Check out what’s coming to Sundance Now in August!
Saturday, Aug. 1
Her – Academy Award winner for Best Original Screenplay. In the near future, a lonely writer, played by Joaquin Phoenix, develops an unlikely relationship with an operating system, voiced by Scarlett Johansson, designed to meet his every need.
Defending Your Life – Daniel Miller, played by Albert Brooks, isn’t having a good week. For starters, he died after getting hit by a bus. Then he discovers that, in the afterlife, he must defend his actions on Earth in order to ascend to a higher plane of existence. While awaiting judgment, he falls in love with Julia, whose near-perfect life on Earth seemingly makes her a shoo-in for ascension. However, Daniel’s actions in his lifetime might not be enough for him to move on.
Thursday, Aug. 6
Upright – Series Premiere – When family outcast Lucky Flynn, played by Tim Minchin, learns that his mother is dying. So he decides to drive to the other side of Australia to see her, packing nothing but an upright piano for the journey. But his plans are soon turned upside down when he meets the runaway teenager Meg, played by Milly Alcock, who’s dealing with some family demons of her own. Together, they forge an unlikely friendship as they embark on a road trip adventure across the beautiful Nullarbor Plains in a race against time.
Monday, Aug. 10
Dare – In high school, what kind of person did you dare to be: risk-taking and lustful, melancholy and confused, or simply safe and over-achieving? Dare follows three very different teenagers through the last semester of high school. They are Alexa, played by Emmy Rossum, the overachieving good girl who longs to break out of her shell. Ben, played by Ashley Springer, the melancholy outsider confused about his sexuality. Johnny, played by Zach Gilford, the rich kid who has everything, including good looks, but hides behind his bad-boy persona. This unlikely trio falls into each other’s lives and each other’s arms, making a last-ditch effort to shake things up before they actually have to start living as adults.
Disgrace – In Cape Town, South Africa, during the final years of apartheid, David Lurie (John Malkovich), disgraced by an improper affair with a female student, decamps to live with his daughter, Lucy , on her country farm. David quickly settles into the quieter pace of rural life and begins to make peace with the scandal. But trouble erupts when a group of black youths robs the farm and rape Lucy, leading David to question his place within the social fabric of South Africa.
Magnus – Magnus Carlsen, a Norwegian chess prodigy, becomes a Grandmaster at age 13 and world champion in 2013.
The Other Man – When his shoe-designer wife, Lisa, disappears while on one of her frequent business trips, computer executive Peter played by Liam Neeson, stumbles upon evidence that she has been having an affair with the dashing Italian Ralph, played by Antonio Banderas. Impulsively flying to Milan to search for his wife despite the pleadings of their college-age daughter, Abigail, Peter enters into a complicated charade by befriending Ralph and slowly teasing information about Lisa out of him.
Thursday, Aug. 13
The Fall – Season 3 Premiere – Superintendent Stella Gibson, played by Gillian Anderson, has Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) under arrest, however, it’s uncertain whether he will survive to face justice for his crimes. Meanwhile, Spector’s family has to deal with the consequences of his arrest and evidence emerges that there could be more of Spector’s victims than Superintendent Gibson initially realized.
Monday, Aug. 17
The Sunshine Makers – A real-life Breaking Bad for the psychedelic set, The Sunshine Makers reveals the fascinating, untold story of Nicholas Sand and Tim Scully, the unlikely duo at the heart of 1960s American drug counter-culture. United in a utopian mission to save the planet through the consciousness-raising power of LSD, these underground chemists manufactured a massive amount of acid, including the gold standard for quality LSD, “Orange Sunshine,” all while staying one step ahead of the Feds.
Resolved – With competition as fierce as that of any sport, debate teams are a way for high school students to develop techniques of persuasion and reason. They’re also a hotbed of racial and class bias.
Tuesday, Aug. 18 – True Crime Tuesday
The Suspect – Series Premiere – On July 6, 2011, millionaire Richard Oland of Moosehead Brewing fame suffered a gruesome 45 blows to his head, neck, and hands. His son Dennis immediately became the police’s prime and only suspect. The case turned one of Canada’s wealthiest families into the cast of a real-life soap opera. Featuring intimate and exclusive access, The Suspect is a bewildering true-crime mystery of alleged police misconduct, media frenzy, and wrongful conviction.
Thursday, Aug. 20
The Bureau – Season Finale – A strange Uzbek tourist who has just settled in Paris finds a weapon left behind by Karlov. Paul believes Karlov was contriving to damage him after he disappeared: he enlists Sisteron’s help in tracking down this suspected “time bomb.” Forced to investigate his girlfriend, Jonas finds damning proof. As Marie-Jeanne continues her campaign for the job of director, she realizes some of her so-called “friends” are really not on her side.
The Secrets She Keeps – Finale – Agatha is on the run with baby Rory. Will Meghan get her baby boy back?
Monday, Aug. 24
The Vicious Kind – Caleb Sinclaire, played by Adam Scott, has just been through a particularly difficult breakup. Isolated, yet strangely contented with his newly single status, Caleb wears his disdain toward women as a macho badge of honor. However, when Thanksgiving weekend arrives and Caleb meets his younger brother Peter’s, played by Alex Frost, new girlfriend, Emma (Brittany Snow), he tries to warn his brother away from her but ends up becoming infatuated with her in the process.
Vegas Baby – Courtesy of a Las Vegas fertility clinic, a YouTube-based competition offers a free round of in vitro fertilization (IVF). Through this controversial contest, the complexities of America’s burgeoning fertility industry are explored.
José – 19-year-old José, played by Enrique Salanic, lives with his mother in Guatemala. His life is routine and aimless until he finds passion, pain, and self-reflection through a relationship with a Caribbean migrant, Luis.
Thursday, Aug. 27
Upright – Finale – After dropping Meg at her mother’s house in Kalgoorlie, Lucky gets a phone call from Meg’s father, worried sick about his daughter’s whereabouts. Upon learning that Meg doesn’t have a mother, Lucky frantically rives back to town to find her. Lucky has a touching reunion with his mother, but his homecoming gets a much frostier reception from his brother Toby.
Slings and Arrows – Season 1 – Winner of 13 Gemini Awards. In the fictional town of New Burbage, legendary theatrical madman Geoffrey Tennant (Paul Gross) returns to the New Burbage Theatre Festival, the site of his greatest triumph and most humiliating failure, to assume the artistic directorship after the sudden death of his mentor, Oliver Welles (Stephen Ouimette). When Geoffrey arrives, he finds that Oliver is still there, in spirit anyway, and with his guidance (and often despite it), Geoffrey attempts to reconcile with his past while wrestling the festival back from the marketing department. Despite a bitter leading lady (Martha Burns), a clueless leading man (Luke Kirby), and a scheming general manager (Mark McKinney), he manages to stage a remarkable production of Hamlet — the play that drove him mad.
Monday, Aug. 31
Silicon Cowboys – Launched in 1982 by three friends in a Houston diner, Compaq Computer set out to build a portable PC to take on IBM, the world’s most powerful tech company. Many had tried cloning the industry leader’s code, only to be trounced by IBM and its high-priced lawyers. Silicon Cowboys traces the rise, and eventual demise, of the unlikely upstart that would alter the future of computing and shape the world as it is known today.
The Bad Kids – Located in an impoverished Mojave Desert community, Black Rock Continuation High School is one of California’s alternative schools for students at risk of dropping out. Every student has fallen so far behind that they have no hope of earning a diploma at a traditional high school. Black Rock is their last chance. This film is an observational documentary that chronicles one extraordinary principal’s mission to realize the potential of these students.