Getting to be the first person in the world to see a film in the theater kind of makes for a special atmosphere and experience. It may or may not help the quality of the film, but it certainly helps in getting the audience in the right frame of mind. At this year’s Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah the crowds are going to get first looks at a whole slew and range of films; from seasoned veterans such as Michael Winterbottom’s latest to the directorial debut of RowThree favorite Phillip Seymour Hoffman and everyone in between. Once again, this tiny snowy village in a remote part of the country is the happening spot for ten days in late January. See you there?
Abel/Mexico (Director: Diego Luna; Screenwriters: Diego Luna and Agusto Mendoza)—A peculiar young boy, blurring reality and fantasy, assumes the responsibilities of a family man in his father’s absence. Cast: José María Yazpik, Karina Gidi, Carlos Aragon, Christopher Ruiz-Esparza, Gerardo Ruiz-Esparza.. World Premiere
Cane Toads: The Conquest/USA (Director and screenwriter: Mark Lewis)—In 3D, Mark Lewis explores one of Australia’s greatest environmental catastrophes as he follows the unstoppable march of the cane toad across the Australian continent. World Premiere
The Company Men/USA (Director: John Wells)—Three company men attempt to survive a round of corporate downsizing while trying to fend off its affects on their families and their identities. Cast: Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper, Rosemarie DeWitt. World Premiere
The Extra Man/USA (Directors: Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini; Screenwriters: Robert Pulcini, Jonathan Ames and Shari Springer Berman)—A down-and-out playwright who escorts wealthy widows in Manhattan’s Upper East Side takes a young aspiring writer under his wing. Cast: Katie Holmes, John C. Reilly, Paul Dano, Kevin Kline, Alicia Goranson. World Premiere
Get Low/USA (Director: Aaron Schneider; Screenwriters: Chris Provenzano and C. Gaby Mitchell)—A film spun out of equal parts folk tale, fable and real-life legend about a mysterious, 1930s Tennessee hermit plans his own rollicking funeral party… while still alive. Cast: Robert Duvall, Bill Murray. U.S. Premiere. Salt Lake City Gala Film (Row Three Review)
Jack Goes Boating/USA (Director: Philip Seymour Hoffman; Screenwriter: Bob Glaudini)—Glaudini)—A limo driver’s blind date sparks a tale of love, betrayal, friendship, and grace centered around two working-class New York City couples. Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Ryan, John Ortiz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Tom McCarthy. World Premiere
The Killer Inside Me/USA (Director: Michael Winterbottom; Screenwriter: John Curran)—Deputy Sheriff Lou Ford is a pillar of the community in his small Texan town; patient, polite and well liked, until he starts killing people. Cast: Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, Simon Baker, Elias Koteas. World Premiere
Nowhere Boy/UK (Director: Sam Taylor Wood; Screenwriters: Julia Baird and Matt Greenhalgh)—A teenage John Lennon confronts wrenching family secrets and finds his musical voice in late 1950s Liverpool. Cast: Aaron Johnson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Thomas Sangster, Anne-Marie Duff, David Morrissey. International Premiere
Please Give/USA (Director and screenwriter: Nicole Holofcener)—In New York City, a husband and wife butt heads with the granddaughters of the elderly woman who lives next door. Cast: Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall, Catherine Keener, Sarah Steele. World Premiere
The Runaways/USA (Director and screenwriter: Floria Sigismondi)—In 1970s LA, a tough teenager named Joan Jett connects with an eccentric producer to form an all-girl band that would launch her career and make rock history. Cast: Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Scout Taylor-Compton, Michael Shannon, Alia Shawkat, Tatum O’Neal. World Premiere
Shock Doctrine/USA (Directors: Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross)—Based on the book by award-winning journalist Naomi Klein, “Shock Doctrine” exposes how shock is used to implement economic policy in vulnerable environments. North American Premiere
Twelve/USA (Director: Joel Schumacher; Screenwriter: Jordan Melamed)—A chronicle of the highs and lows of privileged kids on Manhattan’s Upper East Side involving sex, drugs and murder. Cast: Chace Crawford, Emma Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland, 50 Cent, Zoë Kravitz. World Premiere. Closing Night Film
Untitled Duplass Brothers Project/USA (Directors/screenwriters: Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass)—A recently divorced guy meets a new lady. Then he meets her son who is well…interesting. Cast: John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei, Jonah Hill, Catherine Keener. World Premiere.