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The Best of the 2023 Sundance Film Festival

Well, that’s now a wrap on the 2023 Sundance Film Festival for me! This only marks my fourth year fully covering it overall, with one year almost a decade ago being in person, as well as the last two years from home. Of course, last year wound up going that route at the last minute, while I opted to do this one virtually months ago. Still, cinema shined through, as always. Sundance is a unique beast, fest wise, given that it’s starting off a new year. While something like the Toronto International Film Festival comes towards the end of a year, Sundance happens as almost a preview of the year to come. So, the flicks playing in Park City (or virtually) tend to be really unique. This year was no exception. With the festival over and my reviews submitted, today is a good day to put a bow on it and see what this crop of titles truly looked like, now in the rearview mirror.

Below, you’ll see my ranking of everything I saw at Sundance (23 films, to be precise). This time around, I didn’t see more than one or two things that I really didn’t care for. On the flip side, nothing got four stars from me. So, with minimal bad, there was also perhaps minimal great again. The best of the bunch? You’ll see it all next, but the main highlights were Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie, Shortcomings, and Fair Play. Many of these you’ll see coming your way very soon, so stay tuned there…

Phoebe Dynevor and Alden Ehrenreich appear in Fair Play by Chloe Domont, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute

First up, here are some Sundance awards, given by yours truly:

Best Director – Davis Guggenheim for Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie (Runner Up – Brandon Cronenberg for Infinity Pool)

Best Actor – Jonathan Majors in Magazine Dreams (Runner Up – Gael García Bernal in Cassandro)

Best Actress – Phoebe Dynevor in Fair Play (Runner Up – Emilia Jones in Cat Person)

Best Supporting Actor – Ben Whishaw in Passages (Runner Up – Ben Platt in Theater Camp)

Best Supporting Actress – Sherry Cola in Shortcomings (Runner Up – Mia Goth in Infinity Pool)

Best Original Screenplay – Fair Play (Runner Up – You Hurt My Feelings)

Best Adapted Screenplay – Shortcomings (Runner Up – Landscape with Invisible Hand)

Best Ensemble – Eileen (Runner Up – Theater Camp)

Jonathan Majors appears in Magazine Dreams by Emanuele Crialese, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Glen Wilson

Here now is how I would rank the 23 movies seen at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival:

23. Rotting in the Sun

22. Bad Behaviour

21. Run Rabbit Run

20. The Pod Generation

19. Sometimes I Think About Dying

18. Birth/Rebirth

17. A Little Prayer

16. Kim’s Video

15. Radical

14. Eileen

13. Rye Lane

12. Passages

11. The Persian Version

10. You Hurt My Feelings

9. Theater Camp

8. Landscape with Invisible Hand

7. Magazine Dreams

6. Cassandro

5. Infinity Pool

4. Cat Person

3. Fair Play

2. Shortcomings

1. Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie

Stay tuned for more film festival coverage at Awards Radar!


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Written by Joey Magidson

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