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Our 20 Most-Anticipated Films at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival

Written by on January 16, 2017 

6. Where Is Kyra? (Andrew Dosnunmu)

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We are there for any film shot by Bradford Young, doubly so when it’s a re-team with Restless City and Mother of George director Andrew Dosunmu. Their latest collaboration, Where is Kyra? (formerly titled Beat-Up Little Seagull), stars Michelle Pfeiffer as a woman dealing with the loss of her mother and finding another lost soul in Kiefer Sutherland‘s character. Dosunmu has proven to be a skilled actor’s director, so we hope he can lead these two actors to some of their best performances.

5. Beach Rats (Eliza Hittman)

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If you’ve seen her disarmingly intimate debut It Felt Like Love, then you already know why we are highly anticipating Eliza Hittman‘s follow-up Beach Rats. Her latest drama follows a Brooklyn teen who is confronted with his dying father and requests from this mother to get a girlfriend. To escape, he goes to a cruising beach as well as begin a relationship with a woman. We’re not entirely sure what to expect, which is why we’re so intrigued.

4. Marjorie Prime (Michael Almereyda)

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After last coming to Sundance Film Festival with Experimenter — a formally daring drama which unfortunately went overlooked — Michael Almereyda is back with quite the intriguing prospect: a sci-fi film starring Jon Hamm and scored by Mica Levi (Under the Skin, Jackie). Marjorie Prime, adapted from Jordan Harrison‘s Pulitzer Prize-nominated play, follows Lois Smith‘s character as she utilizes a service to create a hologram of her deceased husband, played by Hamm. If that doesn’t sound like one of the most compelling prospects of the year, I can’t help you with that.

3. A Ghost Story (David Lowery)

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David Lowery proved he could navigate the prickly big-budget waters of Hollywood with his touching, sincere adaptation of Pete’s Dragon — one of the few tentpoles of last year that didn’t disappointment. His next two features will find him back in the independent realm and first up, at Sundance will be the premiere of A Ghost Story, a peculiar-sounding existential drama starring Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck, which was shot in secret last summer and just acquired by A24.

2. Golden Exits (Alex Ross Perry)

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In between lining up some higher-profile projects, writer-director Alex Ross Perry found time to helm a feature in line with the size of Listen Up Philip and Queen of Earth. Titled Golden Exits, Emily Browning, Adam Horovitz, Mary Louise Parker, Lily Rabe, Jason Schwartzman, Chloe Sevigny and Analeigh Tipton lead the drama, which finds two families in Brooklyn who become disrupted when a Australian girl comes to visit. Featuring the return of DP Sean Price Williams and editor Robert Greene, we greatly look forward to seeing this ensemble convey the biting honesty of this writer-director.

1. Call Me By Your Name (Luca Guadagnino)

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After waiting years for his follow-up to I Am Love — this past summer’s eclectic A Bigger SplashLuca Guadagnino certainly isn’t taking as long with his next two films. Before his Suspiria remake later this year, there is Call Me By Your Name, a romantic drama about a boy’s connection with his father’s friend. Already picked up by Sony Pictures Classics, the adaptation of André Aciman‘s novel, scripted by James Ivory and the director, stars Timothée ChalametMichael Stuhlbarg, and Armie Hammer, as well as featuring new songs by Sufjan Stevens. What more could you ask for?

Honorable Mentions

If one is looking for more than these twenty recommendations, we’ve seen a handful of films coming to the festival already and had a range of reactions to them all, including Colossal, Frantz, Lady Macbeth, Raw, Their Finest, and My Life as a Zucchini.

As for premieres, we can’t wait to see the female-directed horror anthology XX, with a short by St. Vincent, the Woody Harrelson-led Wilson, Lemon and Person to Person, both starring Michael CeraMichael Showalter‘s The Big Sick, starring and co-written by Kumail Nanjiani.

There’s also the Lakeith Stanfield-led Crown Heights, Cate Shortland‘s Lore follow-up Berlin SyndromeMichelle Morgan‘s L.A. Times, the Aubrey Plaza and Alison Brie nun comedy The Little HoursMiguel Arteta‘s Beatriz at Dinner, starring Salma Hayek, as well as the documentaries Nobody Speak: Hulk Hogan, Gawker, & Trials of a Free Press and Whose Streets?.

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