While the 2019 Telluride Film Festival was dominated by the likes of heavy-hitting awards contenders “Parasite,” “Marriage Story,” and more, one of the breakout titles of the event was unquestionably “Waves.” The third directorial feature from “Krisha” and “It Comes at Night” director Trey Edward Shults dazzled critics, earning universal acclaim for what could become an Oscar dark horse if distributor A24 plays its cards right. “Waves” was considered one of Telluride’s best films by numerous critics and was one of IndieWire’s certified critic’s picks as well.
“Waves” is set in South Florida and traces the emotional journey of a suburban African-American family through loss, love, and forgiveness. The domineering father is played by “This Is Us” Emmy winner Sterling K. Brown, while “Hamilton” Tony winner Renée Elise Goldsberry takes on the role of the family matriarch. The children are played by relative newcomer Taylor Russell and rising star Kelvin Harrison Jr., who had a supporting role in Shults’ horror film “It Comes At Night” before breaking out in this year’s Sundance drama “Luce.” The supporting cast features Lucas Hedges, Neal Huff, Clifton Collins Jr., and “Euphoria” actress Alexa Demie.
In his B+ review out of Telluride, IndieWire chief critic Eric Kohn raved, “”Trey Shults’ tense third feature positions the turmoil of an African American family in riveting cinematic terms, assembling an audacious saga out of constant motion, fraught exchanges, and a killer soundtrack that never lets up, While the movie risks smothering the heart of its drama in all the movement and noise, the sheer sensory overload often leads to astonishing bursts of emotional sophistication.”
“Waves” is one of A24’s high profile releases of the fall movie season. The indie studio was behind both of Shults’ previous features. A24 went nationwide with “It Comes At Night” in June 2017 and earned $19 million at the worldwide box office. The studio has also Robert Eggers’ “The Lighthouse” and the Safdie brothers’ “Uncut Gems” set for release before the end of the year. A24 will open “Waves” in select theaters November 1.