Going to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City has been on my bucket list since high school and this year I finally made it happen. My sister and I descended upon the city ready to see celebrities, watch a handful of critically acclaimed movies and get some sister bonding time in.
Unfortunately every single movie we were interested in sold out in seconds, so we had to give the waitlist technique a try. And we were successful! Out of seven films we tried to see, we got into four of them. We saw three feature length films (Lady Macbeth, The Big Sick, and The Nile Hilton Incident) and a program that showed six short films (Kao Shi (A Test), GOOD CRAZY, Dear Mr. Shakespeare, Rubber Heart, Pedro, Kaiju Bunraku, and Slapper).
Lady Macbeth was not what I expected at all. From the short description I read, I thought it would be a lighter period piece with romance and Downton Abbey-esque drama. But it was intense, dark, and not light at all. However, the lead actress was superb, and the subtle use of modern language and a soundtrack built on sounds and not music helped keep it from feeling stuffy.
The Nile Hilton Incident was my runner up for favorite movie of the festival. A fictional story of a murder in Egypt at the beginning of the 2011 protests in the Middle East, it was a look into the frustrating politics surrounding that uprising and an accurate foreshadowing of how the uprising would play out for those that were being protested against. It had me rooting for the man I was supposed to hate, and left me wondering if the “bad guys” are ever truly brought to justice or if that is only a romantic notion that the “good guys” hold onto.
The Big Sick was my favorite movie that we saw. It is a true story of the relationship between Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) and his girlfriend, Emily, as they navigate dating-- with the added complication that Kumail’s family wants him to have an arranged marriage. It has been a long time since I laughed through an entire movie. It was so funny, the writers had to add lines of dialogue after a joke that weren’t part of the plot so the audience could laugh without missing anything key. I can’t wait to share this movie with Rob and I highly recommend checking it out when it comes to theaters!
There were so many movies to see and I am looking forward to seeing some of them if they get to theaters. I am also excited to go back to the festival in years to come and hone my Sundance experience craft. I might even volunteer next time to get a more behind the scenes look at how it all works!