Sundance Film Festival 2022: best films coming soon
From the Kurosawa-inspired drama Living with Bill Nighy to the 20-something romcom The Worst Person in the World, here are the Sundance titles we're excited to see when they release
Remaking one of the most beautiful films ever made is a dangerous ambition, especially when the original was directed by a defining figure in film history and based on a story by a literary titan. But director Oliver Hermanus (Moffie) takes on the challenge with his latest film Living – reimagining Akira Kurosawa’s 1952 film Ikiru, which was itself inspired by Leo Tolstoy’s existential short story The Death of Ivan Ilyich.
Booker-winner Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go, The Remains of the Day) adapts this British remake, swapping postwar Tokyo for postwar London. Williams (Bill Nighy) is a bureaucratic civil servant in the 1950s, who’s diagnosed with a fatal illness. He tries to find some sort of meaning to existence, helped along by his former co-worker Margaret (Sex Education’s Aimee Lou Wood).
Considering their fairly recent roles as Marianne in Normal People and Tommy Lee in Pam & Tommy, it’s slightly surreal seeing Daisy Edgar-Jones and Sebastian Stan together as a fictional couple. But it’s not as surreal as the actual premise for Fresh, which begins like a romcom looking at the nightmare of dating apps. After a string of bad, underwhelming or intolerable experiences, Noa (Edgar-Jones) meets the handsome doctor Steve (Stan) in the meat section of a supermarket. And they actually get on.
But Noa has no idea what Steve has in store for her. Fresh turns from romantic to gory, spiralling into a dark and bizarre horror movie. Maybe she should’ve stuck to Tinder...
Cinema tends to avoid the sexual exploits or proclivities of middle-aged women but, in her new film Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, director Sophie Hyde tackles them squarely and hilariously.
Emma Thompson plays the retired schoolteacher Nancy, who realises she’s never had good sex. To rectify this, she books a Norwich hotel room and spends the night with a sex worker who calls himself ‘Leo Grande’ (Peaky Blinders’ Daryl McCormack). In the process of figuring out what turns her on, she eventually learns the art of self-compassion.
Similar to Nancy in Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, but at the other end of the scale, the 26-year-old Sarah Jo (Kristine Frøseth) is also determined to meet her sexual needs in Lena Dunham's new film Sharp Stick.
After years of virginity and insecurity, Sarah Jo decides to have sex. She babysits for a couple, Josh (Jon Bernthal) and Heather (Dunham), who are expecting another child. She directs her desires towards Josh, who readily accepts the affair. Thus begins her delayed and problematic sexual awakening.
Navigating your 20s can often feel chaotic, especially in a modern world where being tied to a specific career or lifestyle or ‘journey’ becomes oppressive. Such is the personality of Julie (Renate Reinsve) in Joachim Trier’s lauded new romcom The Worst Person in the World.
Julie’s a student who suddenly switches from medicine to psychology. Her passions transfer into photography, and then to journalism. Her boyfriends range from professors to cartoonists. She has trouble understanding what she wants, and then sticking with it – ignoring the potential consequences. But will Julie resolve these integral questions?
A24 is one of the most exciting production companies in the world, providing an eclectic selection of indie projects like Midsommar, Lady Bird, The Last Black Man in San Francisco, and even Euphoria. Their latest endeavour After Yang travels into the realms of sci-fi but with a grippingly human angle.
Set in a distant future, the story follows an American family with an AI robot (the titular Yang, played by Justin H Min) that looks very human. Parents Jake (Colin Farrell) and Kyra (Jodie Turner-Smith) invest in Yang as a sort of android sibling to their adopted daughter Mika (Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja). But when the interior technology malfunctions, the family risk losing Yang forever.
One of Sundance's most immediate releases, this intimate triumvirate documentary from 'Coodie' Simmons and Chike Ozah is available to watch now on Netflix.
jeen-yuhs (named after his childhood dog Genius) spans Kanye West's career from 1998 to the present, using real behind-the-scenes footage. Although West has many faults – renaming himself ‘Ye’, befriending President Trump, and attacking Billie Eilish on Instagram – he’s an undeniably intriguing character in the music world, which this documentary aims to uncover.
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