Sundance Film Festival reviews: “Science Fair” hilarious and deeply insightful


by Jenniffer Wardell

Not rated

Directed by Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster

Grade: Four stars

 

One of the most charming, emotional movies at this year’s Sundance Film Festival is tucked away in the kid’s section.

“Science Fair,” which premiered this Saturday in Salt Lake, is the “Spellbound” for the science fair set. The documentary, which follows a group of mostly U.S. students as they work to qualify for and compete in the 2017 International Science and Engineering Fair, is a hilarious, insightful look at a group of kids who are far more intelligent and ambitious than most of us adults could ever hope to be.

One of the best things about the documentary are the kids themselves, who without fail are more charming and funny than most the characters in scripted movies. From the shy but brilliant Muslim girl in a school full of football players to a Brazilian student overcoming impossible odds in order to find a cure for the Zika virus, these students have the stories and dialogue that any screenwriter would kill for.

Of course, the characters wouldn’t sparkle like they do without the fantastic eye of co-directors Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster, and the amazing editing done by Tom Maroney, Alejandro Valdes-Rochin. Their combined efforts make the story speed along, smoothing over occasional gaps caused by reality, and helps make “Science Fair” one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.

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(Photo by Pete Alton | Courtesy of Sundance Institute)

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