By Eric Kohn | Eric Kohn January 13, 2009 at 10:24AM
I hate to adopt a pack mentality here, but I most of the stuff I'm anticipating bears marked similar to other lists out there. Sundance isn't the rest of the world, and I'm happy to embrace populism at this elevation. Here are a few items that are high on my personal list.
Because it's about two dudes awkwardly making a porn together. Because it co-stars Mark Duplass. Because Lynn Shelton's last feature, My Everlasting Brilliance, showed an eye for offbeat comedy with barely likable characters that make you wonder, moment to moment, whether you should stop laughing and just let the discomfort sink in.
Although I have yet to marathon Planet Earth, my proclivities toward movies about animals in distress (ie, Sharkwater) is boundless. (Well, Free Willy 2. There's a boundary.) And so this exciting non-fiction adventure about dolphin rescuers will surely satisfy my nature fix.
The Wrestler screenwriter Robert Siegel wrote and directed this sports dramedy about a lonely New York Giants aficionado. I happened to speak to Siegel last week as he was rushing to put the final touches on the film, but I can't imagine that Siegel's directorial debut won't at least offer something to admire. The script is what landed him his Wrestler gig, and it was on Hollywood's venerable Black List awhile back.
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men
I'm trying to get into the late David Foster Wallace's work — although I may wait awhile so my interest doesn't seem like pure morbid curiosity — but, in the meantime, I'm interested in what The Office's John Kracinski can do behind the camera in his inaugural outing.
I simply adore Nicolas Winding Refn's Pusher trilogy, and this characteristically gritty black comedy appears to build on the director's ferocious panache. The trailer looks to me like everything Snatch was.
Paul Giamatti sells his soul. What more do you need to know?
Gregg Motola's Daytrippers came to Slamdance over a decade ago. A successful TV career led to Superbad, and now he's back in the feature game. I tend to find the Apatow oeuvre somewhat grating, but Mottola's bittersweet style provides the ideal counterpoint.