mother Eve (Eva Green) has gone missing, it throws her entire life, as well as the life of her dysfunctional family, into turmoil as they attempt to solve the mystery. From French director Gregg Araki, the film gives us an eerie, dreamlike view into the strange life of the Connors and their friends during a time that tests everyone’s loyalty and patience.
Wish I Was Here
Zach Braff stars and directs Wish I Was Here, a story about a 35-year-old husband and father, Aidan Bloom (Braff), who suddenly decides that his life has no purpose and sets out to find one. This film caused a stir as Braff raised funds through Kickstarter for the project. His efforts seems well worth it as it appears to be doing well with audiences. With a cast that includes Kate Hudson, Ashley Greene, Jim Parsons, Mandy Patinkin and James Avery in his final film role, why wouldn’t it?
Life After Beth
Zach Orfman (Dane DeHaan) is crushed when his girlfriend Beth (Aubrey Plaza) suddenly dies, but when she is brought back to life, Zach sees it as a second chance to do the things they couldn’t do together the first time around. This highly anticipated films was picked up for American distribution by A24 and also stars Anna Kendrick, John C. Riley, Alia Shawket and Matthew Gray Gubler.
The Skeleton Twins
Dispirited and estranged twins Milo (Bill Hader) and Maggie (Kristen Wiig) miraculously cheat death on the same day and are brought together to rethink their life choices. They eventually learn that the solution to their problem may be as simple as mending their relationship. Also featuring Luke Wilson, Ty Burrell and Mark Duplas, this drama has already turned heads with its unique cast and its win for the Waldo Scott Screenwriting Award at Sundance.
Based on the true story of oddball English musician Frank Sidebottom who wore a giant papier-mâché head on and off stage, this surreal musical stars Michael Fassbender as Sidebottom and Maggie Gyllenhaal and Domhnall Gleeson as his sidekicks. The three start a band called the Soronprfbs with Frank as the frontman. The film will be released in select theatres this May.
With the zombie phase slowly fading, it’s surprising that someone didn’t think of this earlier! When a strange virus attacks an elementary school and turns all the children into mindless, cannibalistic little monsters, it’s up to substitute teacher Clint Hudson (Elijah Wood) to lead his fellow teachers to fight for their lives. Also starring Alison Pill, Rainn Wilson, Jack McBrayer and Jorge Garcia (a.k.a. Hurley from Lost!), this horror-comedy will hit theatres on October 10, just in time for Halloween.
Love Is Strange
This beautiful story about a gay couple who face the joys and pitfalls of finally getting to the chance to be married after 39 years together will have everyone reaching for the Kleenex. John Lithgow and Alfred Molina play Ben and George whose peaceful lives are thrown for a loop when the Catholic school John works for fires him for marrying Ben, leaving the couple unable to afford their NYC apartment. George moves in with the gay neighbours while Ben crashes with his nephew’s family. Their time apart not only strains their relationship, but also the relationships of everyone involved.
A permanent adolescent, 28-year-old Megan (Keira Knightley) panics and runs away after her boyfriend proposes, and hides out with her new 16-year-old best friend, Annika (Chloe Grace Moretz) and her attractive dad (Sam Rockwell). This unique coming of age rom-com was picked up before its Sundance premiere and is scheduled for a summer release.
Shirin (Desiree Akhavan) is an Iranian-American bi-sexual woman struggling to balance her two nationalities. When her brother announces his engagement to an Iranian woman, Shirin has had enough and plunges into a series of sexual escapades as a form of rebellion. The movie touches on something that almost all youth with multiple nationalities deal with, but does it without depressing the audience.