After two years of pandemic-induced virtual pivots, the Sundance Film Festival finally returns to Park City, Utah, in 2023, with a host of big-name stars, including but barely limited to Anne Hathaway, Jonathan Majors, Ben Platt, Alexander Skarsgard, Geena Davis, Tiffany Haddish, Emilia Clarke, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Indeed, coming off a relatively quiet festival in which breakouts included the acquisition of AppleTV+ Cha Cha real smooth and Independent Awards Nominee A love song, Next year, Sundance will debut a number of high-profile titles from acclaimed directors, as well as, true to form, a number of potential finds in the competition’s categories. The American drama field includes the decades All the dirt roads taste like salt, director’s first feature film Raven Jackson—and above all, backed by leading producers Moonlight Oscar winners Barry Jenkins and Adele Romanski, whose title this fall, After Sun, is one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year. The Majors vehicle is also in competition Dreams Magazine, co-star Taylor Paige and Haley Bennett, and the ensemble piece directed by Platt Theater camps.
During the world competition, note spencer director Pablo Larrain among the producers of the intriguing Chilean-Mexican coming-of-age drama Witchcraft, and Ben Wishaw leading the first feature film of Alice Engert, oscar winner’s daughter Jeanne Campion (who directed Wishaw in Shining star), opposite Jennifer Connelly in Bad behaviour. Whishaw is one of the rare actors to appear a few times in the program of the year: he is also in one of the most awaited titles of the festival, crossings, the last of the darling festival Ira Sachs (love is strange little men) which explores the attraction and abuse between a trio of characters (Francois Rogowski and Adèle Exarchopoulos also star).
Another Sundance 2023 MVP is Emily Jones, who last hit the festival with 2021 CODA—the first Sundance movie already to win the Best Picture Oscar. Now she leads the long gestation cat person, adapted by Michelle Ashord of Kristen Roupenianis viral New Yorker short story and co-star Nicolas Brown. Jones is also part of the cast of the 70s San Francisco ensemble drama Fairyland, produced by Sophie Coppola and also including Scoot McNairy, Geena Davis, Maria Bakalova, Cody Fougere, and Adam Lambert. These two films will bow in the premieres section, which also includes documentaries on Michael J. Fox (David Guggenheimit is Still), Brooke Shields (Lana Wilsonit is pretty baby), and Judy Blume (Davina Pardo and Lea Wolchokit is Judy Blume forever). And for fans of Anne Hathaway and/or Ottessa Moshfegh, the first plays in an adaptation of the second’s novel Eileen, opposite Thomasin McKenzie.