Part 3 of 4 part article about the most anticipated movies going into Sundance for CineLife:
Patti Cake$ (U.S. Dramatic Competition)
Writer/director: Geremy Jasper
Cast: Danielle Macdonald, Bridget Everett, Siddharth Dhananjay, Mamoudou Athie, Cathy Moriarty
Patti Cake$ has positive early word going into the festival. The film is the debut feature film for Geremy Jasper, a writer, director and composer from New Jersey, where his film is set. Jasper co-directed MTV VMA-nominated video for Florence + The Machine and Selena Gomez. He also wrote the original songs for Patti Cake$.
Synopsis: Straight out of Jersey comes Patricia Dombrowski, a.k.a. Killa P, a.k.a. Patti Cake$, an aspiring rapper fighting through a world of strip malls and strip clubs on an unlikely quest for glory.
Golden Exits (U.S. Dramatic Competition)
Writer/director: Alex Ross Perry
Cast: Emily Browning, Adam Horovitz, Mary-Louise Parker, Lily Rabe, Jason Schwartzman, Chloë Sevigny
Alex Ross Perry works in front and behind the camera. He starred in Joshy by Jeff Baena, which had its debut at last year’s Sundance Film Festival and directed 2015 drama-thriller, Queen of Earth with Elisabeth Moss, Katherine Waterston and Patrick Fugit, which debuted at the Berlin International Film Festival and later at BAMcinemaFest in New York and the Nantucket Film Festival. His 2014 film, Listen Up Philip with Jason Schwartzman, Elisabeth Moss and Jonathan Pryce had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival that year, later winning a Special Jury Prize at the Locarno International Film Festival.
Golden Exits centers on the arrival of a young foreign girl disrupts the lives and emotional balances of two Brooklyn families.
The Hero (U.S. Dramatic Competition)
Writer/director: Brett Haley
Writer: Marc Basch
Cast: Sam Elliott, Laura Prepon, Krysten Ritter, Nick Offerman, Katharine Ross
Brett Haley was last at Sundance with I’ll See You In My Dreams and returns with The Hero, which insiders have noted is a watershed performance by Sam Elliott, who plays the lead. Haley’s previous film, The New Year, picked up the Audience Award for Best Narrative Film at the Sarasota Film Festival.
The Hero revolves around Lee, a former Western film icon, who is living a comfortable existence lending his golden voice to advertisements and smoking weed. After receiving a lifetime achievement award and unexpected news, Lee reexamines his past, while a chance meeting with a sardonic comic has him looking to the future.
City of Ghosts (U.S. Documentary Competition)
Director: Matt Heineman
Filmmaker Matt Heineman’s 2015 Sundance documentary, Cartel Land, wowed audiences when it debuted at the festival. The film dives into the thick of the of Mexico’s never-ending turf war among the drug cartels, giving Heineman recognition as a courageous director and winning the Directing Award at Sundance along with a Cinematography Award. The film picked up two Primetime Emmys and received an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary. Heineman is now back with his next feature City of Ghosts, spotlighting another world trouble-spot, Raqqa, Syria.
With unprecedented access, City of Ghosts follows the extraordinary journey of “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently,” a group of anonymous cities journalists who banded together after their homeland was overtaken by ISIS, as they risk their lives to stand up against one of the greatest evils in the world today.
Icarus (U.S. Documentary Competition)
Writer/director: Bryan Fogel
Writer: Mark Monroe
Icarus is Bryan Fogel’s first documentary feature. His prior work includes co-writing and starring in the hit international and off-Broadway play, Jewtopia. He later co-wrote and directed its feature film adaptation. His foray into the sports world for this film took on a journey that he never could have imagined.
When Bryan Fogel sets out to uncover the truth about doping in sports, a chance meeting with a Russian scientist transforms his story from a personal experiment into a geopolitical thriller involving dirty urine, unexplained death and Olympic Gold—exposing the biggest scandal in sports history.