Welcome to 2016, Lime Lovers! I know I’m late to the New Year and there is so, so much I want to share with you from the holidays, but I have a surprise today. I’m posting from the Sundance Film Festival! Must say, this is one of my absolute favorite events, and one I’ve been lucky enough to share with a fabulous crew of lovely ladies for the last few years. And now I get to share a bit of the adventure here as well! Go on and pinch me. Let’s get to the good stuff.

So, films. I cannot adequately express the breadth (and randomness) of the films that show up at this festival every year. It’s confounding and fantastic at the same time. They try to be provocative and demonstrate a range of storytelling. The result is that you never really know what you’re going to get: they keep the descriptions minimal and mysterious, and the cast & crew often haven’t even seen the final cut.

The best thing to do is just roll with it and assume you’ll see something that will blow your mind in a good way, and something that does the same in a not-so-good way. Like this: this morning I saw the most beautiful love story (Southside with You) about the imagined first date of the first couple (fictionalized, of course), and yesterday I saw another film – with Daniel Radcliffe no less – based on a fart joke (Swiss Army Man).

Normally my selections have a lot more documentaries in them. But this year, I went heavy on the dramatic features. Without further ado, here are my top recommendations from Sundance 2016 (and stay tuned for our gang’s list of the top 10 movies from the last 10 Sundances which I’ll post later!):

 Parker Sawyers, Tika Sumpter, and writer/director Richard Tanne of Southside

Southside with You. Regardless of your politics, this film will make you think on a few different levels. Plus, I am totally inspired by Tika Sumpter’s dedication to getting this movie made (she produced as well as starred), and to Parker Sawyers’ uncanny depiction of POTUS. This film is bound to get picked up, and I fully expect to see more of these two impressive new talents. So keep your eyes peeled.

Casey Affleck talks Manchester by the Sea with Matt Damon and Kyle Chandler

Manchester by the Sea. Let’s just start here: Casey Affleck. Kyle Chandler. Michelle Williams. Matt Damon produced. I cried until my eyes hurt, but Casey Affleck is no less than amazing as the lead. And how can you not always want to see more of Kyle Chandler and Michelle Williams? Amazon won a bidding war for this one yesterday, so expect to see it in the theater soon!

Viggo Mortenson & cast from Captain Fantastic

Captain Fantastic. Viggo Mortenson + six incredibly smart, adorably quirky kids. He plays their lovably righteous dad trying to do the best thing. I admit I cried in this one too, but it was more lighthearted than Manchester and ends with an absolutely awesome acoustic rendition of Sweet Child O’ Mine. You can’t help but rethink your parenting style a bit when you watch this, so be forewarned.

Rebecca Miller, writer/director of Maggie's Plan

Maggie’s Plan. Greta Gerwig is having a big Sundance right now, and this was my fave of her films. Maggie decides to take charge of her own destiny by having a baby with the pickle guy. I wouldn’t quite call it a rom-com, but it has elements of both and you will feel good at the end. Plus, Julianne Moore knocks it out of the park as her Danish counterpoint, and the costuming alone is reason to watch this film. Gorgeous!

More from Sundance coming later this week. If you're at the festival, leave a comment and tell me which films you're loving this year! 

All photos by Two Little Limes.

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