Sundance Film Festival unveils 2019 slate of 111 feature films
actors in a new light.
“The Farewell,” from director Lulu Wang, is just one of those. It features this summer’s comedy breakout Awkwafina (“Crazy Rich Asians”) in a dramatic turn as a Chinese-American woman who returns to China to stay with her terminally ill grandmother.
A few actors are taking on real-life persons, like Bening as Dianne Feinstein in “The Report,” from director and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns. It focuses on the Senate’s study into the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program and co-stars Adam Driver and Jon Hamm.
“It’s kind of one of those Meryl Streep star turns where she gets all the nuance of her,” said Cooper.
Efron is playing Ted Bundy in the Joe Berlinger film “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” which takes on the infamous criminal from the perspective of his girlfriend, while Lupita Nyong’o takes a surprising turn in “Little Monsters,” from Abe Forsythe, playing a kindergarten teacher who has to protect her students from zombies.
Keira Knightley stars as intelligence whistleblower Katharine Gun in Gavin Hood’s “Official Secrets” and Mindy Kaling stars in a film about a late-night talk show host (Emma Thompson) who hires her first female staff writer (“Late Night”).
As usual, the festival’s documentary selection boasts films about every kind of subject. There are many films about famous figures: Harvey Weinstein, Miles Davis, newscaster Mike Wallace, Toni Morrison, David Crosby, polit- ician Roy Cohn, Dr. Ruth, Stieg Larsson, Leonard Cohen and the late actor Anton Yelchin.