New from Kevin Wozniak on Kevflix: The Best of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival

The 2020 Sundance Film Festival is officially in the books.  I saw 24 movies this festival and overall it was a pretty good year.  There weren’t too many duds this year, but there were definitely a number of great movies from exciting new filmmakers and great performances from some of our best actors and actresses working today.  What stood out the most at this year’s festival was the number of great female performances that were at the festival.  From veterans to newcomers, almost half the movies I saw had a great female acting performance.  It was one of the truly special elements of this year’s festival.  So with that,  here are my picks for the best movies and performances of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

 

 

 

 

BEST MOVIES

 

5.  THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS (Michael Dweck, Gregory Kershaw)

  • This insightful documentary looks at old men in a small Italian village who hunt high-priced truffles and how while the truffles they find go for thousands of dollars on the market, these old men just love spending time with their dogs.  Wonderfully shot, heart-warming, funny, and full of joy and delight.

 

 

4.  MINARI (Lee Isaac Chung)

  • Winner of the U.S. Dramatic (best movie) prize at this year’s festival, Lee Isaac Chung’s moving story about a Korean family trying to assimilate in rural America in the 1980’s is a quiet, moving, heartbreaking film led by a terrific ensemble.

 

 

3. THE FATHER (Florian Zeller)

  • The great Anthony Hopkins gives one of the best performances of his illustrious career in Florian Zeller’s heartbreaking look at dementia.  Hopkins performance is one you will be hearing about all 2020 and the frontrunner for Best Actor at next year’s Oscars.

 

 

2.  NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS (Eliza Hittman)

  • Sidney Flanigan gives the breakout performance of the festival in Eliza Hittman’s raw and unflinching look at a teenager’s journey to seek medical assistance for an unwanted pregnancy.  This is one of the most important movies of the year and one that needs to be seen by all.

 

 

1.  POSSESSOR (Brandon Cronenberg)

  • Director Brandon Cronenberg breaks free from his father’s (legendary directory David Cronenberg) shadow to give us a twisted, original, hyper-violent sci-fi film.  This is a movie that will have you riveted by its story and performances and shook by its violence and finale.  I was in complete awe of Possessor.  It is a film that got better on multiple viewings (I saw it twice) and one I cannot wait to visit again.

 

 

 

 

BEST OF THE REST

 

BEST DIRECTOR: ELIZA HITTMAN, NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS

Runner Up: Lee Isaac Chung, Minari 

 

BEST ACTOR: ANTHONY HOPKINS, THE FATHER 

Runner Up: Steven Yeun, Minari

 

BEST ACTRESS: SIDNEY FLANIGAN, NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS

Runner Up: Rebecca Hall, The Night House

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: STANLEY TUCCI, WORTH

Runner Up: Coleman Domingo, Zola

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: OLIVIA COLEMAN, THE FATHER

Runner Up: Yuh Jung Youn, Minari

 

BEST SCREENPLAY: MINARI

Runner Up: The Father

 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: WENDY

Runner Up: Zola

 

BEST SCORE: WENDY

Runner Up: Shirley 

 

BEST MIDNIGHT MOVIE: THE NIGHT HOUSE

Runner Up: Scare Me

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY: THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS

Runner Up: Spaceship Earth

 

LEAST FAVORITE: SURGE

Runner Up: Run Sweetheart Run 

 

 

 

 

OVERALL RANKING OF EVERY MOVIE I SAW

 

1 – POSSESSOR

2 – NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS

3 – THE FATHER

4 – MINARI

5 – THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS

6 – WORTH

7 – THE NIGHT HOUSE

8 – MISS JUNETEENTH

9 – WENDY

10 – ZOLA

11 – SCARE ME

12 – SHIRLEY

13 – KAJILLIONAIRE 

14 – OMNIBOAT: A FAST BOAT FANTASIA

15 – THE MOLE AGENT

16 – SPACESHIP EART

17 – IMPETIGORE

18 – THIS IS NOT A BURIAL, IT’S A RESURRECTION

19 – ASSASSINS

20 – THE NOWHERE INN

21 – SPREE

22 – DOWNHILL

23 – RUN SWEETHEART RUN

24 – SURGE

 

 

 

 

 

 

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