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Mass | Sundance Film Festival – Review

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Mass is a very intense and emotional film that will completely wear you out by the end but it’s an absolute masterclass in acting with superb performances from the whole cast.

Almost the entire runtime of Mass takes place within one room with just four characters. Those four characters are Richard (played by Reed Birney), Linda (Ann Dowd), Jay (Jason Isaacs) and Gail (played by Martha Plimpton). As soon as the four people walk into the room, they all feel the sense of dread and tension between them as years earlier, Richard and Linda’s son killed Jay and Gail’s. Years after the event, the two sets of parents are finally ready to sit down and talk to each other in an attempt to move forward.

Mass is the debut film from writer/director Fran Kranz, and it is a fantastic debut film. His film is so focussed on the main characters and on the way in which different people process grief and persevere and push through difficult times. The film taking place predominantly in just one room heightens the tension between the two sets of parents and it makes it all the more moving and emotionally draining.

Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Ryan Jackson-Healy.

The cast are all spectacular, but in particular it’s Jason Isaacs that stands out even more so and it’s these performances that really makes this film what it is. They manage to play grieving parents so convincingly and you really feel as if in your in the room with them. Grief is a very difficult topic to portray on screen and it can be very difficult to be presented well and accurately but right from the start it’s immediately present in Mass.

The script is so well written as it slowly feeds us all the information about what happened between the parents’ children. We don’t learn everything about the children straight away and we don’t learn all the details but as the film goes on, the script slowly starts dishing out everything we need to know.

It’s a film that starts off very based and static but as the film goes on and as the conversation between the four main characters develops, the cinematography starts to change a bit and the camera feels less static. Even if it’s just a slightly shaky close up, as the film goes on, it gets a bit shakier, highlighting the tension rising in the room between the four of them.

Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Ryan Jackson-Healy.

It might be just a tad too early to start thinking about the 2022 awards season but the cast, the writing and the directing should definitely all be considered, and I hope that come this time next year, Mass is getting the awards buzz that it deserves.

It’s a very tense and heavy film and it’s very difficult to believe that it’s Kranz’s debut film but it’s absolutely fantastic with mesmerising performances. Mass packs one giant emotional punch but it’s a thoughtful, introspective film that shows the imperfect and blemished nature of humanity. This is the best film that I’ve seen at Sundance so far this year.

★★★★★

Mass premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival in the Premieres section.

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Netflix | Night Teeth – Official Trailer

A college student moonlighting as a chauffeur picks up two mysterious women for a night of party-hopping across LA. But when he uncovers their bloodthirsty intentions – and their dangerous, shadowy underworld – he must fight to stay alive.



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Genre:

Action, Crime, Drama

Release Date:

October 20, 2021

Director:

Adam Randall

Cast:

Sydney Sweeney, Megan Fox, Alexander Ludwig

Plot Summary:

A college student moonlighting as a chauffeur picks up two mysterious women for a night of party-hopping across LA. But when he uncovers their bloodthirsty intentions – and their dangerous, shadowy underworld – he must fight to stay alive.

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Drama

American Underdog

The story of NFL MVP and Hall of Fame quarterback, Kurt Warner, who went from stocking shelves at a supermarket to becoming an American Football star.



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Genre:

Drama

Release Date:

December 25, 2021

Director:

Andrew Erwin, Jon Erwin

Cast:

Zachary Levi, Dennis Quaid, Anna Paquin

Plot Summary:

The inspirational true story of Kurt Warner, who overcomes years of challenges and setbacks to become a two-time NFL MVP, Super Bowl champion, and Hall of Fame quarterback. Just when his dreams seem all but out of reach, it’s only with the support of his wife, Brenda, and the encouragement of his family, coaches and teammates that Warner perseveres and finds the strength to show the world the champion that he already is.

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Drama

Finch | Official Trailer | Apple TV

On a post-apocalyptic earth, a robot, built to protect the life of his creator’s beloved dog, learns about life, love, friendship and what it means to be human.



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Genre:

Drama, Sci-fi

Release Date:

November 5, 2021 Apple TV

Director:

Miguel Sapochnik

Cast:

Tom Hanks, Caleb Landry Jones, Christopher Farrar, Kennedi Butler

Plot Summary:

On a post-apocalyptic earth, a robot, built to protect the life of his creator’s beloved dog, learns about life, love, friendship and what it means to be human.

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