Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sundance 2017: Ranking the Best and Worst of the Festival

Arriving back in Los Angeles on Thursday, I found myself unable to care all that much about the festival I had just attended. The real world feels like it matters more now, and so in that spirit I'm keeping this rundown pretty short.

Was it a bit of an underwhelming year at Park City quality-wise? I'm inclined to say yes, although there are a few films I wished I'd seen. Still, I'm taking with me a few gems -- and the hope that some other discoveries still await me. (True/False, I'm trusting you'll program some of the acclaimed documentaries I intentionally skipped, like Machines and Dina.)

So, let's do the ranking. Links lead to individual reviews....

27. Wilson
26. Bushwick 
25. Ingrid Goes West 
24. The Last Word   
23. Walking Out
22. An Inconvenient Sequel
21. Before I Fall
20. Rebel in the Rye
19. Newness
18. Landline  
17. Whose Streets?
16. Pop Aye
15. Beach Rats 
14. The Discovery
13. The Incredible Jessica James
12. Novitiate
11. The Big Sick
10. Manifesto 
9. The Yellow Birds 
8. The Force
7. Columbus
6. Strong Island 
5. Mudbound
4. Where Is Kyra?
3. Casting JonBenet
2. A Ghost Story
1. Call Me by Your Name

Want more words from me? I did an overview of the festival's first few days for The Times of London. And for MEL, I examined some of the most intriguing characters (some fictional, some real) from Sundance. Before the festival began, I wrote a piece for The New Republic about the movies I was most interested in seeing. I did a decent job of anticipating what the hot films were going to be -- although I missed I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore, a title that became an unofficial theme to this year's Sundance, the first with Trump in the White House.