Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Indiewire logo

My Verdict on Sundance 2011: Not Half Bad

ReelPolitik By Anthony Kaufman | ReelPolitik January 26, 2011 at 7:38AM

My Verdict on Sundance 2011: Not Half Bad
0

Okay, it was actually better than half-bad. I'd say it was pretty good. While Sundance 2011 still has a few more days to ago, it's over for me. Back in New York, I'll be catching up on a few smaller titles on DVD, but my festival experience is finished.

Covering about 15 films in 5 days, not to mention the handful I caught pre-fest, I'd say the majority were worth watching. And even the ones that I thought were lame (see "Like Crazy"), they were useful to see in order to join the conversation. I do think that lowered expectations also helped make my Sundance satisfying. In contrast to Cannes, which I found to be a total disappointment last time around, I don't go into Sundance with the same sort of anticipation or high cinematic bar to reach. I think that's why I gave films like "Higher Ground" and "Cedar Rapids" such positive reviews in my work for Screen Daily. I was just happy to see something decent that made me laugh.

Here’s a list of the Sundance films I saw, partitioned into easily identifiable categories of appreciation (and dislike), with links when relevant:

Very Good:

"Perfect Sense" - Screen review. Going in, I never thought this was going to have as much of an impact as it did. I was expecting some sci-fi Europudding mess like "It's All About Love." But when the epidemic hits, making the afflicted suddenly break down in overwhelming grief, I was hooked. Upon reflection, it may be my favorite of the fest.
"The Future" -- Miranda July's funny, philosophical and endearing sophomore effort requires a second viewing for a full evaluation. But I know that one sequence -- in which July dances entirely encased in a large T-shirt -- will undoubtedly go down as my most vivid Sundance memory.
"Martha Mary Marcy Marlene" - Screen review.
"Project Nim" - Screen review.
"Terri" - Screen review.

Good:

"If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front" - an interview with director Marshall Curry at WSJ.com.

Guilty Pleasures:

"The Devil's Double" - Screen review.
"Cedar Rapids" - Screen review.
"Uncle Kent" -- Not nearly as bad as initial reviews suggested, Joe Swanberg's latest taps into familiar veins of loneliness and sexual neediness in the digital age. I thought it was pretty funny, with one three-way sex scene -- in which the 40-year-old slacker hero can only get into the mix by petting one of the girl's feet -- is as good as early Woody Allen.

Respectable Art-house Entertainment:

"Higher Ground" - Screen review.
"Win Win" - Screen review.

Ambitious, Intriguing Mess:

"The Details - Screen review.
"Red State" - Screen review.
"Vampire" - Screen review.

Lame:

"Like Crazy" - Screen review.
"Salvation Boulevard" - Screen review.
"The Off Hours"
"The Lie"

Follow us

E-Mail Updates



Recent Comments

By Bob Connors: The thing to remember is the video has some actual data but it's conclusions are far fetched and inaccurate. This is a Progressive propaghand…

Who is "Politizane" and What's Next for the Income Inequality Viral Video

Mar 21th, 2015 8:47am

By Ostlee: This makes very sad reading - i feel for the people of Maldives. Everyone should boycott the island as a holiday destination until Nasheed…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 13th, 2015 5:35pm

By Ahmed Shahid: Release the first democratically elected president. The only president of Maldives who has reached the people of Maldives, heard them and…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 12th, 2015 9:37am

By Hanne Neve: Please take care of your country and the climate by freeing your real selektet president.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 11th, 2015 9:09am

By Iqbal: Please release President Nasheed

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 10:27pm

By Martha Robertson: I strongly urge the immediate release of Nasheed!

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 9:37pm

By Ned Rollins: Bad business, going to bite you.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 3:47pm

By John Painter: The guy isnt a terrorist.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 12:00pm

By Sofia Vera: I support Presdient Nasheed and add my name to this letter of support for his release.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 11:14am

By Margarett R Mulkey: A civilized society is required of the current government of the Maldives. The world is watching injustice and crimes, and many realized thes…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 10:53am