2021 Sundance: Day 3 Recap and Reviews

2021 Sundance: Day 3 Recap and Reviews


Day 3 started off with an absolutely crazy and mind-blowing experience. After that, I was taken on one of the most emotionally heavy rides of my entire life. I kind of wish Mass would have been at the end of the day because doing anything after sitting through that just didn’t sound fun. Nonetheless, I trucked on and was able to capture Rebecca Hall’s directorial debut, and then finish with a modern retelling of ‘Romeo and Juliet’.

Cryptozoo – B

Current Tomato Score: 67%
Predicted Studio:
A24/Radical Axis (?) I truly can’t think on this one.

A film that is going to give the term “like being on drugs” a new meaning.

From my Review:
“Cryptozoo is the film equivalent of being trapped inside a kaleidoscope. The hand-drawn animation creates a drug-induced space that is so hypnotic and engrossing you can’t look away. At times this film can be a beautiful spectacle, but it can also feel like a paint by numbers in terms of where it is heading. Fairly formulaic, but the dialogue on zoos worked enough for me to enjoy this experience. I don’t know what Dash Shaw took while creating this idea, but I don’t want any of it. I’ll just trust his artistic vision.”

Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Johnny Dell’Angelo

Mass – A+

Current Tomato Score: 90%
Predicted Studio:
Searchlight

Mass is the first true Oscar player of 2022, and is my first A+ movie of 2021. It’s painfully brilliant.

From my Review:
“Mass is one of the most emotionally heavy films I have ever seen. Jason Isaacs and Ann Dowd lead the way in what will be four of the best performances of the year. This film is going to do so well with ensemble awards. Mass turns the audience into a fly on the wall in this lengthy and difficult real-time exploration of pain, loss, anger, and forgiveness. The screenplay masterfully doesn’t show us anything, but in turn, shows us everything in how meticulously written it is. I can’t find a single flaw with this movie and think this will be one of the most impactful films of the year. The first true 2022 Oscar candidate. This is how you make a movie. I’m speechless.”

Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Ryan Jackson-Healy

Passing – C

Current Tomato Score: N/A
Predicted Studio:
Warner Brothers

The definition of “middle-of-the-road” for me.

From my Review:
“Passing shows that Rebecca Hall has some great artistic chops, but the film lulls along and becomes uninteresting the further into the movie you go. Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga both provide fantastic performances, especially Thompson, but nothing they could have done could have saved this movie. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it. I do hope Rebecca Hall keeps directing because she does have a great eye behind the camera, just maybe try something less… ambitious.”

Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Edu Grau.

R#J – C

Current Tomato Score: N/A

The latest in the long line of Romeo and Juliet adaptations sadly falls on its face after being mostly enjoyable.

From my Review:
“Forget Shakespeare in the park, we’re moving to Shakespeare online! R#J is the latest experimental adaptation and modernization of Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’. While not everything in this film works, I enjoyed most of it and applaud the artistic vision from Carey Williams. I really could do without that ending though.”

Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Charles Murphy

Jacob is a film critic and co-founder of the Music City Drive-In. He is a member of the Music City Film Critics’ Association and specializes in the awards season. You can find him on Twitter @Tberry57.

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