I saw three very impressive films at Sundance yesterday and was reminded why I'm here. The first, Wuthering Heights, helmed by the formidably talented and charming director Andrea Arnold (Fish Tank), was tough and as much of an inundation on the viewers as the blizzard outside. It is a challenging and unapologetic film to say the least, but does everything Indie cinema should in leaving you thinking about it for hours and possibly days.
Robot and Frank was everything I had hoped for in a light-hearted, retiree, buddy-caper film (a very specific genre). Frank Langella, who was in attendance at the screening, was wonderful and the comedic timing of the Robot (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard) was a treat throughout. It was extremely well-received by the packed audience who cooed with delight at every little movement of the robot's body.
The third film, Beasts of the Southern Wild, I don't even know what to say. I honestly don't feel competent to write about it, but I will urge you to find any way you can to see it. It's an astonishing piece of filmmaking, particularly for a first time director (Benh Zeitlin). The film was developed in the amazing Sundance Institute Feature Film Labs and you can tell that this director was encouraged to keep his own unique voice in every aspect of the film. These are the kind of movies that, without Sundance, might never find their audience and it is exciting to see something so unhindered by outside pressures and so raw get the attention it deserves. It reminds us of why we all come here in the first place.