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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.
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Tizita Hagere in 'Difret'
Tizita Hagere in 'Difret'

5. “Difret." Angelina Jolie executive produced this drama following a 14-year-old Ethiopian girl, kidnapped into marriage, who stands on trial for murdering her abductor -- and would-be husband. A young woman defense lawyer bravely takes on the girl’s case in writer-director Zeresenay Berhane Mehari’s feature debut. (Section: World Dramatic Competition.)

Christina Hendricks God's Pocket

4. “Love Child." Documentarian Valerie Veatch (“ME @ THE ZOO”) turns her camera on an upsetting case from 2010, where a South Korean couple became so obsessed with online gaming they neglected to feed their infant child, resulting in the baby’s death. Per the festival program notes, the doc looks not only at the case but at the implications of internet addiction. Count my interest piqued. (Section: World Documentary Competition.)

3. “God's Pocket." John Slattery has directed some of the strongest episodes of “Mad Men,” so I'm fascinated to see what he does with this feature debut. Can’t beat the cast: Philip Seymour Hoffmann, Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks, John Turturro and Eddie Marsan. The narrative follows the aftermath of a suspicious construction accident in a working-class town. (Section: US Dramatic Competition.)

'Listen Up Philip'
'Listen Up Philip'

2. “White Bird in a Blizzard." Sundance alum Gregg Araki returns to more dramatic fare (recalling the tone of “Mysterious Skin”) with this dreamy looking portrait of a teen (Shailene Woodley) dealing with repressed memories of a traumatic event from years earlier: Her mother (Eva Green) went mysteriously missing. Christopher Meloni, Shiloh Fernandez, Gabourey Sidibe and Thomas Jane also star. Watch the trailer, below. (Section: Premieres.)

1. “Listen Up Philip." Alex Ross Perry’s previous feature “The Color Wheel” had real bite -- and a doozy of an uncomfortable ending. With that film, he established himself as a director unafraid to push boundaries, so I can’t wait to see what he does with pro actors (Elisabeth Moss and Jason Schwartzman), in a tale of a narcissistic novelist who escapes the hubbub of New York to hole up in an isolated summer home. (Section: NEXT.)

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


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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.