7 must-see movies at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival

The Sundance Film Festival returns with some amazing new films. This guide will help you to know which ones to look out for.

Anne Hathaway and Thomasin Mckenzie as seen in the movie "Eileen."

Each year, Park City is swarmed with celebrities and film fanatics alike during the Sundance Film Festival, one of the largest independent film festivals in the world. “Coda,” which won the 2022 Oscar for Best Picture, saw its world premiere here. It is a way for emerging auteurs to make a name for themselves, for panels and discussions to be held, and to simply enjoy good cinema — whether it be drama, action, horror, documentary, or anything else you might think of. 

Taking place both in person and virtually from Jan. 19-29, here are the top 7 films in no particular order of what critics say to look forward to this year:

“Magazine Dream”

What would you be willing to go through in order to obtain your ideal body image? Follow Jonathan Majors as he plays the character of Killian, who becomes consumed by the world of bodybuilding and steroid use. Majors has skyrocketed to stardom with his recent roles in “Creed III” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” and his role in “Magazine Dream” shows that it is well-deserved. 

“Judy Blume Forever”

This documentary of the beloved children’s author, Judy Blume, details the impact that she has had and continues to have on all those who read her work. It tracks her childhood to the moment she finally made her break and beyond. This will give you a close look into the life of a beloved author that has touched millions of children’s lives.

“Cat Person”

“Cat Person” found its inception in the New Yorker through a short story of the same name. Kristen Roupenian, the author, was lauded with literary acclaim, and her subsequent book of short stories was sold for over $1 million. Now adapted to film, this thriller of a young woman who begins dating an awkward man continues to resonate with many people.

“You Hurt My Feelings”

With two talented leads, “You Hurt My Feelings” is a must-see film. Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Seinfield”) and Tobias Menzies (“The Crown”) play a married couple whose relationship begins to struggle after Louis-Dreyfus’ character, Beth, overhears her husband talking negatively about her latest book. This comedy explores the role honesty plays in relationships.

“Infinity Pool”

Brandon Cronenberg has made a name for himself within the horror genre with his 2020 film “Possessor,” and he has returned to Sundance with another mind-bending concept film in “Infinity Pool.” It follows Alexander Skarsgård who plays a novelist looking for inspiration while on vacation, as he is thrust into a world of wealth, violence, and depravity.

“Eileen”

Like “You Hurt My Feelings,” “Eileen” is another relationship-led film but of a different sort. This coming-of-age thriller, set in 1960s Massachusetts, follows Eileen (Thomasin Mckenzie) who is taken under the wing of her superior, Rebecca (Anne Hathaway), at the detention center where she works.

“Polite Society”

Martial arts and arranged marriage are two things you would never expect to see together, but they find a home in this action comedy. It is about a young Indian woman who is an aspiring stuntwoman and must call upon her fighting skills to save her sister from her engagement with the wrong man.

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