Fiona’s Most Anticipated Films of Sundance 2019

Written by Fiona Underhill

It’s always difficult to predict what the ‘break outs’ of Sundance will be, but of course, excitement can be generated by finding out that your favourite directors or actors have new films coming out. So, here are my most-anticipated features of Sundance 2019.


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#1 – The Souvenir (dir. Joanna Hogg)

One of our best British directors, Joanna Hogg made two of my favourite films – Unrelated (2007) and Archipelago (2010) – both starring Tom Hiddleston – and I’m so excited that she has a new film out. The Souvenir stars Tilda Swinton (swoon) and Richard Ayoade (swoon again) and is set to have two parts, following a film student in the 1980s. Sign me all the way up.

 

#2 – The Nightingale (dir. Jennifer Kent)

Sam Claflin has recently gone from big-budget fantasy franchises to smaller films, many of which were directed by women (The Riot Club, Their Finest, Me Before You) and which have proven his acting chops (Journey’s End, My Cousin Rachel). He is back with a female director again here, The Babadook’s Jennifer Kent, in a film set in the early 19th century Australian outback. It sounds like he’ll be playing against type, in a more villainous role here as well. Cannot wait.

 

#3 – Blinded by the Light (dir. Gurinder Chadha)

The director of Bhaji on the BeachBend it Like BeckhamBride and Prejudice and Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging comes a new film set in the 1980s (again) about a teenager finding his voice through the music of Bruce Springsteen. Featuring a fantastic British cast including Kulvinder Ghir, Sally Phillips, Rob Brydon and Hayley Atwell.

 

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#4 – The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (dir. Chiwetel Ejiofor)

One of my favourite British actors (I’ve seen him on stage as well as in multiple film and TV roles) is now making his feature film debut as a director. I have seen his 2013 short, Columbite Tantalite which shows his potential as a director. Set in Malawi and starring Ejiofor himself, as well as The Cursed Child’s Noma Dumezweni, the film follows a young boy who helps his village build a wind turbine after reading about them in a library book.

 

#5 – Animals (dir. Sophie Hyde)

After a decade of partying, Laura and Tyler’s friendship is strained by Laura’s new love and her focus on her novel. A snapshot of a modern woman with competing desires, at once a celebration of female friendship and an examination of the choices we make when facing a crossroads. Starring Holliday Grainger (an amazing British actress) and Alia Shawkat.

 

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#6 – Late Night (directed by Nisha Ganatra, written by Mindy Kaling)

Starring Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling. A legendary late-night talk show host’s world is turned upside down when she hires her only female staff writer. Originally intended to smooth over diversity concerns, her decision has unexpectedly hilarious consequences as the two women separated by culture and generation are united by their love of a biting punchline.

 

#7 – The Lodge (dir. Veronika Franz; Severin Fiala)

In this psychologically chilling slow burn, a young woman and her reticent new stepchildren find themselves isolated in the family’s remote winter cabin, locked away to dredge up the mysteries of her dark past and the losses that seem to haunt them all. Starring Riley Keough, Alicia Silverstone and Richard Armitage.

 

#8 – The Sunlit Night (dir. David Wnendt)

Between New York City and the far north of Norway, an American painter and a Russian émigré find each other in the Arctic circle. Together under a sun that never sets, they discover a future and family that they didn’t know they had. Starring Jenny Slate, Zach Galifianakis and Gillian Anderson.

 

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#9 – Velvet Buzzsaw (dir. Dan Gilroy)

This film reunites Dan Gilroy with his Nightcrawler stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo. A thriller set in the contemporary art world scene of Los Angeles, where big money artists and mega-collectors pay a high price when art collides with commerce. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Toni Collette, Zawe Ashton and Tom Sturridge.

 

#10 – Little Monsters (dir. Abe Forsythe)

Starring Lupita Nyong’o. A film dedicated to all the kindergarten teachers who motivate children to learn, instill them with confidence and stop them from being devoured by zombies.

 

#11 – Mope (dir. Lucas Heyne)

Two ‘mopes’ – the lowest-level male performers in the porn industry – set their sights on an impossible dream: stardom. StarringNathan Stewart-Jarrett, star of two of my favourite TV series of all time; Misfits and Utopia.

 

#12 – Sweetheart (Director: JD Dillard)

Jenn has washed ashore on a small tropical island and it doesn’t take her long to realize she’s completely alone. She must spend her days not only surviving the elements, but must also fend off the malevolent force that comes out each night. Starring Kiersey Clemons(Hearts Beat Loud) and Emory Cohen (Brooklyn).

Watch This Space #2

Another Friday, another weekend ahead to fill with films! Over the past couple weeks the team have been watching a whole range of different films on various streaming platforms so they can recommend you some hidden gems, as well as films that totally deserve another watch.


Chronic (Michel Franco, 2015)

Netflix US

If you are in for a depressing watch, Chronic will be for you. Directed by Mexican director, Michel Franco, Chronic tells the story of David (Tim Roth) who is a top tier home care nurse for terminally ill patients. He develops close relationships with his patients, which on some occasions is a good thing, and on some not so much. Not to mention outside of his work, he deals with separate familial issues and personal ones, just as we all do. It premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and Franco ended up winning best screenplay for it at the festival as well. A truly heartbreaking and real view into the life of a man working with people at the end of their own.

Fernando Andrade

 

Crooked House (Gilles Paquet-Brenner, 2017)

Amazon Prime US

Featuring an all-star cast, this Agatha Christie adaptation is worth your time if you’re into beautiful houses and beautiful costumes. It stars Max Irons (Riot Club) as a private detective who is employed by an ex-girlfriend to investigate her wealthy grandfather’s death in the late 1940s English countryside. The cast includes Terence Stamp, Glenn Close, Christina Hendricks, Amanda Abbington and Gillian Anderson in a fabulous black bobbed wig and glamorous outfits. The plot gets increasingly ridiculous as it goes on and of course, everyone’s a suspect, but the titular Crooked House is a stunning turreted affair and the whole thing is a sumptuous feast for the eyes. Everyone involved is hamming it up to the nines, but it’s still more enjoyable than that horrendous Murder on the Orient Express film that we got last year. I would cheerfully be murdered by Hendricks or Anderson, especially in period costume, so allow them to seduce you too and check out this gorgeous film.

Fiona Underhill

 

Miss Sloane (John Madden, 2016)

Amazon Prime UK/ US

Have you accepted your lord and saviour Elizabeth Sloane? If you haven’t, that probably means you haven’t seen Miss Sloane yet. Jessica Chastain is Elizabeth Sloane, the most sought-after and formidable lobbyist in DC. When she decides to work for a group that are lobbying for stricter gun laws, the opposition will use any means to bring her down. Miss Sloane is stylish, tense and exciting. It’s got all the best bits of a political thriller and Jessica Chastain’s wardrobe is amazing. Elizabeth Sloane is that wonderful kind of character that is pretty unlikable due to the fact she uses people, but she’s also incredibly compelling due to being so smart; it’s like if lobbying was a chess game, she can see all the pieces and possible move and countermoves before her opponent makes them. I love the character, Jessica Chastain and the whole film, and can’t recommend Miss Sloane enough.

Elena Morgan

 

Nightcrawler (Dan Gilroy, 2014)

Netflix UK/ US

Jake Gyllenhaal delivers yet another superb performance in Dan Gilroy’s dark crime thriller, Nightcrawler. Gyllenhaal plays Louis Bloom, a freelance journalist struggling to sell his photos to a major news channel. In order to beat the competition, Louis begins crossing moral borders to snap the best pictures, including tampering with crime scenes and sabotaging his competitors. Nightcrawler also stars Rene Russon, Riz Ahmed, and Bill Paxton and if you haven’t watched it yet, I really can’t recommend it enough.

Tom Sheffield

 

Let Me In (Matt Reeves, 2010)

Netflix US/ Amazon Prime US

Take the best notes of sharp horror, thrillers and curious storytelling and you’ll land on something peculiar. Such is the feel in Matt Reeves’ Let Me In, a remake of the Swedish Let The Right One In, where a bullied young boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) finds a friend and ally in a mysterious young girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) who lives in his building. Set in very dreary, cold, and ominous tones, the film gives us somewhat of a glee: the precious friendship that forms between the two main characters, set along the growing suspense of her vampiric identity. Moretz has a unique, devilishly pure presence and the film, although a bit slow-burn, is a fascinating flick for your thriller/vampire needs.

Jessica Peña

 

Before Sunrise (Richard Linklater, 1995)

Amazon Prime UK/ US

Today’s idea of a blossoming love affair is so boring. Not that the relationships aren’t fulfilling, or that the couple’s don’t utterly adore each other, but there’s not much of a story in, say, the swift right flick of your thumb, as is the case for some. Linklater’s first film in the widely (and rightly) acclaimed Before series is a wistful, heartfelt letter to the kind of fantastical brief encounter that not only you’d probably only dream of, but has also been lost in the revolution of technology and communication.

As the film opens and moves down an everyday train carriage, gently honing in on Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy), there’s already a keen intrigue in the air. But from Jesse’s first act of courage, actually speaking to her, you know a fuse has been lit. It’s only as the pair begin unravelling each other’s personalities, talking about nothing and everything as they freely wander the gorgeous streets of Vienna, the sparks grow bigger and brighter. This is a story of true, pure love, and as they fall deeper, so will you.

Cameron Frew


 

We hope you enjoyed our first bunch of recommendations! If you do watch anything we’ve recommended this week, be sure to let us know on Twitter – @JUMPCUT_ONLINE