Emily the Criminal – Sundance 2022

Aubrey Plaza delivers a career-best performance in Emily the Criminal, which marks the feature directorial debut of John Patton Ford. Ford had been to Sundance some twelve times earlier with a short film. It was fate that his feature directorial debut would debut during the January film festival. However, it’s just unfortunate that said debut was unable to premiere to a packed theater in Park City due to the pandemic. Produced in the heat of…

"Emily the Criminal – Sundance 2022"

Aftershock – Sundance 2022

Aftershock is among the most heartbreaking documentaries that any audience will watch when the film is eventually released. The U.S. maternal health system is in a crisis. Perhaps you’ve heard of it and perhaps you did not. In any event, this documentary brings the crisis directly to you for the better part of almost 90 minutes. It’s unfortunate because the United States is among the most industrialized nations in the world. We should not have…

"Aftershock – Sundance 2022"

892 – Sundance 2022

892 is just further proof that America as a whole needs to do better when it comes to its veterans after their service career is over. An American veteran and father, Brian Brown-Easley (John Boyega), is waiting to receive his latest disability check from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Because he owes money somehow, they never bother sending out a check and it only gets worse from here on out. Not receiving the check is…

"892 – Sundance 2022"

Cha Cha Real Smooth – Sundance 2022

Cooper Raiff follows up his SXSW award-winning Shithouse with Cha Cha Real Smooth, a film set on the Bar and Bat Mitzvah circuit. My worst fear going into this film was that Dakota Johnson would be the latest non-Jewish actress starring as a Jewish woman. This turns out to not be the case, thank G-d. Because of this, we do not have to have that conversation all over again. Similarly, Raiff is not Jewish but…

"Cha Cha Real Smooth – Sundance 2022"

Alice – Sundance 2022

Alice is inspired by true accounts and has Quentin Tarantino-esque vibes once it gets into the Blaxploitation part of the film. I needed to sleep on this one. It’s been over twelve hours since pressing play and I’m still not sure what to think. When it comes to Sundance premieres that touch on slavery, Descendant is the better of the two offerings. The gist of the film is that Alice (Keke Palmer) is an enslaved…

"Alice – Sundance 2022"

Descendant – Sundance 2022

To learn about U.S. history means to learn about the history behind The Clotilda, the last known and illegal slave ship, in Descendant. I’m going to be 100% honest here. I’m a student of U.S. history but I had never learned about The Clotilda when I was growing up. If a number of Republican politicians get their way, nobody will. There’s this segment of the American population that doesn’t want people to learn about America’s…

"Descendant – Sundance 2022"

Lucy and Desi – Sundance 2022

Amy Poehler explores Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s legacy in the new documentary, Lucy and Desi, premiering at Sundance. Sundance audiences will get to watch the film before Amazon Studios releases on Prime Video in March. This film was one of my high priority films going into the festival simply because it’s about sitcom pioneers Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Well, this and the fact that Amy Poehler directs it. I’ve seen her narrative features…

"Lucy and Desi – Sundance 2022"

Framing Agnes – Sundance 2022

Framing Agnes is a unique introduction to transgender history as the film brings Harold Garfinkel’s gender health research to the screen. The feature film expands on the short by bringing on additional cast members. To say that the film is unique would not be an understatement. They utilize Garfinkel’s UCLA transcripts by presenting it in a form of a talk show. Meanwhile, the documentary takes us behind the scenes by talking with the cast members…

"Framing Agnes – Sundance 2022"

Fire of Love – Sundance 2022

Fire of Love celebrates the love story between volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft through the archival footage they left behind. I’ve been on a natural disaster thriller kick of late so it’s only natural that I end my first day of Sundance with this unique love story. What a beauty it is! I mean, sure, it’s a sad ending with their deaths coming at the hands of a volcanic explosion at Japan’s Mount Unzen in…

"Fire of Love – Sundance 2022"

When You Finish Saving the World – Sundance 2022

Oscar-nominated actor Jesse Eisenberg makes his directorial debut at Sundance with the A24 film, When You Finish Saving the World. Evelyn Katz (Julianne Moore) runs a shelter for domestic abuse survivors. But when it comes to her home life, she struggles when it comes to finding a connection with her son, Ziggy (Finn Wolfhard). She only realizes this when a new family comes to her shelter: Angie (Eleonore Hendricks) and son, Kyle (Billy Bryk). Evelyn…

"When You Finish Saving the World – Sundance 2022"