Wednesday, January 30, 2019

5 films from Sundance I look forward to

By sati (harlequinade) Wednesday, January 30, 2019 , , , , ,
Sundance festival, where often times some of the most exciting movies of the year premiere, is happening right now. I was reading reviews of the films that were shown there this week and few of those sound really exciting. The best part? We only have to wait 2 days for one of those!:

5. Official Secrets
Director: Gavin Hood
Cast: Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Ralph Fiennes
Plot: Based on the book The Spy Who Tried to Stop a War, Official Secrets tells the true story of British secret-service officer Katharine Gun, who during the immediate run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq leaked a top-secret National Security Agency memo. The memo—which exposed an illegal U.S.-U.K. spying operation against members of the United Nations Security Council—proposed blackmailing smaller, undecided member states into voting for war.

I love Keira and I really like political films based on real events. This is getting really good reviews and I'm definitely going to check it out when it's released.

4. Paradise Hills
Director: Alice Waddington
Cast: Emma Roberts, Milla Jovovich, Elsa Gonzalez
Plot: When Uma wakes up alone on a strange island called Paradise, she instantly suspects it’s anything but. Helmed by the Duchess (Milla Jovovich), Paradise Hills is a center for emotional healing that at its core serves as a reformatory-style boarding school for privileged young women. Yet behind the rose-covered pathways and fairy-tale decor, Uma and her friends learn something more sinister is at work.

While the reviews for it aren't great, this looks like Stepford Wives crossed with Alice in Wonderland a little bit and production design and costumes will probably make it worth watching. Plus Emma Roberts is always fun to watch.

3. The Report
Director: Scott Z. Burns
Cast: Adam Driver, Annette Bening, Jon Hamm
Plot: In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, CIA agents begin using extreme interrogation tactics on those they think were behind it.

Acquired by Amazon. This could be a serious awards contender and it is being compared to Spotlight. Driver could be in for another nomination here.

2. Velvet Buzzsaw
Director: Dan Gilroy
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Toni Collette
Plot: After a series of paintings by an unknown artist are discovered, a supernatural force enacts revenge on those who have allowed their greed to get in the way of art.

This drops on Netflix THIS Friday! So at least we won't have to wait long - remember when I was hyped about The VVitch which also premiered on Sundance and then had to wait a year to see it? Unbearable! The film got a really good reception and apparently it is surreal, fun and hilarious.

1. The Lodge
Directors: Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz
Cast: Riiley Keough, Richard Armitage, Alicia Silverstone
Plot: Devoted to their devastated mother, siblings Aidan and Mia resent Grace, the younger woman their newly separated father plans to marry. They flatly reject Grace’s attempts to bond, and they dig up dirt on her tragic past—but soon they find themselves trapped with her, snowed in in a remote holiday village after their dad heads back to the city for work. Just as relations begin to thaw, strange and frightening events threaten to unearth psychological demons from Grace’s strictly religious childhood.

Acquired by Neon. From the directors of Goodnight Mommy. This got a lot of good reviews, some of them hailing it as this year's best horror movie (that's a fairly premature claim, let's remember Midsommar is coming this year!). Described as Hereditary mixed with The Shining and The Others apparently this is yet another movie that will make us afraid of having kids.


  1. Your post is the first I'm reading about Sundance...haven't been keeping up...but these 5 picks look great! I'm especially looking forward to seeing Adam Driver in The Report...I've loved him since HBO's Girls...he's perfect in every role he does.

    1. I hated Girls but he is a really good actor! he even managed to do something in SW and his character isn't that well written there

  2. I'm adding The Lodge to my watchlist, thanks. I loved Nightcrawler so interesting Gilroy, Gyllenhaal,& Russo are re-teaming.
    I just saw Rotten Tomatoes Sundance 2019 scorecard, and the new Alien documentary caught my eye. So did new doc about Stieg Larsson.

    1. Yeah lots of documentaries there! i don't really watch those, though, maybe I'll check out the Alien one

  3. such a great mix of genres, paradise hill looks totally whack but that makes it interesting!

  4. Holy shit I didn't realise we were getting Velvet Buzzsaw so soon! That's my weekend sorted!
    I really hope The Report does as well as you've hinted!

    1. Yeah, it's awesome! I hate having to wait for movies :)

  5. You know I'm all about The Report. All of these except Paradise Hills were on my radar, I don't think I've seen too many reviews go by on my feed for that one. I'm glad we'll all get to see Velvet Buzzsaw this weekend!

    1. The Report looks so good! hopefully Hamm has something to do in that

  6. Holy shit, I'm in for all of these. I had a snow day today and was hoping that Netflix would secretly drop Velvet Buzzsaw a day early, but alas, that was not the case. Definitely in for it tomorrow, assuming I can stay awake.

    Uh...your #1 sounds amazing. What a kickass idea, right? And Alicia Silverstone? SOLD. SOLD.


    1. Yes your love for Alicia :D

      I'm hoping to see VB tonight but I have to rewatch A Star is Born for my end of the year lists

  7. The Lodge and The Report are the ones I would tune into. I heard some mixed reviews about Velvet Buzzsaw but I love Jake so I'm tuning in. Right after I finish all the things I need to do this weekend!

  8. I watched Velvet Buzzsaw yesterday and it was pretty good. The horror wasn't that effective, but overall the film was good, especially Gyllenhaal. That guy is unbelievable! The others all are on my watchlist already.

    1. Yeah he was very good in that! The script was kinda messy, though