helen hunt

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD and more Sundance faves earn Oscar nominations

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD and more Sundance faves earn Oscar nominations

Every year there’s one. A surprise, sometimes a long-shot, but a performance that’s so undeniably stunning it just can’t be ignored by audiences (or the Academy). And in this year’s Oscar nominations — announced today — that surprise was Sundance Film Festival favorite BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD’s QuvenzhanĂ© Wallis, who at 9 years old is the youngest Best Actress hopeful ever. (For the past decade, WHALE RIDER’s Keisha Castle-Hughes has owned that distinction, but she was a whopping 13 years old when nominated.)

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD and more Sundance faves earn Oscar nominations

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD and more Sundance faves earn Oscar nominations

Every year there’s one. A surprise, sometimes a long-shot, but a performance that’s so undeniably stunning it just can’t be ignored by audiences (or the Academy). And in this year’s Oscar nominations — announced today — that surprise was Sundance Film Festival favorite BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD’s QuvenzhanĂ© Wallis, who at 9 years old is the youngest Best Actress hopeful ever. (For the past decade, WHALE RIDER’s Keisha Castle-Hughes has owned that distinction, but she was a whopping 13 years old when nominated.)

The Sundance Review Revue: THE SURROGATE

The Sundance Review Revue: THE SURROGATE

The 2012 Sundance Film Festival has had no shortage of well-received movies. BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, DETROPIA, THE RAID and more have drawn very strong, very positive reactions from both audiences and critics. But they all pale before the response to THE SURROGATE, whose reception in Park City has been nothing less than orgasmic.…

THE SURROGATE: John Hawkes as a paraplegic poet

THE SURROGATE: John Hawkes as a paraplegic poet

THE SURROGATE is, so far, one of the most anticipated films for Sundance 2012. To the list of best-known actors in this year’s festival, including John Krasinski, Bruce Willis, Michael Cera, Amanda Seyfried, Danny Glover and Common, THE SURROGATE adds Helen Hunt, William H. Macy, and Oscar nominee John Hawkes. Hawkes, whose recent turns at Sundance have included a cult leader and a Meth addict, now plays a paralyzed journalist and poet. The film is based on the true story of how polio survivor Mark O’Brien, who spent much of his life on an iron lung, eventually lost his virginity with help from his priest and a sex surrogate. O’Brien’s relationship with the surrogate, played by Helen Hunt, changes both of their lives. Ben Lewin, himself a polio survivor, writes and directs.