After yesterday’s anti-Trump women’s march in Park City followed by uploading, breakfast and three hours of filing, I caught Alexandre Moors‘ The Yellow Birds (3 pm) and Dee Rees’ Mudbound (6:15 pm) but not Taylor Sheridan‘s Wind River.
I saw the first two because I’d been given tickets by the film’s reps (you need to find them outside the Eccles), but I blew off Wind River because I had no such assurances, and because I’d also came up empty when I requested a ticket from the Sundance Press Office. I could’ve hung around before last night’s 9:30 pm showing and tried to mooch a ticket, but that’s not how I roll. I draw the line at in-person pleading, which in my mind is synoymous with grovelling.
Neither Birds nor Mudbound turned out to be all that good. Mudbound has a humanist heart — it exudes compassion for its hardscrabble characters — and is easily the better of the two. But they’re both slogs. This is sometimes part of the Sundance experience — occasionally you have to sit there and suffer and wait for a film to be over, and then you have to stand there and nod respectfully as people go on and on about how great or moving it was. (I’ll tap out thoughts about both in the next piece.)
The consensus so far is that while Wind River includes Jeremy Renner‘s finest performance yet, it’s decidedly the least of Sheridan’s heartland trilogy, the other two being his scripts for Sicario and Hell or High Water, and so I’m also blowing off this morning’s 9 am Eccles screening. I’ll see it when I see it, the sun will come up tomorrow morning either way, and I won’t be guilt-tripped by guys saying “wait, you’re not seeing Sheridan’s film this morning?” I’m playing my cards the way I want to play them.
I need three or four hours to bang out some column material, and I have three big Eccles films later today — Craig Johnson‘s Wilson (which I’m actually dreading) at 3:15 pm, Luca Guadagnino‘s buzzed-about Call Me By Your Name at 6:15 pm and finally Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarksy‘s The Polka King at 9:45 pm.