Safety Not Guranteed. Photo credit: Big Beach, LLC
The Sundance film festival—often a game changer for many filmmakers—is in full swing, and there are a lot of films to get excited about. They include jOBS, which portrays the life of Steve jobs (played by Ashton Kutcher), and The Way, Way Back, a coming-of-age film from the writers of The Descendants. One of the most dramatic changes in this year’s slate, though, is that half of the competing films were made by women. Watch out for Lifeguard, a movie written by Liz W. Garcia about a teacher who has an affair with one of her students and Concussion, written by Stacie Passon, about a lesbian who faces a mid-life crisis in her marriage.
We’ll have a lot to forward from this year’s festival. In the meantime, we’re offering this selection of past Sundance nominated-films, some available to watch instantly on your computer, tablet, or cell phone. Kick back and find out what makes Sundance movies so special.
Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)
When a group of magazine employees find a classified ad from a man seeking a companion for time travel, they decide to interview him to see what he’s all about. Starring Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation), Jake Johnson (New Girl), and Mark Duplass (The Mindy Project, The League, Zero Dark Thirty). Written by Derek Connolly and directed by Colin Trevorrow.
The Invisible War (2012)
One of the most talked-about documentaries of the year, The Invisible War uncovers the secret world of rape within the U.S. military and the reason so many Americans don’t know about it. Written and directed by Kirby Dick (This Film Is Not Yet Rated.)
Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)
Believing that the universe is always in balance, a young girl named Hushpuppy (Quvenzhane Wallis) is surprised when her bayou community is destroyed by a flood – caused by the melting of the ice caps. Amid the terror, Hushpuppy witnesses the reappearance of ancient aurochs and other forgotten creatures. Can Hushpuppy restore the world to its balance and save her sick father? A favorite among movie critics, Beast of the Southern Wild is often described as so visually stunning and emotionally engaging that it’s “poetry on film.” It’s so good, in fact, that the film’s original creator Lucy Alibar, co-writer and director Benh Zeitlin, and actress Wallis are all nominated for Oscars this year. It’s in the running for Best Picture.
Donnie Darko (2001)
A sci-fi fantasy cult film, Donnie Darko was loved and re-watched again and again in many households. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Donnie Darko, the story follows Donnie, a teenage boy who has visions of a bunny rabbit who tells him that the world will end in 28 days. As Donnie continues to communicate with the rabbit, the rabbit inspires him to commit random acts of crime. Written and directed by Richard Kelly, who was only 24 when the film was shot.
28 Days Later (2002)
When a virus spreads throughout the U.K., killing almost all in its path, a small group of survivors goes on a quest to find sanctuary. Written by Alex Garland and directed by Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting).