Although I was not initially interested in the film, I decided to catch a screening of the much talked about comedy Year of the Dog starring Molly Shannon. Directed by Mike White, who plays Ned Schneebly in School of Rock and has been a writer on a number of big comedies including Orange County, School of Rock, and Nacho Libre, Year of the Dog is a comedy about the life of the quiet and single dog-lover Peggy (Shannon).
Directed by Martin Hynes, the guy who plays George Lucas in the short movie George Lucas in Love, comes an incredibly well-made, beautifully photographed, and experimental road trip film. In The Go-Getter, youngster Mercer (Lou Taylor Pucci) steals a car from a car wash in Oregon to drive to Nevada to find his brother and alert him of his mother's death. After calling the cell phone she left in her car, Mercer strikes up an awkward relationship with the owner of the car, the rather lovely Kate (Zooey Deschanel), and comes across "bad girl" female friend Joely (Jena Malone).
This is the very last of the "daily" coverage of Sundance. I'm sure all of you who aren't here or don't care about these films are getting awfully tired of all this content, so fortunately it's nearly over. I will be posting our awards and top films as well as some interviews and additional content from the fest over the next week, but other than that we're back to the normal routine. I've seen a total of 31 films at the festival - a bit low considering how many days I slept in instead of gone to a screening - but overall an unforgettable experience.
This Christianity-based film, called The Ten because it goes over the Ten Commandments, is a compilation of ten connecting comedic stories, one for each commandment. The commandments are introduced by Jeff, played by Paul Rudd, who has Gretchen (Famke Janssen) as a long-time girlfriend that he's been cheating on with Liz (Jessica Alba). Winona Ryder, Rob Corddry, and Liev Schreiber all star in the stories as well.
One of the most talked about documentaries coming out of Sundance this year was one called Chasing Ghosts about the world's best arcade players during the arcade revolution in the early 1980's. Although I'm not a huge documentary fan, I thought I'd give this film a look and see if it was all the pixelized glory that it's been talked up to be.
On the Road with Judas is a bit of an odd film about a couple of characters, including Judas (Aaron Ruell / Eddie Kaye Thomas) who stole Macs from universities in the late 80's, his girlfriend Serra (Eleanor Hutchins / Amanda Loncar), and J.J. Lask (Kevin Corrigan), the writer of a book about Judas and his crime spree.
This zombie comedy that premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and directed by Andrew Currie finally made its American debut here at Sundance, and is as fantastic of a treat as you could imagine. In Fido, Timmy's (K'Sun Ray) mother (Carrie-Anne Moss) buys him a new pet named Fido (played by Billy Connolly), a six-foot tall zombie who eventually becomes Timmy's only friend.
One of my personal favorite films of Sundance and one I've been looking forward to for quite some time, King of California, certainly lives up to all of my own anticipation and excitement. King of California follows Charlie (Michael Douglas), a mentally unstable father of Miranda (Evan Rachel Wood), who after recently being released from the mental hospital returns home and sets off on a pursuit of Spanish gold supposedly hidden underground in urban California.
One of the more talked about films of the festival, Rocket Science, is a coming-of-age high school comedy-drama about Hal Hefner (Reece Thompson), a stuttering adolescent who joins the debate team in pursuit of a girl - Ginny Ryerson (Anna Kendrick), the debate team's best debater.
From independent director David Gordon Green comes his latest dramatic film, Snow Angels, starring Kate Beckinsale as Annie and Sam Rockwell as Glenn. The two are recently separated husband and wife with a very young daughter living in a small town in Pennsylvania. Additionally thrown into the mix are high school aged Arthur (Michael Angarano), who works at the same restaurant and is friends with Kate, and his newfound girlfriend Lila (Olivia Thirlby).
Eagle vs Shark, which is being distributed and released in June from Miramax, is a quirky and eccentric romantic comedy involving two rather socially awkward people set in New Zealand. The film is a New Zealand version of Napoleon Dynamite, with the same stupid humor and nerdy, awkward characters but doesn't feel at all like a copy in any way.
Although I'm not in agreement with all the choices and they're missing some key ones like The Good Life, the lists are up and the judges and audiences have decided. The official winners of the Sundance 2007 Film Festival have been announced. The big winners are Manda Bala for Grand Jury Prize Documentary and Padre Nuestro for Grand Jury Prize Drama. I didn't see Manda Bala, but I don't think Padre Nuestro deserves the win. Read on for the full list!