Foot traffic on Main Street is building, and the deals are starting to go down. In the second part of my 2013 Sundance Film Festival opener, here are the films that have been mentioned most often by the buyers who’ll determine whether or not this will be a good festival for the filmmakers. There are some good-sounding films with strong casts, the kind that ring up decent numbers.
DON JON’S ADDICTION: Writer-director: Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Cast: Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Glenne Headly. Gordon-Levitt plays a porn addict who becomes torn between two women. This one premieres tonight, 6:30 PM at Eccles, and it will likely be the fest’s first real auction.
AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS: Writer-director: David Lowery. Cast: Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Nate Parker, Keith Carradine. The tale of an outlaw who escapes from prison and sets out across the Texas hills to reunite with his wife and the daughter he has never met. Killer title and good cast. 1st Screening – Sunday, January 20th, 12:15pm – Eccles
THE WAY, WAY BACK: Writer-director: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash. Cast: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph. An introverted 14-year-old comes into his own over the course of a comedic summer when he forms unlikely friendships with the gregarious manager of a rundown water park and the misfits who work there. Carell’s last festival film like this was Little Miss Sunshine. 1st Screening – Monday, January 21st, 3:30pm – Eccles
BREATHE IN: Writer-director: Drake Doremus. Cast: Guy Pearce, Amy Ryan, Felicity Jones, Mackenzie Davis. A teacher falls for one of his students, the one who just transferred from London. Doremus and Jones reteam from Like Crazy. 1st Screening – Saturday, January 19th, 3:00pm – Eccles
Related: Sundance: Five Directors To Watch
BEFORE MIDNIGHT: Writer-director: Richard Linklater (written with Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke). Sure it might be the lowest-grossing film franchise in film history, but buyers are sparked for the third installment which picks up Jesse and Celine nine years later in Greece, some two decades after they first met on a train bound for Vienna. 1st Screening – Sunday, January 20th, 9:45pm – Eccles
THE LIFEGUARD: Writer-director: Liz W. Garcia. Cast: Kristen Bell, Mamie Gummer, Martin Starr, Amy Madigan. Bell plays an ex-valedictorian who bails on her journo job in Gotham to return to her last happy place. That’s the family home in Connecticut, and she gets a lifeguard job and falls into a dangerous relationship with a troubled teen. 1st Screening – Saturday, January 19th, 5:30pm – Library
THE NECESSARY DEATH OF CHARLIE COUNTRYMAN: Director: Fredrik Bond. Writer, Matt Drake. Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Evan Rachel Wood, Mads Mikkelsen, Rupert Grint, Til Schweiger. Countryman is a young man who’s traveling abroad. When he falls for a beauty he becomes determined to find his way into her heart. That means taking brutal punishment from her violent ex. 1st Screening – Monday, January 21st, 6:30pm – Eccles
PRINCE AVALANCHE: Writer-director: David Gordon Green. Cast: Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch. Two highway road workers spend the summer of 1988 away from their city lives. The isolated landscape becomes a place of misadventure as the men find themselves at odds with each other and the women they left behind. 1st Screening – Sunday, January 20th, 2:30pm – Library
Related: Sundance: Five Producers To Watch
THE SPECTACULAR NOW: Director: James Ponsoldt. Writer: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber. Cast: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kyle Chandler. An extroverted high school senior vows to save a classmate who’s an introvert. They develop a deep and complicated relationship. 1st Screening – Friday, January 18th, 8:30pm – Library
TWO MOTHERS: Director: Anne Fontaine. Writer: Christopher Hampton. Cast: Naomi Watts, Robin Wright, Xavier Samuel, James Frecheville. Two lifelong friends fall in love with each other’s sons. Finally discovered, the affairs threaten to destroy their families. 1st Screening – Friday, January 18th, 9:45pm – Eccles
KILL YOUR DARLINGS: Director: John Krokidas. Writer: Austin Bunn, Krokidas. Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHann, Ben Foster, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston, Elizabeth Olsen. A murder brings together a young Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs at Columbia University in 1944, and the result is the birth of the Beat generation. 1st Screening – Friday, January 18th, 3:30pm – Eccles
THE LOOK OF LOVE: Director: Michael Winterbottom. Writer: Matt Greenhalgh. Cast: Steve Coogan, Anna Friel, Imogen Poots, Tamsin Egerton. British adult magazine publisher and entrepreneur Paul Raymond became one of the richest men in Britain at the cost of losing those closest to him. 1st Screening – Saturday, January 19th, 6:00pm – Eccles
LOVELACE: Director: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman. Writer: Andy Bellin. Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, Hank Azaria, Adam Brody, James Franco, Sharon Stone. The tragic tale of Linda Lovelace, star of Deep Throat, and the manipulative mate who abused and bullied her before she rose up and became a lightning rode for the feminist antipornography movement. 1st Screening – Tuesday, January 22nd, 9:45pm – Eccles
VERY GOOD GIRLS: Writer-director: Naomi Foner. Cast: Dakota Fanning, Elizabeth Olsen, Boyd Holbrook, Demi Moore, Richard Dreyfuss, Ellen Barkin. Two girls spend summer in Gotham after they graduate. Each is determined to lose her virginity, and they fall for the same boy. 1st Screening – Tuesday, January 22nd, 6:15pm – Eccles
HELL BABY: Writer-directors: Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon. Cast: Rob Corddry, Leslie Bibb, Keegan Michael Key, Riki Lindhome, Paul Scheer, Rob Huebel. A couple expecting a child moves into a haunted fixer-upper in New Orleans — a house with a demonic curse. Things spiral out of control and soon only the Vatican’s elite exorcism team tries to save the pair. 1st Screening – Sunday, January 20th, 11:45pm – Library
MAGIC MAGIC: Writer/director: Sebastian Silva. Cast: Michael Cera, Juno Temple, Emily Browning, Catalina Sandino, Agustin Sílva. If Alicia could just get some sleep, everything would be all right. As she and her close friend Sarah make their way through rural Chile with Sarah’s boyfriend, his sister, and their strange American friend Brink, Alicia’s insomnia slowly takes control. 1st Screening – Tuesday, January 22nd, 11:45pm – Library
A.C.O.D. (ADULT CHILDREN OF DIVORCE): Director: Stu Zicherman. Writers: Zicherman, Ben Karlin. Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Adam Scott, Amy Poehler, Jessica Alba, Jane Lynch, Richard Jenkins. A grown man long caught in the mess of his parents’ 15-year divorce was unknowingly part of a study on divorced children. The kid is enlisted for a follow-up years later, which wreaks new havoc on his family. 1st Screening – Wednesday, January 23, 6:30 PM at Eccles
LINSANITY: Director: Evan Leong. I include this one only because I am still afflicted with the title malady. Jeremy Lin, an un-drafted Chinese American point guard is picked up on waivers by the Knicks. Already cut by other teams, he’s on the verge of being dropped again when he’s put in the lineup as a starter. The kid, who is sleeping on his brother’s couch when this started, lit up Madison Square Garden for over a month and transformed the team with dazzling passes and a deft shooting touch, showing up established NBA stars until his season ended due to injury. A Harvard grad and no dummy, he made a killer deal with the Houston Rockets, and is a rising star. 1st Screening, Sunday January 20, 2:30 PM, The Marc.