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Top 5 movies to look forward to at Sundance 2020

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Up in the mountains with the best new indies

Every January Park City, Utah becomes the Mecca of film. Thanks to Robert Redford and the incredible reputation and success stories of the past, the Sundance Film Festival is truly the place to be to witness what may truly be the next best thing. 

Directors such as Quentin Tarantino, Darren Aronofsky, Damien Chazelle, Ryan Coogler, Ava DuVernay and many more had their first break at Sundance. Those filmmakers would tell you they wouldn't be anywhere if it wasn't for Sundance. That fact makes the announcement of each year's slate one of my favorite moments of the year. The possibilities are limitless and the surprises are always a plenty. 

This year was no disappointment! Here are the five movies I can not wait to see at Sundance 2020. 

The Egyptian on Main

1) Promising Young Woman-

Promising Young Woman

When I read the plot description I audibly went "OH YEAH!" I then read the cast and I immediately knew this movie was going to be the most anticipated one of this year. This film in the Premieres category is directed and written by Emereld Fennell, who is known mostly for acting and her writing on Killing Eve. 

The Plot is simple enough:

"A young woman, traumatized by a tragic event in her past, seeks out vengeance against men who cross her path." 

Very intriguing, and limitless in the potential it can cause. I have always been ready for a Lady-Sundance-John Wick! 

Now let's talk the cast!

Carey Mulligan, Alison Brie, Connie Britton, Laverne Cox, Bo Burnham!

And Margot Robbie is one of the leading producers!

When you attend Sundance you are seeing about 20 plus movies in a 5-7 day span. So you crave movies that aren't sad dramas, or documentaries that are about the world coming to an end, SO, a dark thriller, with such a young dynamic cast! Hell yeah it is going to be at the top of my list!

2) Downhill

Downhill

This movie is directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, who showed up to Sundance in 2013 with The Way, Way Back, a very underrated dramedy starring Steve Carrell and Sam Rockwell. The comedic actors turned filmmakers are back to capitalize on their first film with a comedic SUPER-CAST.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell star as a couple who barely escape an avalanche during a family ski vacation and now must reevaluate their lives and how they feel about each other. 

Will this be a deep, serious, dark Sundance movie that delves deep into feelings and relationship turmoil? I seriously doubt it! But will this movie be damn funny!? I can guarantee you it is going to be! 

3) Omniboat: A Fast Boat Fantasia

This is the most random, mysterious film on the entire Sundance program. But I am so down for it! 14 people are listed under directors for this film, but one of them is The Daniels, who are responsible for what is probably my favorite Sundance viewing experience ever, seeing Swiss Army Man for the first time. That random, ridiculous, over-the-top cinematic ride was unlike anything I have ever seen. 

The plot description for this film is only this:

"It's not just a speed boat ride, it's a Miami adventure."

Yep, that is it. Short, sweet, random as hell. 

And the cast is just as interesting, Finn Wolfhard, Casey Wilson, Mel Rodriguez, and ROBERT REDFORD!

I can not wait for this!

4) The Last Thing He Wanted

Dee Rees owned Sundance a few years back when she exploded on the seen with Mudbound. This time she is back with a stellar cast led by Anne Hathaway, Ben Affleck, and Willem Dafoe in what is the Washington D.C. journalism thriller adapted from Joan Didion's novel of the same name. 

Political thrillers have always done well at Sundance, much like last year's The Report, and seeing a fresh voice like Dee Rees take on subject matter very, very different from the Mississippi world she explored in Mudbound is going to be thrilling. 

Also if you think I am going to be walking up and down the ski slopes with the hopes of finding Willem Dafoe and asking for a hug, then you are very very right! 

5) Nine Days


Ok, I have to pick at least one "Sundance-ey" movie. A Sundance-ey movie is one that deals with the core issues of all drama; usually death, cancer, divorce, or, the meaning of existence. 

I have a feeling this one could hit on all of them, but the plot sounds fascinating:

"A reclusive man conducts a series of interviews with human souls for a chance to be born."

Huh? What? Ok, I think I understand that. I might not, but I am down for trying to figure it out. The cast is very young and intriguing, Winston Duke, Zazie Beetz, Bill Skarsgard, Tony Hale and Benedict Wong. 

This movie will definitely make me think, I will just have to try to avoid any 9am screenings of it. 

Several other movies look incredibly promising like Josephine Decker's Shirley starring Elizabeth Moss and Michael Stuhlbarg, Sean Durkin's return to Sundance with The Nest, and even Janicza Bravo's Zola which has the incredibly intriguing plot description listed as: 

"@zolarmoon tweets “wanna hear a story about why me & this bitch here fell out???????? It's kind of long but full of suspense.” Two girls bond over their “hoeism” and become fast friends."

You never know what you are going to get at Sundance, but when a film tries to get me to see it by doing that... I am going to be there. 

Sundance 2020 takes place January 23-February 2. Come back here for our full event coverage and reviews. 

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Nathan McVay
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Filed under... #Alison Brie #Anne hathaway #Ben Affleck #Bo Burnham #Carey Mulligan #Elizabeth Moss #Indie #Margot Robbie #Robert Redford #Sundance Film Festival #Will Ferrell #Willem Dafoe

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