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Here are the 14 Films We Can't Wait to See at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival

By Indiewire | Indiewire January 14, 2014 at 10:16AM

Over 120 feature-length films will screen over the course of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, which launches this Thursday and runs until January 26. Before flying out to Park City to present our annual coverage of the event, Indiewire has weeded through the massive lineup to pick the 14 features we're most excited to see.
"Love is Strange."
"Love is Strange."

"Love is Strange"
Two years after winning raves for his "Keep The Lights On," Ira Sachs is back with another gay love story, though this doesn't sound quite as brutal as the semi-autobiographical "Lights." "Love Is Strange" stars John Lithgow and Alfred Molina as Ben and George, who after 39 years together decided to take advantage of the new marriage laws and tie the knot in New York City. On the return from their honeymoon, and on account of their vows, Ben gets fired from his longtime job as a choir director for a co-ed Catholic school. Suddenly, with no real savings to count on, the couple finds that they can’t afford the rent on their small Chelsea apartment. The film looks like an age demographic not often served in LGBT cinema (or in any cinema, really) and we're very curious to see where Sachs takes us after keeping those lights on two years ago.

"The Raid 2: Berandal"
Gareth Evans’ 2011 Indonesian action movie "The Raid: Redemption," a blisteringly fast-paced action story set entirely in the confines of an apartment building, resulted in one of the most remarkable entries in the genre to come along in years. Both the tale of a bumbling SWAT team making its way through hordes of criminals and a relentless martial arts experience, "The Raid" also managed to establish a keen contrast in warring siblings Rama (Iko Wais), an unflappable police officer, and Andi (Donny Alamsyah), a committed mob boss. They still haven’t worked out their differences: Though the plot of "The Raid 2: Berandal" isn’t entirely clear, we know that it begins relatively soon after the end of the first movie and that the plot involves Rama going undercover as a criminal to protect his family. That might sound like familiar turf, but the trailer promises wall-to-wall action from start to finish — and judging by the first movie, that means you may as well grow nails out, because "The Raid 2" is likely to make you gnaw them to pieces.

The Trip to Italy

"The Trip to Italy"
This follow-up to Michael Winterbottom's road trip comedy, "The Trip," this semi-fictional film also re-teams stars Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. Following the pair on a driving tour of Italy from Liguria to Capri as they talk about life, love and work, the film promises spectacular scenery as well as lots of clever, off-the-cuff banter.

"While Bird in a Blizzard"
The first dramatic offering from Gregg Araki since his acclaimed 2005 film "Mysterious Skin," "White Bird in a Blizzard" is a late 1980s set tale of a a young woman (Shailene Woodley) whose life is thrown into chaos when her mother disappears. Based on the acclaimed novel by Laura Kasischke, "Blizzard" will make its debut amidst the snow covered mountains of Sundance, it could very well mark a turning point in the career of Araki, who burst onto the scene at that very festival 21 years ago with "The Living End."

"Wish I Was Here"
Even if you weren't a fan of Zach Braff's directorial debut "Garden State," you might be charmed by his Kickstarter-funded follow-up effort which stars Braff as a 35-year-old struggling actor, father and husband who homeschools his two kids. The supporting cast alone – including Joey Kimg, Kate Hudson, Mandy Patinkin, Josh Gad and Ashley Green – is enough of a reason to check out the film, which managed to raise over $3 million on Kickstarter.

[Paula Bernstein, Peter Knegt, Eric Kohn, Nigel M. Smith and Alison Willmore contributed to this article.]

This article is related to: Sundance 2014, Sundance Film Festival, Lists, Wish I Was Here, White Bird in a Blizzard, The Trip to Italy, The Raid 2: Berandal, Love Is Strange, Life Itself, Laggies, I Origins, Happy Christmas, Finding Fela, Dear White People

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