Before the 2024 Sundance Film Festival kicks off in Park City, Utah on Thursday, January 18, here’s the most anticipated films from this year’s lineup:
A Different Man
From writer-director Aaron Schimberg and A24 comes A Different Man, a psychological thriller following the shy and self-conscious Edward (Sebastian Stan). After his struggle with neurofibromatosis, Edward, an aspiring actor, undergoes an experimental facial reconstructive surgery that leaves him regretful and obsessive after losing out on a role he was born to play.
American filmmaking duo Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Captain Marvel) have teamed up for their newest project, Freaky Tales. Their latest collaboration serves as a tribute to Oakland, showcasing four interrelated stories that occur in 1987 as a supernatural storm brews above the bay. The film, which stars Pedro Pascal, Jay Ellis, and Ben Mendelsohn, centers on the unique thrill of Oakland and its inhabitants. Additionally, Freaky Tales features the debut of singer-songwriter Normani and the late Angus Cloud.
Following the 2020 Sundance Film Festival highlight and Emmy award-winning Boys State, directors Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine return to bring Girls State to the festival in 2024. Following 500 teenage girls heading to Missouri to campaign for office, this one-week mock government camp gives a remarkable look into modern American politics. The documentary comes from Apple Original Films’ after the studio bought Boys State for $12 million following its premiere in 2020.
I Saw the TV Glow
Following the abrupt cancellation of their favorite late-night TV show, two teenagers begin to lose their grasp on reality in I Saw the TV Glow. The film is directed and written by Jane Schoenbrun and produced by Emma Stone’s production company, Fruit Tree. Justice Smith, Brigette Lundy-Paine, and Phoebe Bridgers star in this A24 produced film set for a theatrical release.
Lolla: The Story of Lollapalooza
Michael John Warren, a six-time Emmy nominee renowned for his story-driven documentaries and concert films, is set to debut at Sundance with Lolla: The Story of Lollapalooza. Now one of the biggest and longest-running music festivals in the United States, the Lollapalooza music festival kicked off in the summer of 1991, originally planned as a farewell tour for American rock band Jane’s Addiction. The three-part docuseries, which will stream on Paramount+ after the fest, captures the energy and angst of 90s American youth while exploring how the festival became a brand that brought alternative music to the masses. With a mix of archival footage from festival goers, event staff, and band members, the film highlights bands such as Pearl Jam and Nine Inch Nails.
Love Lies Bleeding
Love Lies Bleeding has gained some of the most press buzz this year, a fitting follow up to British filmmaker Rose Glass’s debut 2019 film Saint Maud. This romantic revenge thriller follows Lou (Kristen Stewart), a reclusive gym owner in New Mexico, who falls for an ambitious bodybuilder. Love Lies Bleeding is part of Stewart's double headline of the festival along with Love Me, a post apocalyptic romance film she stars in alongside Steven Yeun.
Director Steven Soderbergh reemerges at Sundance with his thriller Presence thirty-five years after his iconic film sex, lies, and the videotape premiered at the fest.As sex, lies, and the videotape was influential in revolutionizing the independent film movement in the early 1990s, Presence follows suit as a risky, experimental, self-financed project staged entirely in one location. Written by David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Mission: Impossible), the horror film starring Lucy Liu and Julia Fox follows a family who fears they aren’t alone in their new home.
Following the band’s 50th anniversary last year, Chris Smith’s new documentary sheds light on one of the biggest New Wave groups of the 1980s: DEVO. The documentary delves on the Ohio-based group's origins following the Kent State Massacre, hit song “Whip It”, and notorious SNL debut. After the film’s debut on January 21, the band will play at the Marquis on Main Street.
A Real Pain
Jesse Eisenberg’s sophomore film stars himself alongside Kieran Culkin, with the pair playing cousins who travel to Poland after their grandmother’s death. Dealing with generational trauma and a messy family history, this dark comedy is part of the U.S. Dramatic Competition of the festival.
Based on Jeff Hobbs’ bestselling biography, Rob Peace showcases celebrated academic Robert Peace whose life was tragically cut short. Jay Will portrays Peace, a Yale graduate and drug dealer from inner-city Newark, who was murdered at age 30 in a drug related shooting. The film also features Mary J. Blige and Camila Cabello, alongside the film’s director Chiwetel Ejiofor playing Peace’s father.