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22 Movies We Can’t Wait to See at Sundance 2022

From docs on Princess Di, Kanye and TikTok to Tinder horror and dramas in which A-list stars behave badly — our picks for the best bets at this year’s all-virtual Sundance

photographs in illustration courtesy of The Sundance Institute

It was on again, then maybe possibly not, then most definitely “yes” if you were booster-shot and vaccinated — 2022 was set to be the year that Sundance would return to doing an in-person film festival, after 2021’s all-virtual edition. Attendees would once again be packed onto shuttles, comparing notes on which social-issue documentary to catch and crowing about seeing Ariana Grande at the checkout stand of the grocery store on Park Ave. A viral variant had other plans, alas, and we’re back to communing over cinematic discoveries and must-sees while hunched over our respective laptops. The 2022 in-person edition was canceled, and while the fest would still run from January 20th through the 30th, it would be online only. It was the right choice, the safe choice, and one met with both sighs of frustration and, frankly, relief. Ah, Sundance! Ah, humanity!

The benefit of virtual film festivals is that what you lose in the you-are-there experience of schlepping from screening to screening, bonding with folks in lines and being in the room when the lights go back up and careers are born, you gain in geography becoming an afterthought. You do not have to be in Park City to Sundance it up, in other words, and we look forward to sharing the highs and lows of what this year’s fest brings. Here are 22 movies we’re looking forward to seeing — and discussing and arguing over and unpacking with other virtual viewers — once the festival kicks off this Thursday. See you at the movies and in our DMs.

From Rolling Stone US

‘When You Finish Saving the World’

Jesse Eisenberg makes his directorial debut with this story of a young singer-songwriter (Finn Wolfhard) who becomes a bit of an internet sensation. His mother (Julianne Moore) runs a program for domestic abuse survivors. Neither of them understand why the other does what they do — a familial situation that becomes even more complicated when Mom also decides to care for the son (Billy Bryk) of someone staying at the shelter.

‘Sharp Stick’ (2022)

It’s been almost a dozen years since Lena Dunham first made a name for herself with 2011’s Tiny Furniture (to be fair, she’s kept herself pretty busy since then). Her new feature film revolves around a young woman (Kristine Froseth) who, after losing her virginity and getting her heart broken, decides to take a scientific, sex-positive approach to exploring every aspect of the pleasure principle. Dunham costars, as does Jennifer Jason Leigh, Zola‘s Taylour Paige, Jon Bernthal and Scott Speedman.


The Spectacular Now‘s James Ponsoldt returns to the scene with…a kid’s movie? Granted, this tale of four tweens who stumble across a mystery right before summer ends and middle school begins has a strong Stand By Me vibe about it, along with a soupçon of those Spielberg-produced movies in the 1980s involving ordinary youngsters in extraordinary circumstances. Combine that with the fact that the writer-director has a knack for getting great performances out of actors and a hell of eye for talent (see: his work with Miles Teller, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Shailene Woodley, Jason Segel), and we’re all in.

‘You Won’t Be Alone’

A warning: If your mother takes you to a shape-shifting spirit who happens to be swinging by your 19th century village, there’s a strong likelihood that you will be turned into a witch. Sorry, them’s the breaks! When this happens to a young Macedonian girl, she begins to take over the bodies of other residents (including Lamb‘s Noomi Rapace) and experience what it’s like to be human over several decades. We get the sense that we’re not alone in thinking that this sounds like exactly what we need to scratch our existential-horror itch.