Sundance Film Festival 2023: The 10 Hottest Movies to Watch

A masterpiece to look forward to.

The 2023 Sundance Film Festival ended on a high note. As things slowly return to their pre-pandemic state, the Sundance Film Festival returns as the first festival of any year to bring together esteemed and bold independent films that, after their debuts, tends to go a long way.

This year, Sundance delivered a series of deep and varied images that impressed critics and audiences alike. These films received critical acclaim after the festival and left their mark on festival crowds: Some of them have already been bought by major studios, boding well for commercial and critical performance in the coming months.

1 'Magazine Dreams'

Jonathan Majors to shine in 2023. Not only will he make his big-screen debut as Kang in the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantum of Madness, but he will also co-star with Michael B. Jordan in Tenet III. Perhaps the most interesting project of the Majors, however, is Magazine Dreams, the story of an amateur bodybuilder struggling to build relationships.

Magazine Dreams premiered to positive reviews at Sundance, specifically praising the Majors' performance. Compared to Taxi Driver and other character-driven studies of male psychology, Magazine Dreams certainly It has an effect when it gets wider.

2 'Infinity Pool'

Casting Brandon Cronenberg on one of Sundance's most controversial and talked about films. Starring Alexander Skarsgard and Mia Goth, actors whose names have quickly become synonymous with the "not for everyone" genre, Infinity Pool follows a couple who venture out of their resort, led by a young woman, Only to find that danger and dark secrets await them.

Infinity Pool received positive reviews, but critics warned that the film's polarizing and offensive themes would keep mainstream audiences from enjoying the experience. Still, fans of Conenberg's now-distinct style will definitely get their money's worth.

3 'Past Lives'

Celine Song's directorial debut, Past and Present, stars Greta Lee, Lee Yo and John Magaro. The plot centers on Nora and Hae, childhood friends who were separated after her family moved away from Korea. Reunited after 20 years, they rekindle their close bond during a fateful week.

Past Lives earned rave reviews from critics, perhaps the best of this year's festival. Critics praised Song's screenplay, with reviews praising its treatment of themes without falling into outdated clichés. Past Lives will be distributed by A24, which means it has a chance to produce Impressed viewers loyal to this always reliable company.

4 'Eileen'

Anne Hathaway, who has starred in above-average films for the better part of a decade, is consistently the best in her roles, and Erin is no exception. Erin, a psychological thriller based on the 2015 novel of the same name, follows the titular character of a young woman working in a prison in 1960s New England who bonds with a charming new counselor.

Erin received positive reviews from critics. Most critics agreed that Hathaway was a highlight of the film, but also praised the script's wit and successful mix of horror and comedy. Erin is set to hit theaters later this year, which means Hathaway may gain some traction during the 2024 awards season.

5 'You Hurt My Feelings'

Nicole Holfcener never made a bad movie. The writer-director presented her latest film, "You Hurt My Feelings," at the Sundance Film Festival. It stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus, her second collaboration with Holofcener after Enough Said. The film centers on Beth, an author and teacher who faces marital struggles after her husband offers brutally honest opinions about her new book.

You Hurt My Feelings has been described as a brilliant display of Louis-Dreyfus' comedic genius. This The actor hasn't just conquered television, but her film work has yet to be recognized. To this point, Holfsenner is a guarantee, and her critically acclaimed work as director and writer also makes "You Hurt My Feelings" a must-see for fans of adult comedy.

6 'Passages'

Artist tropes of self-absorption and self-destruction are common in the film. However, the French drama Passages adds a twist by incorporating issues of identity and sexuality. The plot centers on a gay couple, Franz Rohowski and Ben Whishaw, whose lives are thrown into disarray after an affair with a young woman played by Adele Exarchopoulous.

Passages received positive reviews for director Ira Sachs' handling of the film's thorny subject matter. Especially notorious was the sex scene between Rohouski and Whishaw's characters, destined to hit the internet once the movie premiered to a wide audience.

7 'Cassandro'

Mexican star Gael García Bernal returns to his independent and experimental roots in Roger Ross Williams biopic Cassandro. The film tells the true story of Cassandro, the stage persona of Saul Amendariz, an American-born gay Mexican wrestler who became an international star.

Cassandro won rave reviews from critics, who gave great praise to García Bernal's performance And the film's treatment of its larger-than-life inspiration. The film, which premieres on Prime Video later this year, could bring García Bernal back into the awards conversation if the studio plays it right.

8 'Cat Person'

Nicholas Braun and Emilia Jones star in Suzanne Fogel's Cat People. Based on the now-infamous 2017 New Yorker short story of the same name, Cat People chronicles the relationship between a 20-year-old second-grader and an older man she meets at the movie theater where she works.

Described as repulsive and cringe-worthy, Catman has all the makings of a future cult classic. Once the movie is released, it will definitely arouse the audience's discussion, but this may not be the best words. However, the movie doesn't try to be "good" or "bad", which only makes audiences and critics more critical.

9 'Fair Play'

The erotic thriller has been on a downward spiral since its '90s heyday, and recent releases have done little to salvage its tarnished reputation. However, Chloe Domont's Fair Play might bring the genre back from the dead. The film stars Alden Ehrenreich and Phoebe Dynevor as a married couple who get High-profile publicity over the other party.

Domont's film received very positive reviews at the Sundance Film Festival, leading to a massive $20 million acquisition by Netflix. Only time will tell if the anchor can make the most of the film's intriguing premise, or if it turns out to be just another Deep Water.

10 'Flora and Son'

Flora and Son is one of the most notable entries at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Described as moving and irresistible, the film follows a single mother who uses a discarded guitar found in a dumpster to heal her struggling relationship with her son. Eve Hewson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jack Reynor star in this John Carney-directed film, which returns after a seven-year absence from Star Street.

Apple TV+ has purchased the rights to Flora and Son, which will be released later this year. It's unclear if the streaming company will capitalize on the film's goodwill at Sundance -- they failed miserably with last year's equally hilarious "Cha Cha Real Smooth." However, Flora and Son might be hilarious enough on its own, given the talent involved.

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