Several Festival Films Opening This Weekend

Viveik Kalra, Nell Williams and Aaron Phagura appear in Blinded by the Light by Gurinder Chadha, an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Nick Wall.

A number of films that premiered earlier this year during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival are opening in theaters this weekend.

I reviewed Adam earlier this year for Out Magazine.  This film has garnered a lot of attention and controversy on social media.  Most of the controversy has to do with what is in the book rather than what is in the film.  The film has managed to spark a boycott movement–one of which I personally do not support.  I like what Rhys Ernst did in the film.  He managed to film Adam through a trans gaze rather than the cis gaze that we’re so accustomed to seeing on screen.  Moreover and this very well could be one of the biggest reasons why you shouldn’t boycott: cishet male filmmakers get chance after chance following a flop while everyone else doesn’t.

I saw Blinded by the Light during the Sundance Film Festival and fell in love with it.  Make no mistake that this is one of my favorite films of the year.  Of the two films set in England with a musical focus, Blinded by the Light is the better of the two.  You can never go wrong with a Bruce Springsteen soundtrack!

After the film took home the jury prize, I made sure to see One Child Nation before flying back to Chicago.  I’m glad I did.  This is a film that examines the fallout from China’s then-one child policy.  It isn’t an easy watch for that reason but the film is essential storytelling.

Aquarela is now playing in limited release from Sony Pictures Classics.  The film benefits from being seen in a Dolby Atmos theater because of the sound design.  I suppose other theatrical formats are fine but this film really benefits from the sound system.

If you’ve seen the trailer and poster for Good Boys, you should know exactly the type of film to expect.  It’s a solid laugh riot for an hour and a half.  Trust me when I say that I out of my seat both times!  To quote Seth Rogen from the Q&A following the world premiere, the film takes place before they become Superbad.

Driven is a narrative feature that tells the story of John DeLorean from a neighbor’s point of view.  The film premiered at Venice last year before stopping by Toronto.  Directed by Nick Hamm, the film stars Jason Sudeikis, Lee Pace, Judy Greer, and Corey Stoll.  It’s the only one of the festival films that are also available on Digital.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.