During my 6 days at Sundance, I saw 20 films, so my Top 6:
6️. Trophy: a doc that uses incredible cinematography to flesh out issues around how to look after the animals of our world. Urgent, compelling & fascinating.
5️. Patti Cake$: a feel-good film with a breakout star. Get ready to know the name Danielle Macdonald – and also to have the catchy PBNJ song stuck in your head for days after seeing the film about a Jersey girl who spits rhymes & owns her sass through tough times.
4️. Wind River: from the man who wrote the Sicario & Hell or High Water scripts comes his directorial debut. Jeremy Renner, in his best role to date, at least IMHO, plays a hunter who is roped in to help solve a murder crime on a Native American reservation.
3️. Mudbound: Dee Rees’ follow-up to Pariah, in which she gives us Garrett Hedlund & Jason Mitchell (Straight Outta Compton‘s Eazy E) as 2 men who served in WW2 returning to racist Mississippi in a brutal film, but a necessary testimony to times gone by. Also starring the fantastic Mary J Blige.
2️. A Ghost Story: the premise is simple – a man dies and becomes a ghost that haunts the house where he & his wife lived. He even looks like the simple ghost a child would dress up as – a sheet with 2 eyes cut out. But the depth of emotion I felt watching this film belies all of that. It’s a beautiful meditation on time, love and life, and the last scene will absolutely take your breathe away – if you fall into this film and let it.
1️. Call Me By Your Name: yes, this is a queer story but love is love is love is love is love, and so it’ll move you no matter your sexual orientation. It’s a wonderful, sensual, engaging film that I wanted to wrap myself up in for longer than its running time. Armie Hammer & Timothee Chalamet star in Italian director Luca Guadagnino’s masterpiece. The music, the cinematography, the dialogue make it the best kind of film experience – where you walk out the cinema and feel like something inside you has shifted and you’ll never be the same again.
*Special mention: John Trengove’s brave film about masculinity & male initiation, The Wound, and Jordan Peele’s clever & funny-til-it-turns-scary horror, Get Out.
Pic: Bennett Slater’s 33 Years of Sundance from the Morgan Spurlock-curated exhibition.