Surprises from the 2015 Sundance Film Festival

Unfortunately for the more than 30 movies that premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, the surprise appearance of Brad Pitt for the debut of “True Story” was the biggest headline of the weekend. He spent time with the cast of the movie and then answered questions from the crowd. For those of you who want to know more about the movies that surprised, both good and bad, the people who attended the festival, check out the list below.

Jupiter Ascending

In one of the bad surprises of the festival, Warner Bros debuted “Jupiter Ascending” in a secret screening. Despite all of the hype of the screening, many seats remained empty and some festival attendees even walked out during the movie. The most common complaint was that it was not the type of movie people expected to see at the festival and that it tried to be too many types of movies rolled into one. It is rare that a movie planned as a summer blockbuster makes its debut at Sundance so this probably hurt the reviews, too.


In another surprise, this time a good one, the movie “Brooklyn” is one that people loved. Because the director had a very impressive first movie, he was expected to do big things. However, his next three movies were considered by critics to be flops and “Brooklyn” was expected to be the same. Instead, viewers enjoyed the movie and gave it high marks as they exited the debut.


This low budget feature was not expected to be a standout, but when festivals goers realized that none other than Spike Lee was the producer, they were excited to see the premiere. The director has not even graduated from film school, yet, and “Cronies” showed a lot of promise to be a big boost to his directing career. It is the story of three teenage friends and their struggle to grow up in St. Louis.

The Diary of a Teenage Girl

So many coming-of-age movies premiere at the festival that few stick in the minds of festival attendees. The time period of the movie “The Diary of a Teenage Girl,” the 1970s, is one reason many people were surprised by it, but also because the teenage girl in the movie is having an affair with her mother’s boyfriend. An amazing cast was brought together and the storyline is edgier than most movies of this type. This was definitely a pleasant surprise for the many people who got to see the premiere.

I am Michael

“I am Michael” was another pleasant surprise at the Sundance Film Festival. It is the story of a gay activist who renounced homosexuality and became a Christian pastor. Because it is a real-life story, the subject touched many people and the controversy drew many people to the premiere. Several big name stars, including James Franco and Zachary Quinto, are part of the cast. Many believed this could be a flop for these stars, but happily, it appears this movie is better than expected.

If nothing else, the Sundance Film Festival is the place for unknown and under-budget movies to make their big premiere. Movies that are loved by the critics at the festival often do much better when they are released later in the year. However, every year has pleasant and not so pleasant surprises for the people who attend.

5 Places to Stop When Wandering Around Warsaw

Warsaw is filled with amazing places. As you plan your trip, it will be easy to get so excited that you try to see more each day than possible. When you create your itinerary, these are the places you definitely do not want to miss as you travel around Warsaw.

Lazienki Park

Lazienki Park is the place you will want to visit when you are tired of walking and seeing history. This park is absolutely gorgeous and includes a palace with several lakes. If you are traveling with children, this will be their favorite stop as they will be able to run and play while you relax. It is so calm and peaceful you will forget you are in the middle of a bustling city. The birds and squirrels are always a joy to watch.

Old Town

This area was completely destroyed during World War II and has been completely rebuilt to look as it did when it was first built. It is full of little shops and restaurants to explore or you can simply sit with a good book and enjoy the quiet beauty that surrounds you. The architecture is amazing and offers many unique photographic opportunities. Musicians also wander Old Town to entertain and share their talents. Old Town is worthy of a few days of your trip.

Warsaw Uprising Museum

Many people do not know the history of Poland during World War II and this museum has plenty of stories to share. The collection of weapons and photos is amazing and many feel this is one of the best museums in the world. In the tunnels beneath the museum, a 3D movie is shown of a German soldier who shares his story of the horrors of the war. The museum is a necessary stop for anyone who visits Warsaw.

Krakowski Przedmiescie

It may seem odd to include a street as a not-to-be-missed stop, but Krakowski Przedmiescie is the most famous street in the country and needs to be visited. The street is a little over 1 kilometer long and is an easy walk for anyone. You will see palaces and gorgeous buildings with amazing architecture. Wonderful restaurants and bars are along the street and you can easily spend an entire day visiting the shops and sites on this street.

Castle Square

Castle Square is considered the most beautiful squares in Warsaw. Many beautifully colored medieval houses surround the Royal Palace. This entire area was destroyed by the Nazis during World War II and has been completely rebuilt to look exactly as it did when it was first built. As you walk around the square, you can visit many shops full of local wares or stop at one of the many small cafes that are spread around. There is a gorgeous view of the river from the square and plenty of places for you to sit and enjoy watching the people.

Warsaw has tons of places that you need to plan on visiting when you are there. These are the considered the best of the best by people who both live there and have visited often. Families will have no trouble finding plenty of things to do during their vacation.