We came, we saw, and now we present our six favorite flicks from the Sundance Film Festival, which came to a close yesterday. The Anton Yelchin love story “Like Crazy” may have picked up the Grand Jury Prize, but we believe these are the six movies most worth tracking. Except for “The Lie,” all films were acquired and will be opening later this year.
Martha Marcy May Marlene
The stunning Lizzie Olsen, younger sister to the Olsen twins, makes her debut performance (well, discounting a handful of Mary-Kate and Ashley movies) as a confused soul who’s escaped from a cult. Brainwashed and fearful that the cult is hunting her down, she displays an escalating and palpable paranoia.
Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times
This surprisingly brisk documentary is a moving defense of newspapers in an age of imperiled print media. The camera follows reporters as they discuss coverage of stories, most notably WikiLeaks. The heart and soul of the film, though, is media columnist David Carr, who valiantly defends the Grey Lady with vim and humor.
Michael Shannon is the reason to watch this brooding thriller about a man who, spurred on by horrific nightmares, becomes obsessed with building a storm shelter in his backyard. His wife and friends are not sure what to make of his behavior, and neither is he: Is he crazy, or just incredibly pragmatic?
My Idiot Brother
Paul Rudd was born to play Ned, a naïve free spirit who coasts through life with bright eyes, kindness and disarming hippie hair. When life throws him some curveballs, he couch-surfs between the homes of his three very different sisters (Elizabeth Banks, Emily Mortimer and Zooey Deschanel). It’s a comedy with much heart.
Prepare to cringe during this excruciating saga of a man who (spoiler alert!) gets out of work by telling his boss that his baby daughter just died. It’s an unthinkable lie to utter, and the consequences keep snowballing. Watching it is not as sadistic as it sounds, though: This is a realistic portrayal of a young couple as they struggle to hold onto their ideals.
If you like Martin McDonagh (“In Bruges”), you may enjoy this debut from his brother, John Michael McDonagh, who shares the same dark sense of humor. Brendan Gleeson plays a small-town Irish cop who teams with an FBI agent (Don Cheadle) to take down a drug ring.