The Sundance Film Festival provides the first snapshot of what Hollywood has in store in any given year. Almost without fail, at least a few gems leave Park City, Utah, to become mainstream smashes. Last year’s slate gave us Call Me by Your Name, Get Out, The Big Sick, Mudbound and Icarus, all of which are now nominated for Oscars.
2018′s crop though, lacked some of that same discovery. The buzz of Sundance didn’t converge around any one or two movies the way it usually does, nor has it yielded a massive distribution deal destined to produce the year’s indie success story.
That isn’t to say there weren’t still treasures to be found in the chests which lied within the mountains. But… one may find themselves asking if any of them will appear on 2019’s Oscar ballot. Debatable, really. I must say, gone were the breathless eight-figure acquisitions built on rousing premieres and emphatic tweets.
It seems distributors took notes after Fox Searchlight ponied up the record-breaking $17.5 million for Birth of a Nation in 2016, only to watch that movie smolder with controversy by the time it opened in theaters. The largest deal, thus far, is that of Assassination Nation, an aggressive thriller about misogyny and social-media antics cross referencing the Salem witch-trials of 1692.
(A few cast-members of Assassination Nation)
It went for an impressive $10 million, however most other notable films sold for much quieter sums. Even if the 2018 festival supplies fewer breakouts than previous years, there were still plenty of conversation starters. Flick Fans was on the ground for a week’s worth of Sundance flicks. Of the couple dozen films we saw, here are our favorite 10 you should definitely pay attention to in the coming months:
1) The Miseducation of Cameron Post
2) Assassination Nation
3) Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind
4) Eight Grade
5) The Kindergarten Teacher
6) Studio 54
7) Sorry To Bother You
8) Never Going Back
9) We The Animals
Honorable Mentions: Piercing, Beruit, A Kid Like Jake, Mandy, The Tale, Hereditary
By Brandon Colón