Promising Films from Sundance 2010

Tonight is the opening night of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, arguably the biggest and most important film festival in the U.S. Every year tens of thousands of filmmakers, actors and fans swarm Park City, Utah to attend the world premieres of the latest independent films from some of the most cutting edge writers and directors working in the biz today. Sundance has become known for premiering and screening some of the best independent films in recent memory (Precious, Little Miss Sunshine, Garden State, Donnie Darko, Saved!, Maria Full of Grace.) The list is very long and very impressive. Just because a a film is independent though doesn’t necessarily mean it is good, in fact there are many terrible “indie” films. Nevertheless when a film is made independently, the filmmakers have more creative freedom and that I think is a good thing. Here are some films that will be premiering at this year’s film festival that you may want to check out because to quote Entourage’s Ari Gold “You don’t come to Sundance for the snow; you come for the heat.”

Howl

This film has its world premiere tonight and recounts the 1957 obscenity trial revolving around a young Allen Ginsberg, after writing his infamous poem. The fantastic cast includes some of my favorite actors (James Franco, Mary-Louise Parker, Jon Hamm, Jeff Daniels, David Strathairn).

The Runaways

This film follows Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart), Cherrie Currie (Dakota Fanning) and their band The Runaways during their dramatic rise to fame in 1970s Los Angeles. As a Joan Jett fan, I’m excited to see how the film depicts her and I am looking forward to seeing Fanning work her acting muscles again.

The Company Men

From what I gather this movie is about corporate downsizing and according to the Sundance website, the film is “a tribute to America’s unsung heroes: hard-working men caught in life’s unexpected misfortunes.” This film also has a fantastic cast including Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner, Chris Cooper and Rosemarie DeWitt.

Blue Valentine

Director Derek Cianfrance chronicles a marriage during its stale and sad state and also shows us how it was once passionate and full of life. The fact that Ryan Gosling and Michelle Wiliams play the married couple alone makes me want to see this movie.

Get Low

Old grumpy Felix has lived alone for the last 38 years in a remote cabin. One day he decides to throw himself a funeral party and invites all the townspeople to attend. If the premise alone didn’t sound awesome, here’s the amazing cast: Robert Duvall, Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek.

Please Give

Please Give is the story of a married New York couple who are planning to expand their apartment by buying the unit next door to theirs, the only problem is that they have to wait for the old woman living in it to die first. Starring the always-lovely Catherine Keener and the accomplished Oliver Platt.

The Kids Are All Right

This film follows a lesbian couple living in Los Angeles and their children’s search for their biological father. The film stars two of my favorite/ two of the best actresses working today (Julianne Moore and Annette Benning) and the great Mark Ruffalo.

Armless

John has a secret desire to have his arms cut off so he goes and tries to find a doctor who will actually do this. Doesn’t sound crazy enough? Then his mother tells his wife that he is is cheating on her, so she decides to find John – so she can cut off his balls.

HIGH school

The protagonist of this film tries to get the entire student body of his school stoned. This should be funny.

Waiting for Superman

A documentary about our failing education system.

Teenage Paparazzo

A documentary about a 13-year-old paparazzo. This sounds fascinating and disturbing.

So those are just a few of the many, many films being screened at Sundance. For a complete list click here:  http://sundance.bside.com/2010/films

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