One week in and it's getting awfully quiet here… I've heard from a lot of people that they're either going back tomorrow or Saturday. Hardly anyone is staying until Sunday (I am!) where I'll catch any big award winners that I've missed. And if The Good Life plays again, I'll go see that, again, because it was incredible. Sundance is starting to come to a close and I've got 22 films under my belt but still a few more to go. Although it's dwindling down, now is the time when we hear all the buzz about "oh what did you see that's good?" and start formulating my own "damn I need to see this" list.
One of Luc Besson's final films, Angel-A, is a black and white French language film starring prominently two individuals: AndrÃ© (Jamel Debbouze) and the stunning leggy Angela (Rie Rasmussen). AndrÃ© is an inept scam artist with low self-esteem who owes lots of money and is about to jump off of a bridge, but then sees Angela about to jump as well, when she does, he dives in to save her.
A world record day! I honestly think this was a world record for Sundance - I saw 6 films in one day. I was behind, I knew I had to catch up and there were a lot of good movies showing today - so I went all out. And I pulled it off! I'll tell you, by the end, I was hardly awake, but I enjoyed every last minute. I saw some incredible films, some amazing ones, and nothing that was bad - success!
Day 5 already? Wow, wait, that means we're just about at the midpoint. Today was my break day, I only saw one screening at Sundance, and took the rest of the time off. I did a few more interviews as well, specifically for Teeth, so keep watch for those. Sundance is starting to get a bit quieter, as the big crowds have cleared out since the weekend, but there are still plenty of dwindlers and even those who are just arriving.
The proclaimed sequel to Henry Fool, Fay Grim focuses on the character of Fay Grim, portrayed exquisitely and glowingly by Parker Posey, the character of which is a regular American woman with good intentions. She is confronted by a CIA agent (Jeff Goldblum) about a series of books that her missing husband Henry Fool (Thomas Jay Ryan) published. It's truly a mysterious thriller, but also has lightly comical undertones and wonderful eccentricity from Posey.
The Nines is one of the most interesting, eye-brow raising films premiering at Sundance. Without divulging too deeply into the plot or risking spoiling anything good, the film follows Ryan Reynolds and two other characters, played by Hope Davis and Melissa McCarthy, in three different situations.
One of Sundance's greatest features is the worldly selection of films in both its world dramatic competition section as well as non-competing films. The Pool, ironically in the US dramatic competition section, is about an 18-year-old kid (Venkatesh Chavan) living alone in Goa, India who every day climbs a tree to stare at a pool outside of a house. One day a man shows up at the house and Venkatesh begins following him and his attractive daughter around, where after discovering him, Nana Patekar, the owner of the home, invites him to work in his garden with him.
As much as I love Sundance, I'm getting really tired, physically, not of the fest! Long days, 8AM movies, and then later, Midnight movies, then coming home, writing reviews, posting news, getting everything done, and trying to get a few moments of sleep. It's tough! But today I saw one of the greatest films at Sundance so far. I've compared it to being at the same level of excellence as Donnie Darko - it's just that good.
With one of the best opening scenes out of any film at Sundance, The Good Life sets an intense mood right at the beginning to lead you through this dramatic story of young Jason's life and troubles. The film is set in a football-fueled town but without a moment of football and made for people who hate football.
Steve Buscemi's latest writer and directorial feature - Interview - is a very personal drama that is set primarily in the loft of the dainty superstar actress Katya (Sienna Miller). Buscemi is journalist Pierre Peters who primarily focuses on politics but is sent to interview the "currently hot" actress Katya by his editor. It soon becomes an angry back-and-forth interview between these two, who maintain a very interesting chemistry throughout the film.
Clubland is an Australian feature that is a whimsical, fast paced (but not too fast), never dull, funky and exciting romantic drama. A teen-aged boy, Tim (Khan Chittenden), who lives with his comedian entertainer mother (Brenda Blethyn) and mentally-challenged brother (Richard Wilson) meets a cute young girl (Emma Booth) and falls in love with her, all while struggling with his own sexuality and family matters.
As I sit here writing this I'm waiting in a hotel room with Keri Russell and Cheryl Hines while they eat some lunch, but don't worry, there is no additional bias (or gossip) here - I really did love Waitress. It's a sweet little romance with some cute comedy thrown in about a desperate waitress named Jenna (played by the gorgeous Keri Russell) who doesn't want her unborn baby, hates her life, and only wants to make pies at the diner she works at for the rest of her life.