The 2020 awards season may soon be over, but there are plenty of gems to experience at the theatre in the coming months. Park City, Utah’s, annual Sundance Film Festival has brought talent far and wide to premiere their independently produced movies, and soon they will arrive at an AMC near you. Last year, critically acclaimed hits including BLINDED BY THE LIGHT, THE FAREWELL and HONEY BOY came out of the Utah festival, and we’re still thinking about them a year later.
Here are eight under-the-radar titles coming out of this year's Sundance Film Festival to look out for at AMC.
The Assistant (January 31)
Set in the stuffy and monotonous atmosphere of a 9-to-5 office, THE ASSISTANT stars Julia Garner as Jane, an unassuming assistant to a powerful Hollywood executive. This thrilling drama follows Jane on her daily routine as she attempts to get into the groove of her new position. Her regular tasks start off mundane, but she starts to sense a series of troubling issues with the boss she works under. Directed by documentary filmmaker Kitty Green, THE ASSISTANT offers an especially unsettling look at workplace harassment. (Limited Release)
Downhill (February 14)
Two famed comedians have teamed up for a remake of the 2014 Swedish dramedy FORCE MAJEURE. DOWNHILL follows Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a husband and wife on a ski vacation with their children in the Alps. When an avalanche tumbles near them, Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Billie holds on to their kids to take cover and keep them safe. And Ferrell’s Pete grabs his phone and runs away. The incident creates increasing levels of awkwardness for the couple for the remainder of their vacation, and they start to reevaluate their feelings for one another.
Wendy (February 28)
Eight years after helming the Oscar®-nominated fantasy BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, writer/director Benh Zeitlin is back for WENDY. The Sundance flick is a new take on "Peter Pan," as the tale’s heroine is lost on a mysterious island where time and growing up is muddled and mixed. A young Wendy goes on an incredible adventure with the Lost Boys to save her family and herself from getting older. Fans of J.M. Barrie’s story can bask in an original and visionary retelling of an unforgettable classic full of twists and stunning visuals that set it apart from its other adaptations. (Limited Release)
Never Rarely Sometimes Always (March 13)
Springboarding off the hot-button women’s issue of abortion, NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS follows two teenagers who travel on buses and subways from rural Pennsylvania to New York City. Sidney Flanigan’s Autumn becomes unintentionally pregnant and seeks medical help, so her cousin (Talia Ryder) comes along for the journey. The drama, written and directed by Eliza Hittman, was produced by MOONLIGHT’s Adele Romanski. It includes two genuine performances and opens up the often controversial discussion of abortion access in the United States. (Limited Release)
Charm City Kings (April 10)
Following MOONLIGHT and IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, visionary filmmaker Barry Jenkins has found another memorable tale in CHARM CITY KINGS. Jenkins wrote the story for director Angel Manuel Soto’s coming-of-age tale about a 14-year-old boy named Mouse who finds interest in joining a clique of dirt bike riders in West Baltimore. Rapper Meek Mill finds his debut acting role here as Blax, the group’s leader. Blax takes Mouse under his wing, but as the money rolls in, violence begins to unfold.
Promising Young Woman (April 17)
Emerald Fennell wrote and directed this funny and poignant revenge tale that allows the usually prim and proper Carey Mulligan to show a different side of her acting talents. Mulligan plays Cassie, a once "promising young woman" who finds a unique way to deal with her past trauma by seeking vengeance and testing the morality of men who hit on her at bars. PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN also stars Bo Burnham, Laverne Cox, Connie Britton and Alison Brie. (Limited Release)
Oscar®-nominated actress Toni Collette returns shortly after Rian Johnson’s KNIVES OUT to star in DREAM HORSE. Collette plays a cleaner who decides to breed a thoroughbred as a race horse along with "Homeland" actor Damian Lewis, a bartender. The pair of Welsh working-class people actually help train a contender in the sport, and their horse rises through the ranks to become the racing elite, all the way to the national championship. DREAM HORSE is not only highly entertaining, but it’s based on a true story... and did we mention Toni Collette yet?
ZOLA is the first movie to be inspired by a famous Twitter thread. The movie follows two women — played by THE LODGE's Riley Keough and WHITE BOY RICK’s Taylour Paige — who become quick friends. The two begin talking back and forth about plans to travel down to Florida to make some cash stripping. They go on a road trip with Colman Domingo’s mysterious character and Derrek (Nicholas Braun of "Succession"). The movie incorporates modern technological normalities of the time that made the story go viral on Twitter, such as ping notifications. It’s packed with hilarious and absurd moments as it follows the curious phenomenon that recently shook the internet.
Check back in with the AMC Scene for more movie surprises as the year rolls on.