Sundance Film Festival Movie Reviews Roundup
The Sundance Film Festival sure is a crazy time. So instead of posting a bunch of separate articles for each individual film, we decided to post them all here! Check out each toggle for reviews of the films we saw at Sundance.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
Directed by: Chiwetel Ejiofor
Starring: Lily Banda, Noma Dumezweni, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Aïssa Maïga, Joseph Marcell, Maxwell Simba
Young William Kamkwamba lives with his family in rural Malawi, where he attends school regularly and shows great aptitude for his studies. Yet after land development and poor weather lead to a meager harvest, famine strikes the village, alarming the community and forcing William to drop out of school when his father (Chiwetel Ejiofor) can no longer afford the fees. Determined to find a way out of the life-threatening situation his family is facing, William sneaks into the school library to research – and soon conspires to build a windmill pump to irrigate the land. Caught between his father’s close-minded skepticism and the difficulty of creating a machine out of bicycle parts and scrap materials, William races against the clock to fight for his community’s survival.
Renowned actor Chiwetel Ejiofor makes his directorial debut with this inspiring true story. Based on Kamkwamba’s autobiography, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind brings the title character’s ingeniousness, perseverance, and hope to the big screen, reminding us how boldness and innovation can unlock seemingly impossible solutions.
The Magic Life of V
Directed by: Tonislav Hristov
Starring: Slava Doycheva, Veera Lapinkoski
Wizards, magic spells, and heroic sword battles are just fantasy for some, but for Veera, they’re a meaningful part of conquering her inner trauma. When Veera transforms into her LARP (live-action role-play) persona V, the game’s fantasy battlefields give her a space to combat her psychological turmoil. Tormented by her past, Veera finds in LARP the support and solace she needs to become the hero of her own story.
Tonislav Hristov’s elegant film is an intimate representation of an epic emotional journey. Wielding a tight camera, Hristov deftly translates Veera’s internal struggle into nuanced cinematic moments. Images of Veera traversing snowy landscapes offer transitional reprieve between her battlegrounds. Flashes from home videos offer impressionistic glimpses into her childhood. Discussions about her father are a source of tension between Veera and her disabled brother, whom she cares for. Therapy sessions slowly reveal the complexities of Veera’s struggle. Yet remembering and speaking about these memories goes only so far – Veera will need V’s courage if she’s going to confront her most intimidating challenge of all.
MuggleNet was able to sit down with the director of this film. You can check out the interview, along with a review of the film, here.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile
Directed by: Joe Berlinger
Starring: Lily Collins, Zac Efron, Haley Joel Osment, Jim Parsons, Angela Sarafyan,
1969. Ted (Zac Efron) is crazy-handsome, smart, charismatic, affectionate. And cautious single mother Liz Kloepfer (Lily Collins) ultimately cannot resist his charms. For her, Ted is a match made in heaven, and she soon falls head over heels in love with the dashing young man. A picture of domestic bliss, the happy couple seems to have it all figured out… until, out of nowhere, their perfect life is shattered. Ted is arrested and charged with a series of increasingly grisly murders. Concern soon turns to paranoia – and as evidence piles up, Liz is forced to consider that the man with whom she shares her life could actually be a psychopath.
This is the story of Ted Bundy, one of the most notorious serial killers of all time. Collins shines as Liz, while Zac Efron gives a performance that could redefine his career. Renowned filmmaker Joe Berlinger, best known for his true-crime documentaries, proves to be the perfect match to bring this Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile true story to the screen.
Stay tuned for more of MuggleNet’s Sundance coverage. Do you plan to see any of these films? Let us know in the comments below!