Sundance Review: Slow

Dancer Elena and sign language interpreter Dovydas meet and form a beautiful bond. As they dive into a new relationship, they must navigate how to build their own kind of intimacy.

Slow is a film that really caught my attention mainly due to the plot of the film and the rest of the film really backs that up quite well. 

The performances are all absolutely well done and really bring the film to another level, the film having a nuanced conversation about asexuality is absolutely well done. It’s some of the most raw and tender approaches to the topic I’ve seen in a film, due to this the film has tons of beautiful moments that each compliment each other really well. If there’s one word to describe Slow it’s “intimate” the film shows one of the most intimate relationships I’ve seen in awhile, it takes time to build and really ends with such beautiful results. The writing is very down to earth, with tons of interactions that completely make the mood of the film and bring the viewer along, the characters are beautifully written and well developed. 

The film is such a beautiful case of intimacy and why it’s important, how it’s such a comforting feeling and filled to the brim with love. Slow is such an honest film that I really can’t wait to watch again once it releases. 

Slow currently doesn’t have a release date. 

9/10 A


Sundance Review: A Little Prayer

A man tries to protect his daughter-in-law when he finds out his son is having an affair.

If there’s one film from Sundance that completely surprised me it was A Little Prayer, what could have been a very generic family drama ends up being something actually quite special filled with a lot of love poured into it. 

For starters David Stratharin and Jane Levy give beautiful performances that really make you shed a tear, the interactions between the two is some of the best dialogue I’ve seen so far this year and leads to some quite beautiful moments. The family themes truly shine and the cast blends so well together each of them complimenting each other quite well. At times the film does feel a bit soap operaish when it comes to the filmmaking but that is not nearly enough to take away from this movie. I’ve said many times before in my reviews but I love it when films show the daily lives of a person or group of people, in this case they do just that but with a family and other characters connecting to one another in the south. Which leads to some quite beautiful moments that make the film quite memorable, even if the plot is a bit basic at times what really hits it out of the park is the final moments of the film. 

Jane Levy delivers some of the best moments of her career during the final act of the film the father and daughter bond her and Stratharin during the final moments of the film is truly well done. 

Overall A Little Prayer is such a solid film filled with love and emotion that really does a fantastic job of connecting the family to one another, it sticks the landing at the end so beautifully that you will definitely shed a tear. Make sure to put this one on your radar. 

A Little Prayer currently has no release date. 

8/10 B+

Sundance Review: Other People’s Children

Rachel, 40 and childless, loves her life. When she falls in love with Ali, she becomes attached to his 4-year-old daughter, Leila.

Other People’s Children was a movie that I’ve been waiting to watch for awhile now, I mostly heard about it from other film festivals that I sadly couldn’t go to. So when it was going to be shown at Sundance I knew it would make schedule. 

Other People’s Children has a lot going for it mainly the performances especially Virginie Efira who gives a fantastic leading performance that really sticks to the viewer. The film itself has great storytelling that balances several different plotlines each of manage to make one another feel completely different from one another. There’s a lot of engaging moments here that really draw the viewer into the film, there’s so emotion and character to the film that really makes the film that much stronger. 

The main flaw however is the ending which like some people have pointed out is very similar to Worst Person In The World and it just doesn’t work anywhere near as well here, which is such an odd choice because the film had a perfect spot to end the film but instead it kept going and finished off with something that’s nowhere near as strong as the rest of the film. 

Having that said don’t let that discourage you from watching this film Other People’s Children is still quite a great film that I do recommend! 

Other People’s Children currently has no release date. 

7/10 B

Sundance Review: Cat Person

The brief relationship between a twenty-year-old sophomore college student Margot, and an older man Robert, who is a regular at the movie theater where Margot works.

I saved Cat Person for last during the Sundance Film Festival (don’t worry there’s still 8 more films to talk about) because this was my most anticipated for the festival, the cast really intrigued me and the premise definitely had the potential to be quite great. 

Let’s start with the positives, Emilia Jones is quite great and shows that she’s once again some really exciting new talent and Nicholas Braun gives a pretty unnerving performance that is quite effect in the first two acts. Cat Person also captures some of the harsh realities of online dating actually pretty well, the atmosphere is shown quite well in a lot of the scenes early on in the movie. Plus there’s some humor that actually does work quite well early on as well, notice how I keep saying “early on” well that’s because once the third act rolls around the movie really jumps the shark. I get what they were trying to go for but they really turned into a horror genre chase type of third act that just does not work here, which yes you can make the argument that situations like this could happen. But the problem is the movie all of a sudden switching it’s atmosphere around and not deciding what it truly wants to be. 

Does it want to be a drama that points out the harsh reality of online dating or does it want to turn into a horror movie that is easily outclassed by other horror films? It’s frustrating because if you take out a lot of the nonsense from the third act you have a very solid movie. I’m sure there will most definitely be an audience for Cat Person as like I said before I wouldn’t call it a bad movie, there is so much to like about it. 

Cat Person currently has no release date. 

6/10 C+

Sundance Review: Girl

The curious relationship between a girl and her mother is threatened by the hostile community around them.

Girl is one of those movies where you see it a festival and think to yourself “that was a nice little movie” and then really don’t think anything more about it. I don’t really mean this in a bad way, it was a decent little movie that did tackle it’s themes pretty well. It’s just not one of the festivals highlights. 

The performances from Déborah Lukumunea and Le’Shantey Bonsu are incredible they give such a strong mother and daughter bonding performance, the movie is about them connecting both of them having their personal issues. The movie explores trauma and how it can really hurt someone and ends up being a quite moving movie at times, the main criticisms are mostly the pacing and the script lacking in power in some areas. I do appreciate Girl letting the character’s movements tell the story rather than the script during certain scenes, but other times it does not quite stick the landing. The final act isn’t as investing as the rest of the movie but it’s by no means bad, it’s just noticeable a bit of downgrade from the rest of the movie. 

Girl currently has no release date. 

6/10 C+

Sundance Review: Run Rabbit Run

A fertility doctor notices strange behaviour in her own child.

Run Rabbit Run was one of my most anticipated films of the Sundance Film Festival and is unfortunately the biggest disappointment, while it’s not terrible in fact it does have it’s positives. It’s held back by a lot of things that could have made this movie even better. 

The positives come from Sarah Snook’s fantastic performance which has this raw feel to it at times, which compliments well with the movie’s atmosphere which is another positive. The atmosphere is immediately established when the movie begins and is used quite well up until the third act of the movie where things get way too familiar. Which is the main issue with Run Rabbit Run it’s way too familiar, it’s yet another generational trauma horror movie that really doesn’t offer anything new. There’s some interesting bits of the mother and daughter relationship that show a lot of promise, but unfortunately don’t end up fully working to the full potential. The final act is filled with a bunch of plot points that are very familiar even the mother and daughter aspect which started out promising enough quickly turns into familiarity. 

Overall Run Rabbit Run has it’s moments but ultimately misses when it comes to being memorable and bringing something new to the table. 

Run Rabbit Run will be released on Netflix later this year. 

5/10 C

Sundance Review: Young. Wild. Free.

A hot-tempered high school senior finds his claustrophobic life suddenly thrust into an enticing, dangerous direction after he is robbed at gunpoint by the girl of his dreams.

Young. Wild. Free. was my first Sundance film of the festival and it wasn’t exactly the best start, it’s unfortunate because I do think there was a lot of potential here. The premise itself sounds very interesting and could have been a very investing story. 

The positives mostly come from the filming that’s actually quite beautiful at times and the performances are quite decent, there’s a few moments here where it does seem like the movie is going to touch the subject of mental health. But quickly abandons it in favor of some dull coming of age story elements that have been done better before, the twist completely breaks the movie mainly due to how predictable and unrewarding it really is for the viewer. It doesn’t help that there was next to no build up to the twist, it’s just sort of there for the sake of being a twist. 

Overall there really isn’t much else to say about Young. Wild. Free. It’s well filmed and has solid performances but leaves a lot more to be desired when it comes to the script. 

Young. Wild. Free currently has no release date. 

4/10 D+

Dog Gone is a forgettable dog movie.

When his beloved dog goes missing, a young man embarks on an incredible search with his parents to find him and give him life-saving medication.

Dog movies have always been a small but fun little genre that audiences can easily get into, some dog movies are definitely better than others with a lot of modern ones being on the weaker side. Dog Gone is based on the book Dog Gone: A Lost Pet’s Extraordinary journey and the Family Who Brought Him Home by Paul Toutonghi, which is based off of a true story who lost their dog named Gonker back in 1998. An interesting true story but how well does the movie do? Well let’s find out! 

Dog Gone is directed by Stephen Herek who has directed quite a few recognizable movies such as Critters, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, The Mighty Ducks, 101 Dalmatians (1996) and a few others. Which is admittedly why the movie does pretty well during the first half of the movie, there’s plenty of charming moments that really match a lot of the charm Herek puts into his work. It’s obviously not as effective since it does have the Netflix Lifetime movie feel a lot of the time. But at the very least it has some level of charm that does add to the movie, having that said a huge amount of the movie has the dog go missing which is where the movie starts to show it’s cracks. A lot of the movie is focused on family issues that while could have been interesting to explore ultimately really do not add very much and are very surface level at best, there’s even an almost bar brawl that was definitely a choice to put in a dog movie. 

The main problem here with Dog Gone is the acting and writing just don’t back up the movie at all, while there isn’t anything horrible there certainly isn’t anything good here either. Nobody really gives a performance that is particularly rememberable, Rob Lowe has a few moments that are unintentionally hilarious but that’s really about it. 

Dog Gone is unfortunate case of a movie that could have been a cute little dog movie and while it is just that during the first act of the movie, the rest of it drags and is very tedious. I definitely get what they were trying to go for here but as I said before the family elements are just not well developed and the rest of the movie is very dull unfortunately. 

Dog Gone is available on Netflix. 

4/10 D+

Disconnect: The Wedding Planner is a not very well planned wedding

After falling victim to a scam, a desperate man races against the clock as he attempts to plan a luxurious destination wedding for an important investor.

I’m going to start out by saying I had no idea that Disconnect: The Wedding Planner was a sequel, apparently the first movie came out in 2018 but I never saw it (shocking I know) heck I hadn’t even heard of it. So I went in thinking this was just another random Netflix original but I guess it’s a sequel. 

As for the movie itself…what is there exactly to say here? The cast at least seems like they are having fun which is great, but the characters themselves are just not very well written they range from being terrible to very forgettable. The plot goes exactly how you would expect it to…well almost the story takes a very puzzling turn that quite frankly does not fit the movie at all. It switches back and forth between a drama and a comedy, the characters make some very ridiculous decisions that honestly they have no rhyme or reason to make. I do think there is some level of great quality when it comes to showing off the Mombasa backdrop as there are some beautiful shots here, it’s just such a shame it’s in a very forgettable movie. 

Overall Disconnect: The Wedding Planner sort of exists, it’s by no means the worst Netflix original out there and at the very least the technical elements of the film are pretty decent, but that’s really about where the movie ends. 

Disconnect: The Wedding Planner is available on Netflix. 

3/10 D-

Decision To Leave is a unexpectedly romantic film.

A detective investigating a man’s death in the mountains ends up meeting and developing feelings for the dead man’s mysterious wife in the course of his dogged sleuthing.

Decision To Leave has been on my radar for awhile, I finally got around to watching it and it most certainly didn’t disappoint. This is Park Chan-wook’s first film since 2016 (Handmaiden), I’ve talked before how Oldboy (2003) is one of my favorite films of all time, part of why I love Chan-wook so much is how different his films are from one another. One moment he will create something truly brutal and quite disturbing and in another he will create something genuinely really sweet and charming. Decision To Leave is actually pretty romantic in ways you wouldn’t really expect, that’s mainly due to the performances from Tang Wei and Hae il Park who almost immediately have fantastic chemistry between one another, there’s so much emotion and power put into the performances that are just charming, the writing is very raw and allows the characters to understand each other and build their connection even further. Heck there’s even some dark humor that discusses death that is a little twisted but at the same time it really works, outside of performances and writing the film itself has this natural look to it. The filming is very well done with tons of shots that add depth to the characters and the current scene taking place, overall Decision To Leave is truly fantastic and is definitely one of the best films of 2022.

Decision To Leave is available on all VOD platforms.

10/10 A+