12 items from 2017
The Sundance Film Festival is officially over and the awards have already been handed out, both the official ones and our own Unconventional Awards, and out of the roughly thirty films I saw during my time in Park City, Utah, I’ve put together a list of the ten very best movies I had a chance to see. Many of them will be coming to theaters across the country later in the year, and a few of them may even be in the Oscar conversation a year from now.
10. The Big Sick
Silicon Valley’s Kumail Nanjiani made his triumphant debut as a leading man with this movie produced by Judd Apatow, directed by Michael Showalter (Hello, My Name is Doris) and co-written with wife Emily V. Gordon. Based on their own experiences in courting and how Emily (played by Zoe Kazan) being put into a medically-induced coma affected it, »
- Edward Douglas
The 2017 Sundance Film Festival is coming to a close with tonight’s awards ceremony. While we’ll have our personal favorites coming early this week, the jury and audience have responded with theirs, topped by Macon Blair‘s I don’t feel at home in this world anymore., which will arrive on Netflix in late February, and the documentary Dina. Check out the full list of winners below see our complete coverage here.
The U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary was presented by Larry Wilmore to:
The U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented by Peter Dinklage to:
I don’t feel at home in this world anymore. / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Macon Blair) — When a depressed woman is burglarized, she »
- Jordan Raup
“No one is as happy as they seem on Instagram, as depressed as they seem on Twitter, or as insufferable as they seem on Facebook.”
If you’re reading this review, odds are you’ve probably stumbled across that cute axiom (or one of its interchangeable variations) at some point or another in the years since the world submitted itself to the emotional slaughterhouse that is social media. And if you’ve ever had an Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook account of your own, odds are you know just how true that truism tends to be. And yet, for some reason, it still needs to be said. Everybody curates their own image on the internet, but we’re all so good at it that nobody remembers.
As Vonnegut once wrote: “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.” That guy died three »
- David Ehrlich
Warning: What you’re about to read is something of a Cinderella story.
Matt Spicer had only a couple of shorts under his belt, but when he sent his “Ingrid Goes West” screenplay to his agent, he got a call saying Aubrey Plaza wanted to play the lead — and then, Plaza was such a fan that she helped wrangle co-stars Elizabeth Olsen and O’Shea Jackson Jr. Things went so smoothly, production began just eight months after Spicer sent his agent the script.
And that’s when the trouble started.
The filmmakers lost a full day of shooting after a Santa Clarita wildfire destroyed one of their sets, while a plumbing problem at another location turned a house into a biohazard. Spicer also accidentally walked through a glass door, miraculously escaping with just a single two-inch gash on his arm.
This story has a happy ending: Neon acquired “Ingrid Goes West »
- Graham Winfrey
With a generation now largely measuring their self-esteem by the amount of likes on their Instagram feed, the veneer of a perfect life is a sought-after badge of approval. Call it a cynical observation, but the rush of personal achievement via double taps is an addicting one, especially so for Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza), a mentally unstable woman filling the lonely void left by her recently deceased mother with social media stalking. Upon reading an article in Elle, she sets her sights on Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen), an Instagram influencer who gets paid by companies to hawk their latest fashionable products. Using the $60,000 left by her mom’s will, she sets off to Los Angeles to hopefully make a new friend and thus begins the escalating deception of Ingrid Goes West.
In his directorial debut, Matt Spicer gets right what so many other films commenting on today’s technology obsession fail »
- Jordan Raup
After a number of competitive bids, Tom Quinn and Tim League’s new distribution banner Neon has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to Sundance breakout, “Ingrid Goes West,” following the world premiere on Friday night, TheWrap has learned. Directed by Matt Spicer and starring Aubrey Plaza (“Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates,” “Parks and Recreation”) and Elizabeth Olsen (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Martha Marcy May Marlene”). Based on a script by Spicer and David Branson Smith, the dark comedy also stars O’Shea Jackson Jr., Wyatt Russell, Billy Magnussen, and Pom Klementieff. Also Read: Power Outage at Sundance Fest Theater, »
- Umberto Gonzalez
Tom Quinn and Tim League’s upstart distribution company Neon has lit up the Sundance Film Festival scoreboard. They’ve made a North American rights deal for around $3 million on Ingrid Goes West, the Matt Spicer-directed drama that premiered Friday night at the Library Center Theatre. The film stars Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Wyatt Russell, and Billy Magnussen. Pic, competing in the U.S. Dramatic category, follows a disturbed young woman who… »
Tim League and Tom Quinn’s distribution shingle Neon has acquired the North American rights to the dramatic comedy “Ingrid Goes West,” starring Aubrey Plaza and Elizabeth Olsen. Neon beat out A24 and Netflix, who were also bidding on the film, Variety reports. The acquisition came two days after the film’s premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
Directed by first-time feature director Matt Spicer, who co-wrote the film with David Branson Smith, “Ingrid Goes West” is a dark, dramatic comedy that follows a troubled young woman named Ingrid (Plaza) who becomes obsessed with the Instagram account of a social media influencer named Taylor (Olsen). Ingrid then moves across the country and manages to befriend Taylor, before subjecting to her to some disturbing and even dangerous behavior. The film also stars Wyatt Russell and Billy Magnussen. »
- Graham Winfrey
Neon has bought North American distribution rights to “Ingrid Goes West” out of the Sundance Film Festival, Variety has learned.
To nab the indie comedy-drama it beat out the likes of A24 and Netflix, both of whom were in the hunt. The film is a satire of the social media age, chronicling the exploits of an unstable woman (Aubrey Plaza) with an obsessive streak.
CAA negotiated the deal.
More to come…
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- Brent Lang and Ramin Setoodeh
I am at my third Sundance Film Festival. These are my reviews. Follow me on Twitter @bayerjeff.
Sundance Film Festival 2017 Reviews
Plot (courtesy of Sundance):
U.S.A., 2016, 97 min., color
A young woman becomes obsessed with an Instagram “influencer” and moves to Los Angeles to try and befriend her in real life.
Director: Matt Spicer
Review: The films about being obsessed with social media won’t stop. They will keep getting liked, shared and redone. Thankfully, a quality filmmaker, screenwriter and cast will always be able to shine a proper light on the subject and that is exactly what Ingrid Goes West is able to pull off.
Ingrid (Plaza) has just lost her mom and attaches herself on Instagram to anyone who will give her a hint of reason. »
- Jeff Bayer
If Sun Tzu were alive today, he’d be on Instagram, and his profile would probably read, “Keep your friends close and your followers closer.” Certainly, that advice might apply to social-media celebrity Taylor Sloane, whose phony online persona attracts a sad-sack stalker in Matt Spicer’s darkly comedic “Ingrid Goes West.” A semi-ironic, yet still-empathetic “Single White Female” for the Facebook generation, Spicer’s squirm-inducing directorial debut understands both the pleasures and frustrations of judging one’s worth via virtual connections. If positioned correctly, it’s the sort of timely satire that could click with younger audiences — and further bolster Aubrey Plaza’s value in the title role.
All Ingrid Thorburn wants is friends, and the only way she knows to make them is online, via apps such as Instagram, where the word has been rendered meaningless. Ingrid’s strategy is to identify the most fabulous person she can »
- Peter Debruge
Sunday night, The Golden Globes were handed out to actors, directors, producers, musicians, screenwriters, and television show creators in a setting of inebriated debauchery that The Golden Globes are so well known for. While La La Land broke a record in total awards received, there were also a few surprises on the TV side of the awards.
The Biggest Winners
Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television: Tom HiddlestonBest Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television: Hugh LaurieBest Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television: Olivia Colman
- Drew Carlton
12 items from 2017
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