Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sundance 2010

Films to follow shown at Sundance this week.

Blue Valentine is an intimate, shattering portrait of a disintegrating marriage. On the far side of a once-passionate romance, Cindy (Michelle Williams) and Dean (Ryan Gosling) are married with a young daughter. Hoping to save their marriage, they steal away to a theme hotel. We then encounter them years earlier, when they met and fell in love—full of life and hope.

 Buried promises “Promises” to be both a grueling study of terror and tension and a much-deserved vehicle for the underrated Ryan Reynolds, who has yet to find his proper place in Hollywood after a series of bad movies. He spends most of the film inside a coffin.

Holy Rollers uses the incredible story of Hasidic Jews smuggling Ecstasy in the late ’90s as a backdrop to examine the difference between faith and “blind” faith, inspired by actual events. In the lead role, Jesse Eisenberg, one of the best young actors of this generation, displays the internal moral struggle of a young man torn between polar-opposite cultures and ideologies. Director Kevin Asch fleshes out the disparate outer worlds of Brooklyn’s Hasidic community and the drug scene in Amsterdam, while revealing the complex interior lives of his characters and the taut dynamics among them.

Extraman This adaptation of an upscale novel by Jonathan Ames should undo the damage, starring Paul Dano, another great young actor, as a struggling writer who leaves his teaching job and moves to New York, where he falls for a co-worker played by one of the worst actresses Katie Holmes, and moves in with a crazy playwright (Kevin Klyne) who makes ends meet by working as an escort for rich women in the Upper East Side. A mentor-pupil relationship blossoms and the story unfolds.

Please Give Includes a cast of great actors; Kate (Catherine Keener) and Alex (Oliver Platt), a married couple who run a successful business reselling estate-sale furniture, live in Manhattan with their teenage daughter, Abby.

Hesher  A Sundance veteran at the ripe young age of 28, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, (my favorite young actor) follows last year's surprise hit with yet another change of style, a 20-something metal head stoner who befriends a young boy who's coming to terms with his mother's death. Natalie Portman, who also produced, co-stars as a supermarket worker who befriends the boy in the feature debut from Spenser Susser.

Howl James Franco, a great actor who recently made some weird career choices appearing in a daytime drama, plays Allen Ginsberg in this ambitious docudrama about the legal wrangles that faced the gay Beat writer when his landmark poem Howl was tried for obscenity in San Francisco in 1957. Franco's performance may be part of a reconstruction within a traditional documentary frame will focus on the younger Ginsberg and the ramifications of the trial, which raised serious questions about censorship, rather than his life story:

The Killer Inside Me  Filmed once before with Stacy Keach. The Killer Inside Me is perhaps Jim Thompson's best-known book, telling the story of a seemingly innocuous small town sheriff who hides a psychopathic secret, set in a shimmering 50s-style West Texas, starring Casey Affleck who plays the sadistic, two-faced sheriff and Kate Hudson and Jessica Alba play the female roles.

Sympathy for Delicious  Starring Mark Ruffalo after a few years away in mainstream Hollywood whose last Sundance appearance was with 2004's. He returns with his directorial debut. Also starring Christopher Thornton as 'Delicious' Dean O'Dwyer, a LA DJ who is confined to a wheelchair after an accident that leaves him paralyzed. Delicious finds that he has the healing touch, a gift that only benefits others, but the DJ sees a way to fulfill his rock'n roll fantasies in a dark comedy that also marks the return of Orlando Bloom as the tattooed, buff rocker who helps him.

Splice The ingenious, high-tech corporate conspiracy thriller by director Vicenzo Natali, but the more explicitly horror-themed film. A cautionary tale set in the world of modern genetics. It stars Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley as a pair of scientists who play dangerous games with human and animal DNA. But though it features state of the art effects, the film has been hailed as a return to the bizarre, intelligent psychological sci-fi style pioneered by Cronenberg.

Abel Directed by Diego Luna; Screenwriters: Diego Luna and Augusto Mendoza. A peculiar young boy, blurring reality and fantasy, assumes the responsibilities of a family man in his father’s absence. Cast: José María Yazpik, Karina Gidi, Carlos Aragon, Christopher Ruiz-Esparza, Gerardo Ruiz-Esparza. I am curious about the film, his previous movies; Buffalo of the Night was awful and his documentary about Mexican boxer Julio Cesar Chavez was decent.

Sources: Entertainment Weekly and


No comments:

Post a Comment