Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Richard Linklater's Untitled New Film Pushed to 2016, Might Direct Jennifer Lawrence Movie Richard Linklater's Untitled New Film Pushed to 2016, Might Direct Jennifer Lawrence Movie Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as NYFF Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not (UPDATED) 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as NYFF Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not (UPDATED) Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong Friday Box Office: Sandler's 'Pixels' Gets Mixed Response, 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw' Not Far Behind Friday Box Office: Sandler's 'Pixels' Gets Mixed Response, 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw' Not Far Behind Scott Foundas Explains Why He's Leaving Film Criticism--Again--for Amazon Studios Scott Foundas Explains Why He's Leaving Film Criticism--Again--for Amazon Studios Congrats to Monica Bellucci: She's Making History Congrats to Monica Bellucci: She's Making History Broad Green Dates 'Knight of Cups' and Two More Releases Broad Green Dates 'Knight of Cups' and Two More Releases Watch: The Secret Ingredient to David Lynch's Disorienting Cinema Watch: The Secret Ingredient to David Lynch's Disorienting Cinema First Look: 'No' Director Pablo Larraín Channels 'Neruda' with Gael García Bernal First Look: 'No' Director Pablo Larraín Channels 'Neruda' with Gael García Bernal Is 'The Revenant' the Most Hellish Shoot of All Time? Is 'The Revenant' the Most Hellish Shoot of All Time? Broad Green Enters Long-Term Home Video Deal with Universal for Burgeoning Slate Broad Green Enters Long-Term Home Video Deal with Universal for Burgeoning Slate Gabriel García Márquez Documentary Coming Soon (Trailer) Gabriel García Márquez Documentary Coming Soon (Trailer) Watch 'SPECTRE' Trailer: James Bond Meets the Author of His Pain Watch 'SPECTRE' Trailer: James Bond Meets the Author of His Pain 'BoJack Horseman,' 'Rick and Morty,' and Our Love/Hate Relationship with TV 'BoJack Horseman,' 'Rick and Morty,' and Our Love/Hate Relationship with TV Why I Can't Wait to See 'Crimson Peak,' Guillermo del Toro's Sumptuous Period Thriller (VIDEO) Why I Can't Wait to See 'Crimson Peak,' Guillermo del Toro's Sumptuous Period Thriller (VIDEO) First Look at Julianne Moore and Ellen Page as a Gay Couple in 'Freeheld' First Look at Julianne Moore and Ellen Page as a Gay Couple in 'Freeheld' Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Gabriel García Márquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and 'Rhapsody in August' in 1991 Gabriel García Márquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and 'Rhapsody in August' in 1991

Sundance: 18 Titles to Watch

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood December 3, 2009 at 9:18AM

Now that all the 2010 Sundance films have been announced (all are listed on IndieWIRE) which films are the ones to see this January? Most of the films in the lineup are unknown quantities that will need to be checked out first-hand. Some of the new films below (I am not including films from other fests) will be hot acquisition titles, and some may actually make it into theaters.
6
Thompson on Hollywood

Now that all the 2010 Sundance films have been announced (all are listed on IndieWIRE) which films are the ones to see this January? Most of the films in the lineup are unknown quantities that will need to be checked out first-hand. Some of the new films below (I am not including films from other fests) will be hot acquisition titles, and some may actually make it into theaters.

Clearly, one to see is January 21 opening night competition film Howl, Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman's reenactment (with animation) of gay beat poet Allen Ginsberg's obscenity trial starring James Franco, Jeff Daniels, Jon Hamm and David Straithairn.

Other must-sees include directing debuts by actors Mark Ruffalo (Sympathy for Delicious) and Philip Seymour Hoffman (Jack Goes Boating) and The Perfect Storm writer Sebastian Junger, who was embedded with Restrepo co-director and photographer Tim Hetherington with the Second Platoon in Afghanistan.

Thompson on Hollywood

I look forward to another timely doc, Alex Gibney's CASINO JACK & The United States of Money, about corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff, as well as Jean-Michael Basquiat: the Radiant Child, Tamra Davis's profile of the late, great painter. Oscar-winner Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) is back again with Waiting for Superman, which addresses the crisis in public education.

Prolific director Michael Winterbottom has two movies, an adaptation of Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside Me (starring Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson and Simon Baker) and a doc co-directed with Mat Whitecross, The Shock Doctrine, based on Naomi Klein's examination of "disaster capitalism." So do Twilight starlet Kristen Stewart (The Runaways and Welcome to the Rileys) and Juliette Lewis (Sympathy for Delicious and Tony Goldwyn's Betty Anne Waters). And John C. Reilly stars in two too: American Splendor team Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini's The Extra Man , co-starring Katie Holmes, and Humpday star Mark Duplass and his brother Jay's Cyrus, co- starring Marisa Tomei and Jonah Hill and financed by Fox Searchlight.

Thompson on Hollywood

For those of you wondering whatever happened to Ryan Gosling (who was replaced by Mark Wahlberg in Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones), he stars opposite Michelle Williams in the marital drama Blue Valentine. (500) Days of Summer star Joseph Gordon-Levitt returns as a trickster in Hesher, co-starring Natalie Portman and Rainn Wilson. Writer-director Nicole Holofcener's Please Give boasts a strong ensemble: Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall and Catherine Keener. Writer-director John Wells cast Ben Affleck and Kevin Costner in The Company Men. And Mark Lewis explores an ecological disaster in 3-D with Cane Toads: The Conquest.

Here's the LAT's Sundance take.

This article is related to: Festivals, Genres, Headliners, Sundance, Independents, Documentaries, Natalie Portman


E-Mail Updates








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.