I kicked off my 2023 Sundance Film Festival coverage with a loaded slate of movies I watched. Throughout the festival, you can find continuous coverage of all the biggest movies out of the festival. I look forward to sharing with you all the movies that you should be keeping an eye out for in 2023.
The Sundance Film Festival is one of those festivals that studios love to attend. From movies like Parasite to CODA to last year’s Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul, the festival, is known for providing a sample of a year ahead in film. When a film debuts at the festival, they look for that reaction from the critics/audiences, and movies can be off to a bidding war for which the studio will stake a claim on the film. Let’s dive into the first day of the festival below.
2023 Sundance Film Festival review roundup
Run Rabbit Run
"Sarah Snook plays a fertility doctor who believes firmly in life and death, but after noticing the strange behavior of her young daughter, must challenge her own values and confront a ghost from her past."
When the film begins, you meet Sarah and Mia, a mother-and-daughter combo that has an odd uncharacteristic relationship together. Mia isn’t the best kid, and Sarah is trying her best to be the best Mom. Throughout the film, we explore this relationship with an odd set of events that transpire that makes you question what really is going on.
The movie had a run time of an hour and forty minutes, but it felt much longer. After a while, you understand where the movie is going, but it’s just not anything worth noting. Sarah Snook and Lily LaTorre deliver decent performances, Run Rabbit Run leaves quite too much to desire, which makes it an uneventful slow ride.
"The fate of the planet’s last untouched wilderness, the deep ocean, is under threat as a secretive organization is about to allow massive extraction of seabed metals to address the world’s energy crisis"
When you watch documentaries like this, you can’t help but be alarmed by all the things that are revealed. You understand and witness daily how we treat this planet as badly as we do, and we are all guilty of it, but those in power fail to understand that there are some things we can begin to do that could change some of the trajectories.
Honestly, Deep Rising is informative yet flawed because it almost feels like the point is driven down our throats. While I understand that, I also think the hour-and-a-half run time felt like three hours causing you to weave in and out of the story. That said, Jason Mamoa might of found his calling as this generation’s documentary narrator. Overall, it’s a solid documentary with stunning visuals and an informative story.
To Live and Die and Live
"Muhammad returns home to Detroit to bury his stepfather and is thrust into settling his accounts, but Muhammad’s struggles with depression and addiction may finish him before he finishes the task."
We meet Muhammad, who is out in the town scoring some drugs. Shortly after, he meets Asia, who joins him on his adventure throughout the city. One thing leads to another, and as they are about to get it on, Muhammad can’t rise to the occasion. Afterward, Asia attempts to put her number in his phone, and he questions why she’s touching his phone, causing her to snap a little.
The following day, Muhammad attends his stepfather’s funeral, where he is forced to settle some of his accounts. We hear that the family struggles to get the money, so he steps up and says he will take care of the bill. There are quite a few things that I did and didn’t like about the movie. The things I liked were the score, cinematography, and performances. Amin Joseph is on the screen for the entirety of this film, and he never wastes a moment. Now for what I didn’t like, it was structurally all over the place, causing you to not connect to the film.
Overall, I liked, but I didn’t love the film. I wanted a little more for it and cause we didn’t get it, and the movie fell short.
Make sure to stay tuned for all of our coverage of the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.