Matt writes: The 2020 Sundance Film Festival came to a close this past Sunday, and RogerEbert.com was there to cover all the highlights. Check out our official table of contents to skim through our complete line-up of dispatches penned by Brian Tallerico, Nick Allen, Carlos Aguilar, Monica Castillo, Robert Daniels and Tomris Laffly, as well as interviews with such talents as Bo Burnham, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Will Ferrell, Eliza Hittman, Carey Mulligan and Justin Simien.
The Jesus Rolls (2020). Written and directed by John Turturro. Starring John Turturro, Sônia Braga, Bobby Cannavale. Synopsis: A spin-off of “The Big Lebowski” centered on the notable bowler, Jesus Quintana. Opens in US theaters on February 28th, 2020.
Burden (2020). Written and directed by Andrew Heckler. Starring Forest Whitaker, Andrea Riseborough, Garrett Hedlund. Synopsis: When a museum celebrating the Ku Klux Klan opens in a South Carolina town, the idealistic Reverend Kennedy strives to keep the peace even as he urges the group’s Grand Dragon to disavow his racist past. Opens in US theaters on February 28th, 2020.
Rocks (2020). Directed by Sarah Gavron. Written by Theresa Ikoko and Claire Wilson. Starring Bukky Bakray, Kosar Ali, D’angelou Osei Kissiedu. Synopsis: A teenage girl who suddenly finds herself struggling to take care of herself and her younger brother. US release date is TBA.
F9 (2020). Directed by Justin Lin. Written by Chris Morgan. Starring Charlize Theron, Jim Parrack, John Cena. Synopsis: The ninth installment of the seemingly endless “Fast and Furious” franchise. Opens in US theaters on May 22nd, 2020.
The Wild Goose Lake (2020). Written and directed by Yi’nan Diao. Starring Ge Hu, Lun-Mei Kwei, Fan Liao. Synopsis: A gangster on the run sacrifices everything for his family and a woman he meets while on the lam. Opens in US theaters on March 6th, 2020.
The Rest of Us (2020). Directed by Aisling Chin-Yee. Written by Alanna Francis. Starring Heather Graham, Sophie Nélisse, Jodi Balfour. Synopsis: Two mother-daughter duos must contend with their grief and complicated relationships with one another when the person who connects them dies. US release date is TBA.
Holly Slept Over (2020). Written and directed by Joshua Friedlander. Starring Erinn Hayes, Nathalie Emmanuel, Ron Livingston. Synopsis: This unconventional comedy follows the relationship struggles of a married couple trying to conceive, their friends who have lost their spark, and the tension that ensues when an old college roommate stays over for the weekend. Opens in US theaters on March 3rd, 2020.
Run This Town (2020). Written and directed by Ricky Tollman. Starring Ben Platt, Mena Massoud, Damian Lewis. Synopsis: An emerging political scandal in Toronto in 2013 seen through the eyes of young staffers at city hall and a local newspaper. Opens in US theaters on March 9th, 2020.
The Burnt Orange Heresy (2020). Directed by Giuseppe Capotondi. Written by Scott B. Smith (based on the novel by Charles Willeford). Starring Claes Bang, Elizabeth Debicki, Donald Sutherland. Synopsis: Hired to steal a rare painting from one of most enigmatic painters of all time, an ambitious art dealer becomes consumed by his own greed and insecurity as the operation spins out of control. Opens in US theaters on March 6th, 2020.
Premature (2020). Directed by Rashaad Ernesto Green. Written by Rashaad Ernesto Green and Zora Howard. Starring Zora Howard, Joshua Boone, Michelle Wilson. Synopsis: Set against the backdrop of a changing Harlem landscape, when seventeen year old Ayanna meets handsome and mysterious outsider Isaiah, her entire world is turned upside down on her path towards self-discovery as she travails the rigorous terrain of young love the summer before she leaves for college. Debuts on Disney+ on March 13th, 2020.
Irresistible (2020). Written and directed by Jon Stewart. Starring Mackenzie Davis, Rose Byrne, Steve Carell. Synopsis: A Democrat strategist helps a retired veteran run for mayor in a small, conservative Midwest town. Opens in US theaters on May 29th, 2020.
Mr. Jones (2020). Directed by Agnieszka Holland. Written by Andrea Chalupa. Starring James Norton, Vanessa Kirby, Peter Sarsgaard. Synopsis: A Welsh journalist breaks the news in the western media of the famine in the Soviet Union in the early 1930s. US release date is TBA.
Vivarium (2020). Directed by Lorcan Finnegan. Written by Garret Shanley. Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Imogen Poots, Jonathan Aris. Synopsis: A young couple looking for the perfect home find themselves trapped in a mysterious labyrinth-like neighborhood of identical houses. US release date is TBA.
Vitalina Varela (2020). Directed by Pedro Costa. Written by Pedro Costa and Vitalina Varela. Starring Vitalina Varela, Ventura, Manuel Tavares Almeida. Synopsis: A Cape Verdean woman navigates her way through Lisbon, following the scanty physical traces her deceased husband left behind and discovering his secret, illicit life. Opens in US theaters on February 21st, 2020.
The Last Thing He Wanted (2020). Directed by Dee Rees. Written by Dee Rees and Marco Villalobos (based on the novel by Joan Didion). Starring Ben Affleck, Anne Hathaway, Willem Dafoe. Synopsis: A veteran D.C. journalist loses the thread of her own narrative when a guilt-propelled errand for her father thrusts her from byline to unwitting subject in the very story she’s trying to break. Opens in US theaters on February 14th, 2020.
The Lodge (2020). Directed by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz. Written by Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz and Sergio Casci. Starring Richard Armitage, Riley Keough, Alicia Silverstone. Synopsis: A soon-to-be stepmom is snowed in with her fiancé’s two children at a remote holiday village. Just as relations begin to thaw between the trio, some strange and frightening events take place. Opens in US theaters on February 7th, 2020.
The Photograph (2020). Written and directed by Stella Meghie. Starring LaKeith Stanfield, Issa Rae, Chelsea Peretti. Synopsis: A series of intertwining love stories set in the past and in the present. Opens in US theaters on February 14th, 2020.
Chaz Ebert’s Top Ten Films of 2019
Matt writes: This list ranking the best films of 2019, according to RogerEbert.com publisher Chaz Ebert, includes Oscar nominees “Marriage Story,” “Harriet,” “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood,” “The Irishman,” “Parasite,” “Judy,” “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” “Joker” and “The Two Popes.”
Kantemir Balagov’s “Beanpole“
The Dance of Life (1929). Directed by John Cromwell and A. Edward Sutherland. Written by Benjamin Glazer (based on the play by Arthur Hopkins and George Manker Watters). Starring Hal Skelly, Nancy Carroll, Dorothy Revier. Synopsis: A vaudeville comic and a pretty young dancer aren’t having much luck in their separate careers, so they decide to combine their acts.
Behind Office Doors (1930). Directed by Melville W. Brown. Written by Alan Schultz and Carey Wilson. Starring Mary Astor, Robert Ames, Ricardo Cortez. Synopsis: Mary Linden is the secretary who is the unheralded power behind successful executive James Duneen. He takes her for granted until rival Wales tries to take her away from him.
Gulliver’s Travels (1939). Directed by Dave Fleischer. Written by Dan Gordon, Cal Howard, Tedd Pierce, Izzy Sparber and Edmond Seward (based on the immortal tale by Jonathan Swift). Starring Jessica Dragonette, Lanny Ross, Pinto Colvig. Synopsis: A doctor washes ashore on an island inhabited by little people.