You Were Never Really Here

Director: Lynne Ramsay
Screenwriters: Lynne Ramsay

Institute History

  • 2018 Sundance Film Festival


Joaquin Phoenix’s transformative and layered performance was lauded as career-defining when You Were Never Really Here premiered at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, where it took home the best actor and best screenplay awards. Acclaimed director Lynne Ramsay returns to the Sundance Film Festival with the film’s American debut.

Stoic and hardened vigilante Joe (Phoenix) needs only one tool to carry out his dubious line of work: a hammer. Hired by a senator desperately seeking answers about the disappearance of his daughter, Joe sets out with his habitual confidence, only to find that this time he may be in over his head.

Following 2011’s groundbreaking We Need to Talk About Kevin, Ramsay returns in full force with her striking command of cinematic tension. Based on the eponymous novel by Jonathan Ames, You Were Never Really Here brings Ramsay’s signature poetic grittiness to this brutal and unsettling thriller that’s been rightfully hailed as a modern-day Taxi Driver—but with a disquietude and visual flair that is firmly its own.

— A.S.

Screening Details

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