Thursday Movie Picks: Sundance Favorites

This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is all about the hits of one of my favorite film festivals: Sundance. As an indie lover, this is a festival I'd love to attend some day. Hopefully I can make that happen. Until then, here are a few of my Sundance favorites.

1) Brick

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is my favorite actor and Rian Johnson's film is #2 on my all time favorites list. I never get sick of watching it. 

2) Little Miss Sunshine

This film was just so sweet and I love the cast. Toni Collette is always reliable, Paul Dano is one of my favorites and this was the first time for me to see Steve Carrell in a more serious role. 

3) Whiplash

One of the more recent Sundance hits but another film that ranks high on my best of all time. I think I forced my entire family into watching this at one point or another. 

26 comments:

  1. Ooh, I agree with the two picks but with Brick I'm not yet sure because I haven't seen it! I will though, sinceI put it in my BlindSpot list for this year because it's always at the back of my head but I've never watched it.
    Whiplash is a masterpiece, there's no other word for it. So simple, so minimal, and yet, the sheer meaning of this movie gives me chills every time I think about it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brick is amazing I really hope you like it! Agree with Whiplash being a masterpiece. It easily has one of the most intense final 15 minutes I've ever seen.

      Delete
  2. I haven't seen Brick but I love the other two. I tried to make my family watch Whiplash but they didn't listen to me :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mine were reluctant too but I eventually forced them. They all enjoyed it afterwards.

      Delete
  3. Yay I've seen all three! LOVE Little Miss Sunshine, it's got just enough quirks to make it stand out but not too many to make it seem like its trying to hard.

    Brick tows that line as well but since its stylization is part and parcel of its vision you have to make allowances for it when it occasionally goes off the rails. JGL is terrific in the lead.

    Whiplash is one I could have used last week. It was okay, I didn't love it nor hate it and once was definitely enough.

    I've been to a film festival here and there but really pay no attention to what films play at different ones so I had to research to find three I liked that had been part of this particular festival.

    Silverlake Life: The View from Here (1993)- Won the Grand Jury Documentary Prize at Sundance. Mark Massi and Tom Joslin are in a long time committed relationship, they have also both been diagnosed with AIDS which at the time was a death sentence. We live through their final journey with them. The film has touches of gallows humor but it is a harrowing, heartbreaking trip to an inevitable destination that will leave you emotionally bereft.

    Big Night (1996) - Won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at Sundance. Primo (Tony Shalhoub) and Secondo (Stanley Tucci-who co-wrote and co-directed this film) are immigrant brothers who operate an Italian restaurant in America. Primo is a culinary genius, but hot tempered and determined not to squander his expertise making the routine dishes that customers expect. Secondo is the smooth front-man, trying to keep the restaurant financially afloat, despite few patrons other than a poor artist who pays with his paintings. Their friendly competitor who owns a nearby enormously successful restaurant offers a solution, a special benefit lead by a big-time jazz musician who is a friend of his. Excitedly Primo begins to prepare his feast of a lifetime for the brothers' big night. Amusing comic drama with a terrific cast alongside Tucci and Shalhoub including Isabella Rossellini, Minnie Driver and Live Schreiber.

    You Can Count on Me (2000) - Won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at Sundance. Independent, responsible Sammy Prescott (Laura Linney) is a single mother working as a loan officer in upstate New York who is at first delighted when her errant, feckless brother Terry (Mark Ruffalo) shows up unexpectedly for a visit after a long period of not being in touch. When his short visit stretches into an extended stay they both slowly begin to reexamine their lives as their childhood bond strengthens anew. Beautifully acted this is one of the best looks at sibling rivalry and connection ever made.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't seen any of your picks, though You Can Count On Me sounds like something I'd like the most.

      Delete
  4. Little Miss Sunshine is <3. Abigail Breslin is SO lovable in it, and the whole cast is great.

    I like both Brick and Whiplash, too, although neither is close to "All-Time Favorite" status for me. Holy hell, though, the ending of Whiplash is EXHILARATING.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure I breathed during the ending of Whiplash. I felt like I was having an anxiety attack FOR Miles' character.

      Delete
  5. I love all three of these movies. And I'm always especially glad to see Brick get some love. What a wonderfully quirky film.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I agree, I love seeing people praise it.

      Delete
  6. I haven’t watched Brick but love your last two picks! JK Simmons was good in Whiplash, and Little Miss Sunshine will always be one of my faves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He was. Simmons deserved that Oscar hands down.

      Delete
  7. I am another person who never saw Brick, I really should finally if only since it is so high on your all time favs list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WHAT?! I thought everyone had seen this. lol

      Delete
  8. Ah, 3 great films. I own a DVD copy of Brick and it's on a shelf between Mystery Train by Jim Jarmusch and Being John Malkovich by Spike Jonze.

    Little Miss Sunshine is one of my mother's favorite films.... ever!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so sweet! I'd like to re-watch Little Miss Sunshine now after talking about it this week.

      Delete
  9. Oh my God...Little Miss Sunshine is an all-time favorite of mine. It really resonated with me, and I completely loved Carrell in such a serious role!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I like him better in those type of roles.

      Delete
  10. Another one here who hasn't seen Brick - you're shaming us all 😂

    But Little Miss Sunshine is so sweet, and Whiplash is such a high!

    ReplyDelete
  11. There really have been some exceptional films championed in the festival. This trio got me thinking of my favourite and it’s so tough picking between such wonderful work. Whiplash edges it out of these three though, the performances are extraordinary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sundance is probably my favorite film festival (from an internet standpoint I suppose. I've never went) There's always amazing films coming from here.

      Delete
  12. All of these are great! I especially love Whiplash.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love love Brick. Like Little Miss Sunshine. I think J.K. Simmons is great in Whiplash, but I don't like the actual movie.

    ReplyDelete

If you're reading this sentence you should probably leave a comment.