2017 Sundance Recap

Sundance once again came and went without me seeing one film. The good news is, my friend Luke Hickman from lives in Park City for those two weeks and sees all of the top movies! So, if you’re a movie buff- you’ll enjoy this podcast!

Listen to “Podcast Special: Sundance Wrap Up” on Spreaker.

Here are all of the films Luke talked about:


Dominican Republic, Spanish Language

Competition film – world premiere – didn’t win any awards – doesn’t have a US release date

Synopsis: Julián finds love and a reason for living in the last place imaginable: the Dominican Republic’s Najayo Prison. His romance, with fellow prisoner Yanelly, must develop through sign language and without the knowledge of dozens of guards.


Lady Macbeth

BBC Films – Opens in US on June 2, 2017

Period piece black comedy – very dark and scandalous – murder, affairs, missing children, etc

Synopsis: In this adaptation of Nikolai Leskov’s novella “Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk, a 19th century young bride is sold into marriage to a middle-aged man.



Opens in US on April 7, 2017

Cast: Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis

Godzilla-size monster attack in Seoul, South Korea

Dark comedy with a great plot that fails miserably at making the most of it, cinematically

Synopsis: A woman discovers that severe catastrophic events are somehow connected to the mental breakdown from which she’s suffering.



French-Belgian thriller

Get ready to lose your appetite

Opens in the US on March 10, 2017

Synopsis: When a young vegetarian undergoes a carnivorous hazing ritual at vet school, an unbidden taste for meat begins to grow in her.



BBC Films


Picked up for distribution, no release date set

Likely to be an awards contender for 2018 Oscars

Cast: Margaret Qualley (daughter of Andie McDowell), Melissa Leo (recognizable actress, but most don’t know her name – Snowden, Olympus has Fallen, Oblivion, etc), Dianna Agron (Glee)

Synopsis: Set in the early 1960s and during the era of Vatican II, a young woman in training to become a nun struggles with issues of faith, the changing church and sexuality.


Their Finest

Opens in US on April 7, 2017

Genuine, sweet – successful as war film, drama, comedy, romance – well-rounded and charming

Cast: Gemma Arterton (007: Quantum of Solace), Sam Claflin (Me Before You), Bill Nighy (About Time)

Synopsis: A British film crew attempts to boost morale during World War II by making a propaganda film after the Blitzkrieg.


The Little Hours

Purchased, US release date TBD

Cast: Alison Brie, Dave Franco, Aubrey Plaza, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon


Synoposis: A young servant fleeing from his master takes refuge at a convent full of emotionally unstable nuns in the middle ages.


The Big Sick

Written by Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) and his wife, Emily V Gordon

Cast: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Bo Burnham, other comics

Fairly autobiographical

Produced by Judd Apatow

Synopsis: A couple deals with their cultural differences as their relationship grows.


Chasing Coral

Fantastic documentary

This year’s Blackwater or The Cove

Award winner

Picked up by Netflix

Synopsis: Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. A team of divers, photographers and scientists set out on a thrilling ocean adventure to discover why and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world.


The Discovery

Cast: Jason Segel, Rooney Mara, Robert Redford

In theaters March 31

Picked up by Netflix

Great premise. Poor story. Lame twist.

Synopsis: A love story set one year after the existence of the afterlife is scientifically verified.


Wind River

Cast: Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen (two Avengers)

Shot in the Park City area

Written and directed by the writer of Sicario and Hell or High Water

My favorite film of the festival

Awards season next year

Synopsis: An FBI agent teams with the town’s veteran game tracker to investigate a murder that occurred on a Native American reservation.



Cast: Jason Clarke, Carey Mulligan, Gerret Hedlund, Jonathan Banks

Plays out like a book

Starts strong, turns melodramatic in the second half

Synopsis: Two men return home from World War II to work on a farm in rural Mississippi where they struggle to deal with racism and adjusting to life after war.


Golden Exits

Cast: Emily Browning, Jason Schwartzman, Mary-Louise Parker, Chloe Sevigny

Feels like a ’70s movie

Synopsis: An intersectional narrative of two families in Brooklyn and the unraveling of unspoken unhappiness that occurs when a young foreign girl spending time abroad upsets the balance on both sides.

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