Review: Before You Know It (2019 Sundance Film Festival)

Title: Before You Know It
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Director: Hannah Pearl Utt
Starring: Hannah Pearl Utt, Jen Tullock, Judith Light
Runtime: 1 hr 38 mins

What It Is: Sisters Rachel (Pearl Utt) and Jackie (Tullock) work at the family theater owned by their father Mel (Mandy Patinkin). When he suddenly passes the two worry about what will become of the theater…which is their livelihood. When they discover that a mysterious woman is the actual owner of their theater they try to discover who this woman could be. Perhaps their father had a few secrets that he kept from his daughters.

What We Think: What an absolutely fantastic film. What writers Hannah Pearl Utt and Jen Tullock do with this script is fun, funny and features just enough heart. Mandy Patinkin is only in the film for the first third of it but he’s just REALLY good. It all flows so smoothly within its 98-minute package. When you look at the jokes here they’re funny and come from the right place. Everything that’s supposed to have weight to it does and that weight crushes you in the correct way. This is a tale of parents and their daughters. One well-told and absolutely beautifully done.

Our Grade: A-, Yet ANOTHER stunner from Sundance. A story by women about women that everyone can enjoy. Imagine if contemporary Woody Allen knew how to write female characters. That’s what you’d get here. Hannah Pearl Utt has a bright future as a director…especially if she keeps the stories small and intimate like this. This is a high recommendation of course. Another one of my favorite films of the festival and one that is sure to gain a following once it sees a release. Do make sure you find this film once it is released you’ll be doing yourself a favor.

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