Today kicks off the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, the largest independent film festival in the United States. The event was founded in 1978 by Sterling Van Wagenen under the name the Utah/US Film Festival. It was originally a festival to showcase and celebrate American cinema. But over the next several years, Sundance grew and evolved into the premiere film festival in the country, expanding its vision to include movies from all over the globe.
Over the next several days I’ll be covering some of my most anticipated films from this year’s program. I have a pretty hefty slate of movies and (barring life’s interruptions) hope to have several Sundance reviews and impressions on the site. I hope you’ll follow along.
Here are JUST SOME of the films I’ll be seeing over the next several days. Let me know what you think.
“892” (Director: Abi Damaris Corbin, Starring: Jon Boyega, Michael K. Williams, Nicole Beharie, Connie Britton)
SUNDANCE SYNOPSIS: “Living in a cheap motel in Atlanta and separated from his wife and child, former U.S. Marine veteran Brian Easley is desperate. Driven to the brink by forces beyond his control, the soft-spoken, kind man decides to rob a bank and hold hostages with a bomb. As police, media, and family members descend on the bank and Brian, it becomes clear he’s not after money — he wants to tell his story and have what is rightfully his, even if it costs him his life.”
“A Love Song” (Director: Max Walker-Silverman, Starring: Dale Dickey, Wes Studi)
SUNDANCE SYNOPSIS: “After unhitching her camper at a lakeside in the mountains, Faye finds her rhythm cooking meals, retrieving crawfish from a trap, and scanning her old box radio for a station. She looks expectantly at the approach of a car or the mailman, explaining to neighboring campers that she’s waiting for a childhood sweetheart she hasn’t seen in decades. When he does arrive, Lito and Faye, both widowed, spend an evening reminiscing about their lives, losses, and loneliness.”
“After Yang” (Director: Kogonada, Starring: Colin Ferrell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Justin H. Min, Haley Lu Richardson, Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja)
SUNDANCE SYNOPSIS: “When Yang — a lifelike, artificially intelligent android that Jake and Kyra buy as a companion for their adopted daughter — abruptly stops functioning, Jake just wants him repaired quickly and cheaply. But having purchased Yang “certified refurbished” from a now-defunct store, he’s led first to a conspiracy theorist technician and then a technology museum curator, who discovers that Yang was actually recording memories. Jake’s quest eventually becomes one of existential introspection and contemplating his own life, as it passes him by.”
“Fresh” (Director: Mimi Cave, Starring: Sebastian Stan, Daisy Edgar-Jones, Jonica T. Gibbs, Charlotte Le Bon, Dayo Okeniyi)
SUNDANCE SYNOPSIS: “Frustrated by scrolling dating apps only to end up on lame, tedious dates, Noa takes a chance by giving her number to the awkwardly charming Steve after a produce-section meet-cute at the grocery store. During a subsequent date at a local bar, sassy banter gives way to a chemistry-laden hookup, and a smitten Noa dares to hope that she might have actually found a real connection with the dashing cosmetic surgeon. She accepts Steve’s invitation to an impromptu weekend getaway, only to find that her new paramour has been hiding some unusual appetites.”
“Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul” (Director: Adamma Ebo, Starring: Regina Hall, Sterling K. Brown, Nicole Beharie, Austin Crute)
SUNDANCE SYNOPSIS: “As the proud first lady of a Southern Baptist megachurch, Trinitie Childs carries immense responsibility on her shoulders. Her church, Wander To Greater Paths, once served a congregation in the tens of thousands, but after a scandal involving her husband, Pastor Lee-Curtis Childs, forced the church to close temporarily, Trinitie is struggling to manage the aftermath. Now Trinitie and Lee-Curtis must rebuild their congregation and reconcile their faith by all means necessary to make the biggest comeback that commodified religion has ever seen.”
“Living” (Director: Oliver Hermanus, Starring: Bill Nighy, Tom Burke, Alex Sharp, Aimee Lou Wood)
SUNDANCE SYNOPSIS: “A veteran civil servant and bureaucratic cog in the rebuilding of Britain post-WWII, Williams expertly pushes paperwork around a government office only to reckon with his existence when he’s diagnosed with a fatal illness. A widower, he conceals the condition from his grown son, spends an evening of debauchery with a bohemian writer in Brighton, and uncharacteristically avoids his office. But after a vivacious former co-worker, Margaret, inspires him to find meaning in his remaining days, Williams attempts to salvage a modest building project from bureaucratic purgatory.”
“Resurrection” (Director: Andrew Semans, Starring: Rebecca Hall, Tim Roth, Angela Wong Carbone, Josh Drennen, Rosemary Howard)
SUNDANCE SYNOPSIS: “Margaret leads a successful and orderly life, perfectly balancing the demands of her busy career and single parenthood to her fiercely independent daughter Abbie. But that careful balance is upended when she glimpses a man she instantly recognizes, an unwelcome shadow from her past. A short time later, she encounters him again. Before long, Margaret starts seeing David everywhere — and their meetings appear to be far from an unlucky coincidence. Battling her rising fear, Margaret must confront the monster she’s evaded for two decades who has come to conclude their unfinished business.”
“When You Finish Saving the World” (Director: Jesse Eisenberg, Starring: Julianne Moore, Finn Wolfhard, Alisha Boe, Jay O. Sanders)
SUNDANCE SYNOPSIS: “From his bedroom home studio, high school student Ziggy performs original folk-rock songs for an adoring online fan base. This concept mystifies his formal and uptight mother, Evelyn, who runs a shelter for survivors of domestic abuse. While Ziggy is busy trying to impress his socially engaged classmate Lila by making his music less bubblegum and more political, Evelyn meets Angie and her teen son, Kyle, when they seek refuge at her facility. She observes a bond between the two that she’s missing with her own son, and decides to take Kyle under her wing against her better instincts.”
“You Won’t Be Alone” (Director: Goran Stolevski, Starring: Noomi Rapace, Alice Englert, Carloto Cotta, and Sara Klimoska)
SUNDANCE SYNOPSIS: “In an isolated mountain village in 19th-century Macedonia, a young girl is taken from her mother and transformed into a witch by an ancient, shape-shifting spirit. Left to wander feral, the young witch beholds the natural world with curiosity and wonder. After inadvertently killing a villager and assuming her body, she continues to inhabit different people, living among the villagers for years, observing and mimicking their behavior until the ancient spirit returns, bringing them full circle.”
I hope you’ll follow along and share your thoughts along the way.