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The 25 Most Anticipated Films Of The 2013 Sundance Film Festival

The Playlist By The Playlist Staff | The Playlist January 15, 2013 at 2:08PM

We're barely into 2013, and already the film festival circuit is kicking off again. It's only a matter of weeks since The Playlist hung up our collective traveling pants from our last festival trip of 2012 (Marrakech), but even ahead of Berlin next month, we're packing our bags again for one of the major dates in the cinephile calendar -- the Sundance Film Festival.
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Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes (header)
"Emanuel And The Truth About Fishes"

Synopsis: A teenage girl forms a friendship with the young mother who moves in next door.
What You Need To Know: The increasingly busy schedule for Rooney Mara ultimately meant that something had to give, and the actress had to drop out of a reunion with "Tanner Hall" director Francesca Gregorini on this coming-of-age drama. In her place is "Skins" and "Wuthering Heights" star Kaya Scodelario, who's looking like an early prospect to be this year's Felicity Jones-style breakout star. Joining a cast that also features Jessica Biel, Alfred Molina, Frances O'Connor, Jimmi Simpson and rising British actor Aneurin Barnard, this promises a stylized take on the indie drama from a director whose "Tanner Hall" showed promise, even if it wasn't all the way there. If she can step up her game -- and if Scodelario fulfills the promise that she's long showed -- this could definitely be one to watch.
Release Date: 18th and the 21st at the Library Center in Park City, plus the Eccles on the 23rd and the MARC on the 25th. Also going to Ogden at Peery's Egyptian on the 19th, and the SLC Library Theatre on the 20th.

I Used To Be Darker
"I Used To Be Darker"
Synopsis: A pregnant Northern Irish woman runs away to relatives in Baltimore, only to discover that her aunt is on the verge of getting divorced.  
What You Need To Know: Matthew Porterfield's "Putty Hill" became something of a critical hit when it premiered in Berlin three years ago, and the picture kept up that momentum when it was released in the U.S. in 2011. Now, Porterfield is ready to strike again with a crowd-funded follow-up that shot late last summer, which reunites him with much of the same creative team, musicians Ned Oldham and Kim Taylor and newcomers Hannah Gross and Deragh Campbell leading the cast. Hopefully we can expect the same realistic, truthful approach, and the same picturesque Baltimore locations, but with a musical leaning that some have compared to "Once."
When? The Yarrow Hotel in Park City on the 19th, also showing at the Temple in Park City on the 20th and 25th, and the 21st at Broadway Centre in SLC.

In A World... Lake Bell
"In A World..."
Synopsis: A vocal coach sets out to follow in her father's footsteps and become a successful trailer voice-over artist.
What You Need To Know: Lake Bell is another of those actresses who's consistently been cropping up in high-profile film and TV roles that somehow, despite her being beautiful, funny and immensely talented, have never quite led to her becoming a household name. But after premiering a short at the festival last year, and directing two episodes of the excellent "Children's Hospital," she's back in Park City for her feature debut, which delves into the competitive world of voiceover artists. The set up, with the promise of family conflict and romance, might not be that different from some of the competition, but the voice-over angle should give it some freshness, and Bell should bring a new sensibility to things. And she's certainly got a great cast assembled, with "Children's Hospital" alumni Rob Corddry, Ken Marino and Nick Offerman joining Geena Davis, Demetri Martin, Michaela Watkins, Jeff Garlin and, as her father, "A Serious Man" stand-out Fred Melamed. The chance to see the latter as the vocal cords behind movie trailers seems like it would be worth the price of admission on its own.
When: January 20th at the LIbrary Center Theatre in Park City, January 21st at the Rose Wagner in Salt Lake City, and January 22nd, 23rd and 26th at the MARC, Eccles and Egyptian respectively, all in Park City.

In Fear
"In Fear"
Synopsis: A young couple on their way to a music festival become lost and tormented by a mysterious stranger.
What You Need To Know: As far as British genre fare goes, Big Talk Productions has one of the more solid track records out there. They've barely put a foot wrong on the big screen thanks to the likes of "Shaun Of The Dead," "Hot Fuzz," "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World," "Attack The Block" and "Sightseers" (which also screens at Sundance this year), and it's their involvement that's pricked up our interest in this under-the-radar genre entry. The premise might not seem particularly ground-breaking, but the process that director Jeremy Lovering -- a TV veteran who worked on "Miss Austen Regrets" and "Money" -- put his cast through seems more interesting. Alice Englert ("Ginger & Rosa") and Iain De Caestecker (soon to be seen on the small screen in Joss Whedon's "S.H.I.E.L.D") weren't shown the script, and didn't know what was going to happen to their characters, which has the potential to be something fresh and chilling, while production notes promises a film with smarts to match the scares. Could we be looking at the next breakout genre flick from across the pond?
When: January 20th at the Egyptian in Park City, January 22nd at the Broadway Center in Salt Lake City, and January 23rd and 25th at the Prospector Square and Redstone Theatres in Park City.

"Kill Your Darlings"
"Kill Your Darlings"
"Kill Your Darlings"
Synopsis: Young Allen Ginsberg arrives at Columbia University and immediately makes friends with Lucien Carr, William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, planting the seeds for what would become the Beat movement. But their lives are shattered when an older man in love with Carr is found dead.
What You Need To Know: "On The Road" made a decent fist at adapting the Beat classic last year without ever feeling truly inspired. Will an attempt at going back to the early days of some of the movement's key figures be more successful? First time writer-director John Krokidas has the benefit of a doozy of true-crime story here, and he's certainly assembled an interesting cast, with Daniel Radcliffe as Ginsberg, Ben Foster as Burroughs, Jack Huston as Kerouac, Dane DeHaan as Lucien Carr and Elizabeth Olsen as Edie Parker (with Michael C. Hall, David Cross, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Kyra Sedgwick also featuring). There's the risk that it could come across as a sort of Beat Muppet Babies, or "On The Road: First Class." But there's a good story here, and a lot of talent in front of and behind the camera, so we're definitely feeling optimistic.
When: Four Park City screenings: the Eccles on the 18th, the Redstone on the 19th, the Egyptian on the 23rd, and the Library Center on the 25th. Also screening at the Rose Wagner in SLC on the 20th.

The Look Of Love
"The Look Of Love"
Synopsis: Biopic of Paul Raymond, the pornographer who, thanks to canny investment, became one of Britain's richest men, and the self-styled "King Of Soho."
What You Need To Know: We're on record as being big Michael Winterbottom fans, but even we struggled a little bit with his last theatrical release, "Trishna." 2013 brings two films from the director, and while we're looking forward to "Everyday" too, it's "The Look of Love" that really has our attention.  Over a decade on from "24 Hour Party People," one of the best British films of the '00s, Winterbottom reteams with star Steve Coogan for the fourth time for a film that seems to be a sort of spiritual sibling to that earlier one. Digging into seedy London of the 1960s and beyond, rather than Manchester in the 1970s, it promises to be as stylistically playful, but darker in tone. "Control" writer Matt Greenhaigh penned the script, and the cast is strong too, with Anna Friel, Imogen Poots and Tamsin Egerton as the women in his life, and comic talent like Stephen Fry, Matt Lucas, David Walliams, Sarah Solemani and Chris Addison also cropping up. We haven't looked forward to a Winterbottom film this much in years.
When: The Eccles on the 19th and 20th, the Rose Wagner in SLC on the 23rd, Sundance Resort on the 24th, and back in Park City for the MARC on the 26th.

Magic Magic Michael Cera
"Magic Magic"
Synopsis: An American tourist, traveling with friends through rural Chile, is struck by crippling insomnia which makes her start to lose her grip on reality.
What You Need To Know: After a few quiet years, 2013 marks the return of Michael Cera to our screens. He's barely been glimpsed since the release of "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World," but between the return of "Arrested Development," plus appearances in "This Is The End" and another Sundance flick "Crystal Fairy," he's firmly on the comeback trail, and "Magic Magic" might be the most promising film on his slate. Marking the return of "The Maid" director Sebastian Silva (who won the dramatic jury prize at the festival in 2009, and who also helmed "Crystal Fairy"), it seems to be a heady and picturesque sort of psychological thriller which, with cinematography by Wong Kar-Wai's legendary DoP Christopher Doyle, should look pretty stunning. And the talent in front of the camera is equally strong, with the excellent Juno Temple in the lead role, Emily Browning and Catalina Sandina Moreno in support, and what promises to be a very different kind of part for Cera, that could turn out to be something very interesting indeed.
When: January 22nd and 24rd at the Library Center Theater in Park City, January 24th at the Salt Lake City Library Theatre, and the 26th at the Egyptian Theatre back in Park City.

The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman Shia LaBeouf Evan Rachel Wood
”The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman”
Synopsis: Traveling abroad, Charlie Countryman falls for a Romanian beauty whose unreachable heart is connected to Nigel, her violent, charismatic ex. As her dark past increasingly envelops him, Charlie resolves to win her heart, or die trying.
What You Need To Know: Swedish-born first-time feature-length filmmaker Fredrik Bond might be an unknown in the film world,  but he has accumulated numerous awards throughout the course of his successful career as a commercial director including one at Cannes. The two leads are Shia LaBeouf and Evan Rachel Wood, and the excellent supporting cast features Mads Mikkelsen, Til Schweiger, Rupert Grint, Vincent D’Onofrio, James Buckley, Aubrey Plaza and Melissa Leo. Written by Matt Drake (who also wrote "Project X"), the music is by Christophe Beck and Dead Mono, with songs by Moby and more, so at the very least the picture should have some good tunes in it. And it's being sheperded by Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, the producers behind "Little Miss Sunshine," "Ruby Sparks," and Alexander Payne's upcoming film, "Nebraska" so you know they at least have good taste.
When: 21st and 22nd at the Eccles, and 26th at the Library Center, both in Park City. Plus 25th at the Rose Wagner in SLC.

Prince Avalanche Emile Hirsch Paul Rudd
“Prince Avalanche”
Synopsis: Two highway road workers spend the summer of 1988 away from their city lives at odds with each other and the women they left behind.
What You Need To Know: You kind of never know what director David Gordon Green is going to do next. Just when he appeared to be the heir apparent to Terrence Malick with lyrical, poetic indie films, the filmmaker pivoted to comedy and even became part of the Judd Apatow gang when he helmed “Pineapple Express.” Three silly comedies later, Green was supposed to take on a remake of “Suspiria,” but quietly, while no one was looking, shot and completed “Prince Avalanche,” a remake of the Icelandic film “Either Way,” in Texas last year. A two-hander, the picture stars Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch (who Green almost worked with years ago on a a shuttered project called, "Bully"), with no else listed in the cast other than 77-year-old character actor Lance LeGault. Said to be a meditative character study, this may be the “getting back to his roots” movie that many have been asking for.  And to give it some appropriate mood, the score has been written by Explosions in the Sky and David Wingo, Green's longtime music collaborator from the indie folk band Ola Podrida.
When: 20th and 24th at the Library Center Theatre in Park City, plus 21st at the Egyptian, and 25th at the SLC Library Theatre.

This article is related to: Features, Sundance Film Festival


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