Like I did last year, I had a great time at the Sundance Film Festival. It’s tough to complain about weather conditions or getting around when you have the privilege to watch and discover new movies all day. Even better, plenty of Sundance 2012 films turned out to be pretty damn good. For me, there weren’t any quite as excellent as Martha Marcy May Marlene or Project Nim from last year, but those movies set an incredibly high bar. Many of my peers felt they saw something truly special with Beasts of the Southern Wild and I can understand the love even if it didn’t hit me with as much emotional impact. Most of my peers also loved Liberal Arts and Sleepwalk With Me, and I’m sorry I missed those. But all in all, the festival ran as smoothly as last year, the volunteers (especially those in the press tent) were awesome, and it’s always a joy to hang out with people from other movie websites.
Hit the jump for my festival scorecard where you can see an organized list of my ratings for the movies I saw (although I highly encourage you to read the full review rather than just glance at a letter). While this is my wrap-up, Steve will be posting his Sundance interviews throughout the week so keep an eye out for those.
It’s great when movies are a slow burn, but to qualify for that description there needs to be at least some heat. James Marsh‘s Shadow Dancer moves at a glacial pace and barely does anything to build tension. There’s hardly any urgency and no interest in the intrigue. A compelling lead performance is essential to making a film like this working, but actress Andrea Riseborough meanders through her role and fails to convey any deeper emotions or conflict. Some movies can be effective “anti-thrillers” where they play against expectations and still manage to generate drama. Shadow Dancer just seems to be against thrills.
The 62nd Berlin International Film Festival has added a few new films to its program. Declan Donnellan and Nick Omerod’s adaptation of the 1885 Guy de Maupassant novel Bel-Ami will finally premiere out of competition at the festival. The film stars Robert Pattinson, Christina Ricci, Uma Thurman, and Kristin Scott Thomas and has been lingering without a U.S. release date for some time now. It’s set to open in the U.K. in March, and hopefully with this Berlin premiere the drama will pick up some steam and head towards a domestic release.
Additionally, Steven Soderbergh’s action spy-thriller Haywire has also been selected to screen out of competition at the fest. Featuring MMA fighter Gina Carano surrounded by an all-star cast of Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum, Antonio Banderas, and Michael Fassbender, the pic opens today here in the U.S. Also poised to screen at the festival is Billy Bob Thornton’s Jayne Mansfield’s Car, the drama Shadow Dancer starring Clive Owen, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
Today, the 2012 Sundance Film Festival announced their premieres line-up. Along with the announcement comes a boat load of images from the films set to be showcased at the fest. After the jump we’ve got images and syonpses from Celeste and Jesse Forever (starring Andy Samberg, Rashida Jones, and Elijah Wood), Lay the Favorite (starring Rebecca Hall, Bruce Willis, and Catherine Zeta-Jones), GOATS (starring David Duchovny, Vera Farmiga, and Ty Burrell), and Shadow Dancer (starring Andrea Riseborough, Gillian Anderson, and Clive Owen).
The 2012 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 19 – 29th.
Last week, we learned what the 2012 Sundance Film Festival had lined-up in its In-Competition categories, plus the out-of-competition Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, Next <=>, and New Frontier selections. But today Sundance has announced the heavy-hitters with the “Premieres” category. That’s not to say these are the best films or the ones that will get the biggest buzz. But they’re the ones that will pack the gigantic Eccles Theater bright and early every morning.
The Premieres category will include Spike Lee‘s Red Hook Summer, Rodrigo Cortes‘ Red Lights, Stephen Frears‘ Lay the Favorite, James Marsh‘s Shadow Dancer, Ice-T‘s Something from Nothing: The Art of Wrap, and the Peter Jackson-produced West Memphis Three documentary, West of Memphis. There’s plenty more than these few films and you can check out the entire line-up after the jump. The 2012 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 19 – 29th.
Last month, we brought you news of Clive Owen teaming up with Andrea Riseborough (Never Let Me Go) and director James Marsh (Man on Wire) in an IRA spy-thriller, then titled, Shadow Dancer. Actually, it’s still titled Shadow Dancer, but we have further updates as well. In a press release sent our way, BBC Films announced that Paramount Pictures will be handling distribution in the UK while Wild Bunch tackles international sales.
Briefly, Shadow Dancer stars Owen as an MI5 agent and Riseborough as a member of the Irish Republican Army in Dublin during the 1990s. James Marsh will direct from a script written by Tom Bradby, who also wrote the novel of the same name. The film also stars Aiden Gillen (Game of Thrones) and Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) and will begin filming in Dublin this May. Hit the jump to check out the film’s synopsis in the full press release.