Sundance 2017’s Must See List

It’s that time of year again…SUNDANCE!

As we pull out our coats and head to the land of snow and movies, we can’t help but get giddy at all the possibilities.  While the schedule can get a bit overwhelming…and the program guide reads more like a calculus textbook than an introduction to the 2018 Oscar nominations.  But not to worry.  We’ve scoured the text and written notes in the margin, working to come up with our list of Must See films at this year’s festival.

Without further ado…


It was the polar bear on a shrinking ice cap seen ‘round the world. It was also 2006. Ten years later, Al Gore is back with a follow up to check in our progress (or lack thereof). I’ll be interested to see if the sequel can rock the boat as much as the original did.  -- Katie



Cate Blanchett reenacts the twentieth century’s most famous art manifestos from Futurists through today in an art installation turned film. Was that the most pretentious sentence you’ve read all year? Probably. But Blanchett can knock anything out of the park and I trust her to do the same here.  -- Katie



It took 78 setups and 52 cuts to deliver the highly choreographed two-minute shower sequence in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 thriller Psycho. Now, some 50 years later, we get to examine the creative decisions that went into that shoot, decisions that would ultimately pave way to a genre transformation and decades of unprecedented film violence.  -- Stephen



Social media stalking goes IRL in this Matt Spicer-directed film about a young woman who moves to Los Angeles to befriend her favorite Instagram “influencer”. The film stars Aubrey Plaza and Elizabeth Olsen and sounds like it could be a millennial’s comedy dream.  -- Katie


After we all binged Black Mirror last fall, Marjorie Prime seems to be in the same incredibly good-yet-depressing genre. Not only is it a great Transformer pun, but it also tells the story of 86-year-old Marjorie in the near future, accompanied only by a handsome new companion (Jon Hamm) who looks like her deceased husband. What could possibly go wrong?  -- Katie



J.D. Salinger is one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. He is also one of the most secretive. Director Danny Strong attempts to chronicle the young man’s journey as he finds himself on the shores of Europe fighting in World War II. This one could go in a million different directions; however, when it comes to Salinger I’m willing to make it a priority.  -- Stephen



Good romantic comedies are hard to come by these days but it sounds like writers and real-life-couple Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon want to change that. Based on their real-life courtship and starring Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan, they may just succeed at bringing the rom-com genre back to the modern age.  -- Katie



About Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis
I owe this hobby/career to the one and only Stephanie Peterman who, while interning at Fox, told me that I had too many opinions and irrelevant information to keep it all bottled up inside. I survived my first rated R film, Alive, at the ripe age of 8, it took me months to grasp the fact that Julia Roberts actually died at the end of Steel Magnolias, and I might be the only person alive who actually enjoyed Sorority Row…for its comedic value of course. While my friends can drink you under the table, I can outwatch you when it comes iconic, yet horrid 80s films like Adventures in Babysitting and Troop Beverly Hills. I have no shame when it comes to what I like, and if you have a problem with that, then we’ll settle it on the racquetball court. I see too many movies to actually win any film trivia contest, so don’t waste your first pick on me. My friends rent movies from my bookcase shelves, and one day I do plan to start charging. I long to live in LA, where my movie obsession will actually help me fit in, but for now I am content with my home in Austin. I prefer indies to blockbusters, Longhorns to Sooners and Halloween to Friday the 13th. I miss the classics, as well as John Ritter, and I hope to one day sit down and interview the amazing Kate Winslet.

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