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Bill Oliver's Jonathan

Festival Predictions

2018 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Bill Oliver’s Jonathan

2018 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Bill Oliver’s Jonathan

A film graduate (M.F.A. in Directing from the American Film Institute) who to this point, has had more experience working as a playwright, Bill Oliver has moved feature film into the forefront with his directorial debut. His last short film preemed in 2005, so Jonathan has been a long time coming. Filming began in August of 2016, and perhaps in a great timing stroke of luck, it would be actor Ansel Elgort (who plays double duty here) next film appearance after a commanding perf in one of the buzz titles of the 2017 in Baby Driver. With The Eyes of My Mother cinematographer Zach Kuperstein (one of favorite discoveries of 2016), this NYC shot sci-fi drama includes supporting players Patricia Clarkson, Suki Waterhouse and Matt Bomer.

Gist: Written by Gregory Davis, Peter Nickowitz and Bill Oliver, this tells the story of Jonathan (Ansel Elgort), a successful architect who lives a normal life dictated by a strict routine. Jonathan’s twin brother John (Ansel Elgort), on the other hand, sleeps all day and spends the night secretly socializing. When Jonathan discovers that John has a secret girlfriend, Elena (Waterhouse), he forces John to end things and then starts a new relationship Elena out of curiosity and jealousy. John ultimately catches wind of the affair, which puts his relationship with his brother at serious risk and forces Jonathan to seek the help of Dr. Mina Nariman, the brothers’ controlling doctor.

Production Co./Producers: Randy Manis (Kill Your Darlings), Ricky Tollman.

Prediction: U.S. Dramatic Competition for this first timer feels apropos.

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available. TBD (domestic). TBD (international)


Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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