Brigsby Bear Adventures is a children's TV show produced for an audience of one: James. When the show abruptly ends, James's life changes forever, and he sets out to finish the story ... See full summary »
A Korean-born man finds himself stuck in Columbus, Indiana, where his architect father is in a coma. The man meets a young woman who wants to stay in Columbus with her mother, a recovering addict, instead of pursuing her own dreams.
Haley Lu Richardson,
Teenagers Zach and Josh have been best friends their whole lives, but when a gruesome accident leads to a cover-up, the secret drives a wedge between them and propels them down a rabbit hole of escalating paranoia and violence.
Macdonald is Utterly Believable and Amazing to Watch
When Sundance celebrates a film it's not a sign of innovation or creative courage or unique vision. It just means that a low budget film is as much a slave to clichés, poorly constructed tropes, and mechanical audience pleasing manipulation as a mainstream one. The only difference is that it's focused on underrepresented characters or subject matter. And that's good, that's important, of course. Yet, I most often use "Sundance Celebrated" as a derogatory term synonymous with a lack of creative courage. Films celebrated at Sundance seldom work for me.
PATTI CAKE$ is guilty of all those things.
And it completely worked for me. I dug this film immensely. Why? Mostly because I'm a sucker, I guess.
I'm a sucker for movies about people making music. I'm a sucker for movies about working class people trying to get by. I'm a sucker for movies about creativity and dreams and struggle. I'm a sucker for movies with energy and a sense of fantasy mixed with the hardships of the real world. But all of that can go horribly wrong. It's easy to earn an eye roll when two characters hold hands for the first time and the music swells. It's easy to lose patience when the mechanics of the script become so incredibly predictable that you can chart the struggles and victories in the first ten minutes.
Patti Cake$ is partly saved by director Geremy Jasper's amazing synergy of music and imagery. The film is an absolute blast to watch if you love movies about music. But what really sells it is actress Danielle Macdonald as Killer P, A.K.A Patti Cake$.
Macdonald is sick in this. Utterly amazing. I fully believed she was a New Jersey girl with strong flow who the director found in some parking lot and decided to build a film around. I was ecstatic to find she's an Australian actress who, before taking this role, had never heard a New Jersey accent and didn't know how to rap.
It's through her authenticity that I bought into the fantasy culmination of the perfectly orchestrated underdog struggle. Through her that I bought into the love and the joy and the hope.
And I walked out of the film happy and charged, finally content just to be an audience member pleased.
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