Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Specialty Box Office: 'True Story' and 'Child 44' Flop as 'Ex Machina' Lures Audiences Specialty Box Office: 'True Story' and 'Child 44' Flop as 'Ex Machina' Lures Audiences Tribeca Film Festival Matches George Lucas with Stephen Colbert: “I’m gonna tear you a new one, George" Tribeca Film Festival Matches George Lucas with Stephen Colbert: “I’m gonna tear you a new one, George" 10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work The Eerie Connection Between 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' and 'Tomorrowland' The Eerie Connection Between 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' and 'Tomorrowland' Digging Into the Cannes Lineup: More Vet Auteurs and Women, No Netflix Digging Into the Cannes Lineup: More Vet Auteurs and Women, No Netflix Ryan Gosling in Talks for 'Blade Runner' Sequel, Damien Chazelle's 'La La Land' Ryan Gosling in Talks for 'Blade Runner' Sequel, Damien Chazelle's 'La La Land' You Can Now Read Over 200,000 Leaked Sony Emails and Documents You Can Now Read Over 200,000 Leaked Sony Emails and Documents Watch: The New 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Trailer Has Landed Watch: The New 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Trailer Has Landed Watch the Teaser Trailer for Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' Watch the Teaser Trailer for Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' Russia Bans Tom Hardy Thriller 'Child 44,' "A Bloody Mass of Orcs and Ghouls" Russia Bans Tom Hardy Thriller 'Child 44,' "A Bloody Mass of Orcs and Ghouls" Watch: This Exclusive Tribeca Trailer Promises a Vérité Southern Gothic in Malick Vein Watch: This Exclusive Tribeca Trailer Promises a Vérité Southern Gothic in Malick Vein 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) 'Queen of Earth,' Starring a Gloriously Unhinged Elisabeth Moss, Goes to IFC 'Queen of Earth,' Starring a Gloriously Unhinged Elisabeth Moss, Goes to IFC LA Film Fest Adds 10 Buzzy Indies and First-Ever TV Gala to Lineup LA Film Fest Adds 10 Buzzy Indies and First-Ever TV Gala to Lineup Cary Fukunaga Takes Over Long-Stalled 'The Alienist' as TV Series Cary Fukunaga Takes Over Long-Stalled 'The Alienist' as TV Series Why the Istanbul Film Festival Cancelled Its 2015 Competition Why the Istanbul Film Festival Cancelled Its 2015 Competition The Dramatic Story Behind Satyajit Ray's 50s Masterpiece 'The Apu Trilogy' (Exclusive) The Dramatic Story Behind Satyajit Ray's 50s Masterpiece 'The Apu Trilogy' (Exclusive) The New Ladder: Anatomy of Indie Women's Picture 'Farah Goes Bang' The New Ladder: Anatomy of Indie Women's Picture 'Farah Goes Bang' Lars von Trier's Last Cannes Q & A: "Stupid" Statements, Melancholia, "I Am Not a Nazi," Dunst, Cruz Lars von Trier's Last Cannes Q & A: "Stupid" Statements, Melancholia, "I Am Not a Nazi," Dunst, Cruz

Sundance News Wrap: Hesher, Please Give, Overture

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood January 23, 2010 at 2:09AM

Yet another hotly anticipated Sundance title, Hesher, grabbed mixed reaction today from audiences and media. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who is on a roll, gives a bravura performance as a violently anarchic homeless drifter who connects with a father and son (Rainn Wilson and Devin Brochu) stricken with grief at the loss of their wife and mother. Natalie Portman tries to tone down her beauty as a supermarket clerk who wants to help. The movie, written and directed by Spencer Susser, digs into some uncomfortable areas.
2
Thompson on Hollywood

Yet another hotly anticipated Sundance title, Hesher, grabbed mixed reaction today from audiences and media. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who is on a roll, gives a bravura performance as a violently anarchic homeless drifter who connects with a father and son (Rainn Wilson and Devin Brochu) stricken with grief at the loss of their wife and mother. Natalie Portman tries to tone down her beauty as a supermarket clerk who wants to help. The movie, written and directed by Spencer Susser, digs into some uncomfortable areas.

At the press conference, former child star Gordon-Levitt praised young Brochu, who gives a raw, rough-and-tumble performance. "I'm so proud of you, dude, you killed it!" (Check out Gordon-Levitt's Sundance Roll Call. Later this weekend, I'll post a flip-cam interview with him.)

Some of the fan sites, which are reviewing at Sundance in strong numbers, indicate that fans for this movie may skew young and male.

See Sundance's video interview with Susser.

Thompson on Hollywood

There was more positive buzz on sales titles The Company Men, written and directed by TV's John Wells, starring Ben Affleck and Tommy Lee Jones (Slashfilm: "Wow, really loved Company Men, but I understand why some might not -- it might be bleaker than The Road") and Australian Animal Kingdom (Coming Attractions: "Whoaaa Animal Kingdom was frickin fantastic! This could win the Audience Award in the World Dramatic category. It's that good.")

Also playing well are three upbeat movies with hard-to-remember-names, Nicole Holofcener's thoughtful, well-observed portrait of neurotic, flawed New Yorkers, starring Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall and Amanda Peet, Please Give, Happythankyouplease and Catfish. Holofcener shot Please Give, financed by Sony Pictures Classics, in 24 days for just $3 million. "I shoot fast," she told Spike Jonze at SPC's after-party. The director is in town with a 30-minute short financed by Absolut Vodka.

Meanwhile, despite reports of pulling back on production at Overture Films, execs Chris McGurk and Danny Rosett are trawling Sundance for good titles to buy. So are SPC, Apparition, Harvey Weinstein, Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions, Fox Searchlight, Magnolia and IFC. And also in town checking out movies that will inevitably not land big theatrical sales are so-called "self-service" distribs like Mark Urman's Paladin and Russell Schwartz's Pandemic Marketing, the wave of the future. More on this phenom anon.

Here's a trailer for Jonze's I'm Here: A Love Story in an Absolut World:


This article is related to: Festivals, Independents, Sundance


E-Mail Updates