Although we sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed all of our Sundance Film Festival coverage from the last, what, 248 days?, we understand that reading about movies you might never get to see isn’t always that exciting (but we want it to be!). Instead, we’d like to get you excited about films you actually can see, and considering how many of this year’s Sundance titles have already sold (read: a lot of them) to existing distribution-bent outfits, the odds are high you’ll get to see a bunch of the features we’ve been non-stop jawing about for days, and soon!
Here are nine of our favorites from the fest that we promise will be hitting your eyeballs before the year is out. It’s Sundance every day!
The End of the Tour
Still my favorite title from the festival, the Jason Segel– and Jesse Eisenberg-starring look at a teensy slice of David Foster Wallace’s remarkable life was snapped up pretty damn quickly at the fest by A24, who have made it their business to mine festivals for some of their best offerings (basically, they’re doing an awesome job). It’s expected that A24 will hold on to the film for a bit and then release it for a late season awards run (think Whiplash). Does the film deserve awards attention? Yes. Am I said that I have to wait so long for plenty of good people to see it? Yes. Check out our review of the film until then.
Me & Earl & The Dying Girl
Hot on the heels of the weirdly tear-jerking The End of the Tour is the, well, weirdly tear-jerking Me & Earl & The Dying Girl, which is not just one of the best films of the festival and a genuine crowd-pleaser, but an actual example of how synopses betray great works. On paper, the film sounds like a Fault In Our Stars rip-off with lots of added Wes Anderson-like whimsy. That’s…sort of true? But the film itself is miles better than any synopsis that anyone could issue – even someone like me, who adored it – and when it became obvious that this was one to watch, I rearranged my schedule to make it happen (i.e. it wasn’t on my schedule to begin with). This one is going to charm the goddamn pants off of you, and now that Fox Searchlight has bought it, it looks like you can schedule your pants-losing for later this year.
You want fun? You want pure fun? Check out Dope, which will hit theaters on June 12, thanks to Open Road and Sony. A modern spin on the teen comedies of the eighties and nineties, the film centers on three friends who are (accidentally-ish) tasked with selling off a big stash of drugs (ya know, dope), all while doing well in school, having a cool band, and worshipping 90s hip hop culture.
One of the hottest tickets in town, The Witch showed early and sold early at the ‘dance, going to A24 (told ya they were cool). The period-set horror film looks at the Salem Witch Trials with fresh eyes (but not my eyes, because I was too afraid to watch it in a theater – maybe A24 can do a VOD run, too?).
A period drama, you say? An impoverished romance, you say? Domnhall Gleeson, you say? Brooklyn had barely even wrapped up its mid-week premiere before Fox Searchlight snapped it up. The dreamy, well-made romance just might be another awards contender for the outfit, which shrewdly snapped up only the very best the fest had to offer.
Fox Searchlight has so far gone three for three with their Sundance buys. Purchased before the festival even started, Noah Baumbach’s “secret film” is a charmer – despite some strange unevenness – and it heralds the arrival of a major new star in Lola Kirke. The film will hit screens later this year, basically ensuring that Baumbach is about to have the best year ever. Check out our review here.
Gather your friends ‘round the screen for this one, because you’re about to have a hell of a lot of fun. Wildly funny, weirdly smart, and always surprising, The Orchard’s newly purchased The Overnight is destined to delight scads of comedy fans for years to come. Bonus? One of the best Jason Schwartzman performances ever. And wangs. So many wangs. Read our review now (no wangs included).
The Diary of a Teenage Girl
A smash hit at the festival, it was inevitable that the film would be picked up – and fast – by someone, though Sony Pictures Classics is a slightly off-beat pick for the gig. Still, they’ve got to be excited about the buzz on this one, based on a popular graphic novel and featuring a star turn from young Bel Powley, so we will probably be treated to this one soon.
Misery Loves Comedy
Comedians ruled at Sundance this year, where they also kind of drooled a bit too, because nearly every movie about comedians was about how sad they were. Sniff sniff. Tribeca Film snapped up this documentary a few days ago, and with tons of dazzling talking heads, it should prove to be a favorite of the comedy-obsessed later this year. Ready your funny bones (and your hankies, okay?).