It's that time of year again! The 2014 Sundance Film Festival is underway. This year, there is a short but mighty list of female directors presenting new and exciting work. The crowds are finally starting to pay attention.
(Rose McGowan's Dawn)
One film impressing the Utah crowds is Rose McGowan's directorial debut Dawn. A stand-out, refreshingly unpredictable short that captures the innocence and heartache of adolescence. The film expertly conjures raw, nostalgic emotions from viewers. Beautifully executed, the film packs an entire three-act story into a brief (but memorable) 17 minutes.
(Desiree Akhavan's Appropriate Behavior)
Desiree Akavan is another powerhouse featured at Sundance this year. She is the director, writer, and star of her first feature Appropriate Behavior. The film follows Shirin, a bisexual Persian-American (played by Akhavan) as she navigates her late-20's and her parent's expectations. Don't let the Brooklyn setting throw you off and please ignore the casual references to HBO's Girls in other reviews of this film. Appropriate Behavior is a refreshing take on what it means to be a young queer woman in NYC. She invites the audience along for an intimate, awkward, and beautiful ride and we predict that the world will be seeing much more of the brilliant Desiree Akhavan.
(Lynn Shelton's Laggies)
Keira Knightley, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Sam Rockwell?! Yup. Director Lynn Shelton has brought together an all-star cast for Laggies - a film that is one part dark drama and one part romantic comedy. Knightley rocks a convincing American accent as Megan, a 28-year-old stuck in her own self-imposed funk. In a stroke of brilliance, Shelton contacted Death Cab for Cutie's front-man, Ben Gibbard to score the film. At first it feels very much like well-packaged teenage nostalgia, but it grows up. Laggies is a charming example of how, with the right direction and script, incredibly talented people can make incredible films.
(Gillian Robespierre's Obvious Child)
Written and directed by Gillian Robespierre, Obvious Child is a guaranteed new favorite. We already love leading lady Jenny Slate from her time on SNL, Parks and Rec, and The Kroll Show. The film fits nicely in with her already impressive repertoire. Obvious Child is about a mixed-up gal dealing with an unexpected pregnancy, and tells the sassy, unflinching, and painfully real story of young(ish) adults being forcefully thrust into adulthood. This movie will hit you in all the feels, because aren't we all semi-adults waiting/trying to grow up?
(Images Via The Guardian, Variety, IndieWire)