Friday, January 19, 2018

SUNDANCE FILM FEST 2018 - "This Is Home" & "Hearts Beat Loud"


This Is Home: A Refugee Story is an effectively emotional documentary from filmmaker Alexandra Shiva (How to Dance In Ohio). It follows four Syrian refugee families as they struggle to assimilate into their new American life in Baltimore, Maryland. Stakes are high as Shiva presents us with an intimate portrait of normal folks with the same problems as the rest of us that the American media would traditionally have you living in fear of. Not the most entertaining or engaging doc but a gravely important and human one. Worth a look.


Director Brett Haley's stellar musical-dramedy Hearts Beat Loud features stellar lead performances from Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons. This warm, frequently hysterical tale of love, loss, and melancholy is punctuated by some astounding original music from Keegan DeWitt. It's about a father (Offerman) and daughter (Clemons) who form an unlikely musical duo as college and the closure of the family record shop loom. Toni Collette, Sasha Lane, Ted Danson, and Blythe Danner round out the supporting ensemble. My favorite of the festival so far.

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