2023 Sundance Film Festival review roundup (Part 3)

PARK CITY, UTAH - JANUARY 22: Julia Louis-Dreyfus attends the 2023 Sundance Film Festival "You Hurt My Feelings" Premiere at Eccles Center Theatre on January 22, 2023 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)
PARK CITY, UTAH - JANUARY 22: Julia Louis-Dreyfus attends the 2023 Sundance Film Festival "You Hurt My Feelings" Premiere at Eccles Center Theatre on January 22, 2023 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images) /

Our 2023 Sundance Film Festival coverage continues today by sharing everything we watched on day three. Make sure you follow along throughout the festival as we share our thoughts on the movies you need to keep an eye on in 2023.

On day three of the festival, I watched Willie Nelson & Family, a documentary about the singer’s career. Cat Person, a haunting thriller that takes a look at women’s biggest dating fears. Last, You Hurt My Feelings, the Julia Louis-Dreyfus family drama, which looks at our insecurities in chasing our dreams.

2023 Sundance Film Festival review roundup

Willie Nelson & Family

The film follows the life of Willie Nelson. The highs, the lows, and the story of how he became one of the most loved musicians. 

At the age of 89, Willie Nelson is entering his 67th year as a musician. It’s wild to see someone perform music for as long as he has and continue to produce it at a high rate. From his rough upbringing to his early struggles of being a musician to his rise of not just becoming a worldwide phenomenon but someone who was a loud and proud activist, Nelson’s story is incredible.

"“I really can’t take orders.” – Willie Nelson."

While the stories are plenty, and the filmmakers waver from the story’s structure, the docuseries has far too many episodes. Fans of Nelson will absolutely eat up the content, but it may not attract new people to watch all five episodes. Outside of that, co-directors Thom Zimny and Oren Moverman provide an insightful and thought-provoking look at the wild ride that Willie Nelson navigated throughout his life. I rather enjoyed this entire docuseries quite a bit.

Cat Person

The brief relationship between a twenty-year-old sophomore college student Margot, and an older man Robert, who is a regular at the movie theater where Margot works.

We meet Margot (Emilia Jones), who is working at a movie theater. A man walks up and orders Red Vines (gross), and she makes a joke about Red Vines, but he doesn’t exactly respond with any emotion. Later that night, she sees a dog outside, and someone stops her when she tries to bring him inside her dorm.

I loved when he yelled at her for talking during the movie.

After quite a bit of back and forth, we see Robert (Nicholas Braun) walk up and say, concession stands girl, give me your number, so she does. They start texting quite a bit, and she tells her friend Tamara about him. Finally, they decide to meet, and he arrives at her school to share some food.

Look, I get what the film was trying to say because women face this battle with men daily and those fears of not knowing what can/can not happen to them. That part of the script was fully fleshed out with a strong message. However, I don’t think they connected the dots thematically enough to make the entire film work. It was slightly overstuffed at the beginning causing it to drag on a little too long. Finally, when we get to a place where it starts to get good, the ending drops you on your head, leaving a sour taste in your mouth.

Overall, I give Cat Person quite a bit of credit for its creativity in some aspects of the story, but it fails to reach the film’s true potential. Also, sometimes we should listen to our friends. Therefore, I give it a slight recommendation.

You Hurt My Feelings

A novelist’s longstanding marriage is suddenly upended when she overhears her husband giving his honest reaction to her latest book.

Throughout my coverage of this festival, I’ve watched some incredible films, but You Hurt My Feelings may provide one of the most honest and raw depictions of our insecurities in chasing our dreams while also the little white lies that we tell our significant others.

From the beginning of the movie, when we meet Don having a therapy session with his patients, to Beth overhearing him later saying how much he hated her book, you slowly weave in and out of this couple’s relationships. Writer Nicole Holofcener beautifully intertwines all of this to swoop you into her little world. I can’t express how much I loved how she never shied away from showing each character’s true feelings to the viewer.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been doing this for quite some time, but she reminded me how great she truly is at what she does. You can sense that it was personal to her in how authentic she came across in the role of Beth. Her chemistry with her co-star Tobias Menzies, who plays her husband in the film, was another reason you fall in love with this store. They did a great job portraying this married couple to bring this incredible script to life.

Overall, You Hurt My Feelings has hands down one of the best scripts from this festival. From a delightful ensemble–David Cross and Amber Tamblyn will have you in tears–to brilliant direction, I was in love with this film from start to finish.

Next. Oscar nominated movies 2023 (and where to stream them). dark

Stay tuned to Hidden Remote for more Sundance Film Festival 2023 coverage.