4 items from 2017
From start to finish, The Big Sick, directed by Michael Showalter, works as a lovingly-rendered, cinematic answer to the dinner party question: “So how did you two meet?” Based on comedian Kumail Nanjiani‘s real life (he co-wrote the screenplay with his wife Emily V. Gordon), we meet Kumail (Nanjiani) as he finishes a stand-up set in Chicago. He becomes fast friends with a wooting heckler named Emily (Zoe Kazan, lovely), and a relationship begins to blossom.
Setbacks arise and quick, among them Kumail’s inability to explain to his new beau his family’s expectation that he marry a Pakistani woman as arranged by them (he’s got a cigar box full of headshots) and Emily falling into a medically-induced coma thanks to a sickness the doctors can’t seem to pin down. Holly Hunter and Ray Romano enter as Emily’s concerned, fractured parents, both unsure of why »
- Dan Mecca
The pact comes on the heels of the romantic comedy’s rousing premiere on Friday night. The film is about a Pakistani-American comedian (Kumail Nanjiani) whose relationship with his girlfriend (Zoe Kazan) is nearly derailed over cultural differences and a health crisis. Nanjiani co-wrote the heavily autobiographical script with his wife Emily V. Gordon.
The negotiations for North American rights and other foreign territories stretched into midnight on Saturday. Nanjiani told Variety earlier this week that he wanted the film to get a theatrical release. Unlike Netflix, its rival streaming service, Amazon is a big proponent of the theatrical experience, with all of its films getting at least some kind of theatrical run.
“The Big Sick” sparked interest from a number of distributors, »
- Ramin Setoodeh and Brent Lang
Every year filmmakers flock to Sundance with deeply personal movies inspired by their lives and experiences. But rarely do those films also fire on all cylinders as fully fleshed-out pieces of entertainment. Comedian and actor Kumail Nanjiani and writer Emily V. Gordon mine their personal history for laughs, heartache, and hard-earned insight in “The Big Sick,” a film that’s by turns romantic, rueful, and hilarious. It’s a no-brainer to connect with art-house crowds who like their comedies smart and funny, but this one deserves a shot at the multiplex, too.
Well known in standup circles and a reliable scene stealer in both film and television (perhaps most notably on HBO’s sterling “Silicon Valley”), Nanjiani is overdue for a lead role — and if it takes playing a character loosely based on himself in a movie co-written with his wife, so be it. Nanjiani and Gordon manage the tricky »
- Geoff Berkshire
This year’s Sundance Film Festival is mere days from unspooling in snowy Park City, Utah and, with it comes a brand new year of indie filmmaking to get excited about. As ever, the annual festival is playing home to dozens of feature films, short offerings and technologically-influenced experiences, and while there’s plenty to anticipate seeing, we’ve waded through the lineup to pick out the ones we’re most looking forward to checking out.
From returning filmmakers like Alex Ross Perry and Gillian Robesepierre to a handful of long-gestating passion projects and at least one film about a ghost, we’ve got a little something for every stripe of film fan.
Read More: Sundance 2017: Check Out the Full Lineup, Including Competition Titles, Premieres and Shorts
Ahead, check out 20 titles we’re excited to finally check out at this year’s festival.
The trifecta behind previous Sundance »
- Chris O'Falt, Eric Kohn, Graham Winfrey, Jude Dry, Kate Erbland, Steve Greene and Zack Sharf
4 items from 2017
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