After 22 films and several great parties I am finally back home, safe and sound in Brooklyn.  Sundance announced their awards last night and I somehow managed to not see hardly any of the winning films. I did see some fantastic cinema though, and here are a few more of my recommendations from my Sundance 2014 trip. You can see my previous post here.

HELLION: For her first feature, director Kat Candler comes out swinging with a terrific new family drama about a 13 year old boy named Jacob (played with true grit by Josh Wiggins) who’s life is spiraling out of control. After the death of his mother, Jacob and his little brother Wes, are all but abandoned by their distraught father Hollis (played by Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad) When Wes gets removed by Child protective services, Jacob will stop at nothing to get him back. The very cool heavy metal soundtrack and dusty heat of the southern Texas sun add to the desperate mood.

Based on the novel by Charlotte Rochegross WETLANDS is about a delightfully charming teenage girl named Helen (Played by Carla Juri) who happens to be obsessed with bodily fluids.  The gross out factor is off the charts with pussy hygiene experiments, used tampon swapping and other antics but Helen is so endearing you can’t help but love her. After suffering a shaving accident on her butt hole she ends up in the hospital where she charms a male nurse with her nasty sex talk and schemes to reunite her mismatched parents. This film played in the world dramatic competition section of the festival and hails from Germany.

THE ONE I LOVE:  Elisabeth Moss (aka Peggy from Mad Men) and Mark Duplass (Safety Not Guaranteed) star in this wonderfully confusing romantic comedy with a crazy sci fi twist. With their marriage in trouble, their therapist (Ted Danson) sends them off on a weekend retreat to a beautiful vacation home to try to reinvigorate their relationship. I refuse to be the spoiler here but I will say what they find there forces them into an uncomfortable examination into the nature of their relationship and a very original method of couples therapy.

BLUE RUIN: When a peaceful vagrant finds out that his parent’s killer has been released from prison he sets out for revenge.  Since he is only an amateur assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family. If you can handle a bit of gruesome violence this is a perfectly executed film. Written, directed and shot by Virginia native Jeremy Saulnier, the film has a naturalistic sensibility, yet classically composed, tightly wound and comes loaded with a powerfully melancholic performance by Macon Blair.

-Michael Lavine

Tagged in: Wetlands, The One I love, Sundance Film Festival, Hellion, Elisabeth Moss, Blue Ruin   

The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.

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