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Sundance Adds Four New Titles to 2012 Program, 'This Must Be the Place,' Starring Sean Penn

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood December 19, 2011 at 4:01PM

The 2012 Sundance Film Festival selection is officially closed. Fest programmers have added four new titles to wrap up their slate unveiling January 19 through January 29. Often the festival waits to see if filmmakers can complete their films in time.
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Cannes Preview: This Must Be the Place Stars Sean Penn as Aging Rock Star

The 2012 Sundance Film Festival selection is officially closed. Fest programmers have added four new titles to wrap up their slate unveiling January 19 through January 29.  Often the festival waits to see if filmmakers can complete their films in time; late additions to the Festival have included Miranda July's "The Future" and Lisa Cholodenko's "The Kids Are All Right."

That was not the issue with Paolo Sorrentino's "This Must Be the Place," which marks the acclaimed director of "Il Divo"'s English-language debut; the movie takes an aging rock star (Sean Penn), happily married to Frances McDormand, from Ireland to America to confront the ghost of his recently deceased father. Even though the movie met a mixed reaction in Cannes, it was acquired by Weinstein Co. for 2012 release.

“Each of these four films is an accomplishment in its own right, and collectively, their addition to our program allows us to present a broader look at independent filmmaking," explained John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival. "With these four films, we will present a total of 117 feature-length films at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival – a strong indication of the vitality of the independent film community.”

The fest is presenting 117 feature-length films from 30 countries by 45 first-time filmmakers, including 24 in competition, selected from 4,042 feature-length film submissions (2,059 U.S., 1,983 international). Ninety-one films at the Festival are world premieres.
 

PREMIERES

Predisposed / U.S.A. (Directors & Screenwriters: Philip Dorling, Ron Nyswaner) — Eli Smith, a piano prodigy, is dealing with his troubled mother and enlisting help from a hapless drug dealer on the day he has an audition for a prestigious music program. Events spiral comically out of control as this gang of misfits faces the mistakes of the past, the challenges of the future, and the possibilities of love. Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Melissa Leo, Tracy Morgan, Sarah Ramos, Isiah Whitlock Jr. World Premiere.

SPOTLIGHT

Oslo, August 31st / Norway (Director: Joachim Trier, Screenwriters: Eskil Vogt & Joachim Trier based on a novel by Pierre Drieu La Rochelle) — One man, one city, 24 hours. Oslo, August 31st is a portrait of contemporary Oslo. A visually striking and quietly shattering drama about a man in deep existential crisis. Cast: Anders Danielsen Lie, Hans Olav Brenner, Ingrid Olava, Tone B. Mostraum.

This Must Be The Place / Italy, France, Ireland (Director: Paolo Sorrentino, Screenwriter: Umberto Contarello, Paolo Sorrentino) — A bored, retired rock star sets out to find his father's executioner, an ex-Nazi war criminal who is a refugee in the U.S. Cast: Sean Penn, Frances McDormand, Judd Hirsch. North American Premiere

PARK CITY AT MIDNIGHT

JOHN DIES AT THE END / U.S.A. (Director: Don Coscarelli, Screenwriter: Don Coscarelli, based on a novel by David Wong) — On the street they call it Soy Sauce – a drug that allows users to drift across time and dimensions. But some who come back are no longer human. Can John and David stop the oncoming horror? No. They can't. Cast: Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes, Paul Giamatti, Clancy Brown, Glynn Turman. World Premiere

This article is related to: Festivals, Sundance, Sean Penn


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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.