Outside the three biggest international film festivals in the world (Cannes, Berlin, and Venice) there are other prestigious film festivals that every director, writer, and actor dream of showcasing in and the Sundance Film Festival is one of them.
This year, Sundance featured 118 new movies to its wide range of audiences, and Rotten Tomatoes has named some of the ‘best’ of these films according to them, which holds a lot of weight to some but not to others.
The films screened ranged from lesser-known indie productions looking for a wider distribution to big award contenders looking for legitimacy. Popularity and critical acclaim are two different factors and a lot of films seek both, and according to Rotten Tomatoes, these movies fit the bill perfectly.
The 40-Year-Old Version (94% on the Tomatometer)
Radha Blank’s first-ever feature film. The 40-Year-Old Version is a semi-biographical farce that stars Blank as a 40-year-old woman who transitions her career from being a playwright to a rapper. After struggling for years teaching drama to teens, people start to take notice when she begins to rap. Reports have said that Netflix is interested in buying the film.
Crip Camp (100% on the Tomatometer)
The Obamas’ second production with their deal with Netflix. Crip Camp is a documentary about Camp Jened, a summer facility for disabled people that co-director Jim LeBrecht attended in. LeBrecht was diagnosed with spina bifida and was part of the camp during a focal point in the disability rights movement in the 1970s before the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was passed. Crip Camp won the U.S. Docu Audience Award this year.
Palm Springs (100% on the Tomatometer)
Andy Samberg’s Palm Springs just broke records in becoming the most expensive movie to be procured at Sundance when Hulu bought the film for $17.5 million. The romantic comedy stars Brooklyn Nin-Nine’s Andy Samberg and The Venture Bros’ Cristin Milioti.
Minari (100% on the Tomatometer)
A semi-autobiographical memoir by Lee Isaac Chung’s childhood in Arkansas. Steven Yeun and Yeri Han top-bills the movie as chicken sexers, employees who determine the sex of day-old chicks in a hatchery in California. THey move to a small farmland in Arkansas, planning to turn it into a vegetable farm. Minari won this year’s Grand Jury Prize.
Never Rarely Sometimes Always (100% on the Tomatometer)
The third movie from filmmaker Eliza Hitman explores uncertainty and sexuality and all the consequences and hardships that form in between. The film’s title is from the questionnaire the teen protagonist played by Sidney Flanigan fills out for a pre-abortion screening in New York. Never Rarely Sometimes Always won this year’s U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award.