PARK CITY, Utah – To call Southside With You the Obamas’ first-date movie is to sell it terribly short — though the entire film is a linear account of that day, now fixed in presidential mythology, it’s so very much more.

It starts as a study of courtship, the kind where the young woman isn’t so sure about the young man. But as it unfolds, multiple, interlocking themes emerge, nearly all of which will shape not just this outing, but the course of history.

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Make no mistake: Southside With You keeps its feet firmly planed in Chicago, and on that very day. There are no flash-forwards, no winky allusions to the presidency that is to come. The connections are much more nuanced than that, rewarding the audience’s awareness of what’s to come, but not hanging this film on it. Read more…

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Sundance review: ‘Southside With You’ transcends ‘Obamas first-date movie’