Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Indiewire logo

Sundance 2012: The Great, the Good, and the Blah

ReelPolitik By Anthony Kaufman | ReelPolitik January 26, 2012 at 12:14PM

I'm finished with Sundance 2012. And despite some painfully frustrating circuitous shuttle rides, this year's American independent movie brouhaha was a fairly good one. As I have mentioned before: some strong docs, as always, and a number of bold indie films that dared to go against the commercial grain.
4

I'm finished with Sundance 2012. And despite some painfully frustrating circuitous shuttle rides, this year's American independent movie brouhaha was a fairly good one. As I have mentioned before: some strong docs, as always, and a number of bold indie films that dared to go against the commercial grain.

"Searching for Sugar Man"
"Searching for Sugar Man"

I count a total of four movies—two from U.S. directors—that I believe are powerful works of cinematic storytelling that spoke to my personal tastes. Which, as I also mentioned previously, is just enough to make it a memorable festival. And there are probably a handful of New Frontiers films I should have seen and would have appreciated, but didn't have the time to seek out. Ay, that's the rub of Sundance.

Indeed, I feel sorry for all those reporters who had to attend the glossy films in the Premieres section every night—nearly every one of them a more tiresome and banal reflection of what middlebrow movies can be. For all those who loved "The Surrogate," I say look past the tender subject matter, and at the movie more closely and you'll begin to see its faults, its slim character development, its awkward intercutting. And this is a movie that should have everyone in the audience bawling by the end. But it's just not that good.

Anyway, here's my evaluative breakdown of the 18 films I saw from Sundance 2012:

Top of the heap…

"Searching for Sugar Man" - blurb
"Compliance" - review
"Simon Killer" - review
"The Law In These Parts" - blurb

Good…

"Safety Not Guaranteed" - review
"The End of Love" - review
"Beasts of the Southern Wild" - review

Strong Docs…

"The Imposter"
"Under African Skies" - review
"Detropia"
"Playback" - review
"The House I Live In" - review

Solid, but not for me…

"Keep The Lights On" - review
"The Surrogate" - review

Still wrestling with…

"Nobody Walks" - review

Watcheable mainstream blah…

"Robot and Frank"
"Arbitrage" - review

Just plain annoying….

"2 Days in New York" - review
 

Follow us

E-Mail Updates



Recent Comments

By Tony: I saw this with my girlfriend. She was completely taken in by it. This movie is no better than a soap opera. Absolute drivel, pandering to…

Can Tearjerking Doc "The Hunting Ground" Change Colleges' Sexual Assault Policies?

Jan 28th, 2015 1:03am

By Joe Britz: While rape is a horrible crime, it doesn't mean we simply toss Blackstone out the window. The foundation of our justice system is innocent…

Can Tearjerking Doc "The Hunting Ground" Change Colleges' Sexual Assault Policies?

Jan 28th, 2015 12:31am

By Amelia: It reminds me of the Dark Ages, where people would accuse a woman of being a Witch and everybody would simply believe the accusation because…

Can Tearjerking Doc "The Hunting Ground" Change Colleges' Sexual Assault Policies?

Jan 27th, 2015 3:25pm

By Joe: There is no rape culture. Rape is a sickening and illegal act but apparently there are some who want to return to the old fashioned lynch mob…

Can Tearjerking Doc "The Hunting Ground" Change Colleges' Sexual Assault Policies?

Jan 27th, 2015 1:31pm

By roosevelto: I think that this movie is many things, one of those is political. Even if we suppose that it wasn't Afflec's intention, when has become…

"Argo" Reconsidered: Ben Affleck is a Right-Wing Propagandist

Jan 16th, 2015 5:08pm

By roosevelto: I watched the movie with the most naive eyes possible. I said to myself, don't care about facts, don't care about propaganda, don't care abou…

"Argo" Reconsidered: Ben Affleck is a Right-Wing Propagandist

Jan 16th, 2015 4:53pm

By Anthony Kaufman: "The Look of Silence" will definitely be on next year's list! It hasn't opened in the U.S. yet.

The Top 12 Documentaries of 2014

Jan 3rd, 2015 1:09pm