Well, that was a different Sundance Film Festival.

In a usual year, Sundance is like a hazing ritual. You want to see the best independent films from around the world? Do you want to see them so bad you’d take a five-hour flight, and then a 45-minute drive up into the mountains, then walk through miles of ice every single day, deal with altitude sickness, and stand in lines outside in subzero temperatures? Are you sure?

In 2021, Covid-19 meant there was none of that. This year, Sundance was a virtual film festival, available to everyone all over the world. Instead of trudging through the snow, you could watch the official selections without getting out of your pajamas. There were no crowds, the energy was different, the screens were smaller, but the movies remained: Eclectic, quirky, edgy, and new. Over a long January into February weekend, here’s everything I watched, along with my thoughts. (Truth be told, I kind of missed the lines outside. Admittedly, I kind of miss doing anything outside my house right now.)

Gallery — Best Picture Winners Every Movie Lover Needs to See:

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