Kevin Smith gives you the lowdown on Robert Redford's yearly fest in IMDb's Sundance Survival Guide. Catch Kevin Smith at the IMDb Studio at Sundance from Friday, Jan. 19, through Monday, Jan. 22, with interviews and coverage of all the top movies and stars.
In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the laws of The City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in forty-five days or are transformed into beasts and sent off into The Woods.
Set over one summer, the film follows precocious six-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Disney World.
In Northern Italy in 1983, seventeen year-old Elio begins a relationship with visiting Oliver, his father's research assistant, with whom he bonds over his emerging sexuality, their Jewish heritage, and the beguiling Italian landscape.
After the untimely death of 16-year-old Martin's father on the operating table, little by little, a deep and empathetic bond begins to form between him and the respected cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr Steven Murphy. At first, expensive gifts and then an invitation for dinner will soon earn the orphaned teenager the approval of Dr Steven's perfect family, even though right from the start, a vague, yet unnerving feeling overshadows Martin's honest intent. And then, unexpectedly, the idyllic family is smitten by a fierce and pitiless punishment, while at the same time, everything will start falling apart as the innocents have to suffer. In the end, as the sins of one burden the entire family, only an unimaginable and unendurable decision that demands a pure sacrifice can purge the soul. But to find catharsis, one must first admit the sin. Written by
Michael Haneke's Sophie's Choice... or Stanley Kubrick's Happiness?!
Neither. This is a Yorgos Lanthimos joint all the way. But it's as powerful and piercingly original as a work of the aforementioned masters.
The premise isn't as intriguing or clever as The Lobster, but the execution, oh boy... is even better. A horrific black comedy, a nail-biting thriller, and a compelling moral tale all at once. The entire cast is superb, but Barry Keoghan will be a star. Between this and Dunkirk, it's his year.
Go watch it on the big screen. Experience it, then see it again, and let its brilliance wash over you. I don't say this often, but to me, this is an instant classic.
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