Sarah Jo (Kristine Froseth) is a naïve 26-year-old caregiver with shockingly little knowledge about sex, likely due to a trauma she suffered nearly ten years prior. She begins a sexual relationship with the father of one of her clients, which ends even quicker than it began, but wants to continue learning more about her sexuality and desires. So Sarah Jo makes an alphabetical list of positions and scenarios she wants to experience – and she is dedicated to checking them all off.
In only her second Feature film, Writer/Director/Actor Lena Dunham has crafted another project that is sex-positive and holds nothing back. The dialogue and storyline are exactly what you would expect from the award-winning Artist behind HBO’s Girls, and is just as divisive as you expect too. She is not trying to gain new fans here or change any opinions you might have of her. After so many years in the business, the honesty and frank depiction of sexuality in her work speaks for itself, and she continues to be a true “love it or hate it” icon. I admire that she does not let any of that controversial baggage get the best of her in Sharp Stick, and that she continues to speak for a generation with her graphic and humorous innuendos and flourishes (and really appreciated how natural the Covid integrations were throughout the Film). Yet I feel like she does not fully know what she wants to say here, despite how personal the project obviously is to her. By the time the Film concludes, it feels more like two very different storylines smashed together as opposed to one cohesive picture, and the all-too short runtime does not allow Dunham any time to examine what is really going on with Sarah Jo.
All of that said, Dunham has put together an eclectic ensemble to tell this story, with standout turns from Jon Bernthal, Zola’sTaylour Paige, Jennifer Jason Leigh and an absolutely uninhibited Scott Speedman. They all help prop-up Froseth’s great performance that straddles the line between innocence and maturity. She goes all in here, accurately capturing Dunham’s voice. I wish the Film were as strong as she is.
SHARP STICK screens at Sundance as follows:
PREMIERE Jan 22 8:30PM EST Available Until Jan 22 11:30PM EST
SECOND SCREENING Jan 24 10:00AM EST Available Until Jan 25 10:00AM EST
Focus Features x Mr. Will want to give Readers a chance to attend a Virtual Screening of Fresh off the Boat Creator Eddie Huang‘s directorial debut, BOOGIE. The Screening takes place Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 7 PMET.
The film follows a young Chinese-American basketball phenom who struggles to balance the expectations of his immigrant family with his own dreams of becoming a player for the NBA.
ZOLA brings the unique Tweet-Storm story A’ziah King posted on October 27, 2015 about how her and her friend Stefani had a falling-out.
Writer-Director Janicza Bravo visually brings the Twitter Story to screen in a creative and captivating way. The true life story is filled with crazy, unexpected twists and eccentric real-life characters. Bravo has an impeccable attention to detail and keeps the provocative aspects of the story without ever being grotesque. Although the story is predominately told through A’ziah King’s point-of-view, Bravo does her best to question the perspectives of both her and Stefani.
The story is hilarious and Bravo makes sure the audience laughs, however, there are heavy themes and questions she presents. It’s clear that things can all be fun and games until they aren’t. And Bravo balances these hysterical moments with the hard-hitting serious reality of the things these two girls were experiencing. Her entire Cast consisting of Taylour Paige, Riley Keough, Nicholas Braun and Colman Domingo cleverly and masterfully teeter between her Comedy and Drama. Yet, it’s the brilliant, energetic performances from Paige and Keough that keep the audiences wanting more.
Zola screens at Sundance on Fri, Jan. 24th at 12:15 PM at Eccles, Sat, Jan. 25th at 12:15 PM at Grand, Sat, Jan. 25th at 11:45 PM at Egyptian, Mon, Jan. 27th at 3 PM at Sundance Resort, Tues, Jan. 28th at 9:30 PM at The Ray, Wed, Jan. 29th at 11:45 AM at The Ray, and Fri, Jan. 31st at 8:30 AM at The MARC.
If you love FRESH OFF THE BOAT, this is totally up your alley. Eddie Huang is back and directs for the first time in BOOGIE.
From acclaimed writer, producer and restaurateur Eddie Huang comes his directorial debut BOOGIE, the coming-of-age story of Alfred “Boogie” Chin, a basketball phenom living in Queens, New York, who dreams of one day playing in the NBA. While his parents pressure him to focus on earning a scholarship to an elite college, Boogie must find a way to navigate a new girlfriend, high school, on-court rivals and the burden of expectation.
Huang, who wrote the best-selling Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir, both directed and wrote the screenplay for Boogie starring Taylor Takahashi, Taylour Paige, Pamelyn Chee, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Alexa Mareka, Mike Moh, Perry Yung, and Pop Smoke.
See the Trailer:
Focus Features release BOOGIE Friday, March 5, 2021.