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Sundance First Look: The Greatest

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood January 7, 2009 at 3:33AM

It's Sundance time.


It's Sundance time.

My mailbox is clogged with pitches for movies to screen, interviews to do. I'm planning on a radical new approach this year, since so many of the movies that buyers slather over in advance turn out to be disappointments, and the ones that go home with distribs are the ones critics and audiences actually admire. (See: Frozen River, Ballast, Trouble the Water.) So I'm going to go see the movies that look good, and then decide who to interview based on what I like! (I'm taking my flipcam.)

Radical. It's how I did it for years.

Meanwhile, I'll check out The Greatest based on this preview clip. It's from Sundance producer perennial Lynette Howell (Phoebe in Wonderland, Half Nelson), who says the script from a first-time writer-director (Shana Feste) sailed through the process of funding and casting. Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon quickly signed on to this story of parental love and loss. It's about two parents (Brosnan and Sarandon)rocked to their foundations when they suddenly lose their teenage son (Aaron Johnson). Then his old girlfriend (Carey Mulligan) turns up. Revolutionary Road's Michael Shannon also stars.

Here's a clip:

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This article is related to: Festivals, Headliners, Sundance

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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.