Sundance 2023: Sometimes I Think About Dying

Directed by: Rachel Lambert
Distributed by: TBA

Written by Jeff Sparks


Over the past three years, Daisy Ridley has only been in two feature films. Her starring role in “Sometimes I Think About Dying” felt like a return of sorts. Not only is it a return to features, but it’s an independent feature, which interested me in particular. Ridley is mostly known for her work in big-budget productions like “Star Wars.” As a film viewer, I’m usually more drawn to roles in smaller projects because they often pose a different challenge for the actor. Seeing post- ”Star Wars” Ridley in this project made me wonder what her screen presence will be like on a smaller stage. In this film, she plays Fran, a woman who works at a small office in an even smaller town. Each day she quietly works at her desk while trying to tune out the dull conversations that her co-workers have in the background. After work, she goes home, has a microwaved meal with a glass of wine, and wakes up the next morning to do it all over again. When a sociable man named Robert (Dave Merheje) is hired at her work, she goes out with him and begins to question where her life is headed, if anywhere at all. 

Like her life, the film itself is quiet and often unenthusiastic. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because its hushed tone and restrained presentation capture the feeling of disengagement and seclusion that Fran feels on a daily basis. The one flair that the film has is its rare use of imagery where Fran pictures herself dead as she wonders what that would feel like compared to where she is now. Unlike the rest of the locations, beautiful shots of her lying on the beach or in a lush forest are memorable imagery from these sequences. As for Ridley, her reserved performance works well in the subdued scope of the film, but like the film itself, I don’t think I’ll remember it by the end of the year.

“Sometimes I Think About Dying” was screened as part of the 2023 edition of the Sundance Film Festival.

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