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CINE-LIST's Ten Most Anticipated Films at Sundance 2014

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood January 16, 2014 at 11:37AM

TOH! heads to Sundance today, ready for the many offerings the festival has in store. What makes the shortlist of ten most anticipated films? Find out, below.
Jason Clarke in 'The Better Angels'
Jason Clarke in 'The Better Angels'

TOH! heads to Sundance today, ready for the many offerings the festival has in store. What makes the shortlist of ten most anticipated films?

"Happy Christmas"
"Happy Christmas"

10. “The Better Angels." Terrence Malick collaborator A.J. Edwards makes his feature debut with this black-and-white period piece, set in 1817 Indiana, looking at three years in the life of young Abraham Lincoln’s childhood. Malick’s visually poetic influence is evident from the film’s released clip (watch below).  Jason Clarke, Kate Bosworth, Brit Marling and Wes Bentley star. (Section: New Frontier.)

9. “Happy Christmas." Joe Swanberg knocked it out of the park with 2013’s “Drinking Buddies,” and the prolific director’s follow-up film (or rather, one of his many) is a pared-down Christmas tale shot on 16mm. Swanberg reunites with Anna Kendrick (delightful in “Drinking Buddies”), and brings Lena Dunham and the underused but always ace Melanie Lynskey into the fold. (Section: US Dramatic Competition.)

8. “Appropriate Behavior." Writer-director-star Desiree Akhavan follows up her comedic web series “The Slope” with this portrait of an Iranian-American young woman living in Brooklyn, trying to deal with the ex-girlfriend who broke her heart (Rebecca Henderson), and coming out as bisexual to her traditional parents. Programming director Trevor Groth has likened Akhavan to last year’s triple threat Lake Bell. (Section: NEXT.)

Catherine Keener in 'War Story'
Catherine Keener in 'War Story'

7. “War Story." The world needs more Catherine Keener. That is a given. So I'm excited to see her get some front-and-center attention in this story of an American photographer adrift in Italy, snapping pics of refugees while confronting her own melancholy. Ben Kingsley also stars. Director Mark Jackson was named by Filmmaker Magazine as one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film.” (Section: NEXT.)

6. “Dinosaur 13." A documentary about the most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton ever discovered would already be interesting enough, but filmmaker Todd Miller digs into the power clash surrounding the 1990 paleontological find. The FBI, the National Guard, prestigious museums and Native American tribes are just a few of the players competing for ownership against the paleontologists who originally discovered the bones. (Section: US Documentary Competition.)

This article is related to: Festivals, Sundance Film Festival, Cine-List

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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.