Since making her Sundance debut with HUMPDAY in 2009, writer-director Lynn Shelton’s steady output of work has accumulated into a distinctive brand. Always set in and around Seattle and starring either Mark Duplass (HUMPDAY) or Rosemary Dewitt (TOUCHY FEELY)—or, at her best, both of them (YOUR SISTER’S SISTER)—Shelton’s films are distinguished by their improvisational style and a tone that lies somewhere between laid back and extremely uncomfortable. Her latest film, LAGGIES, marks the first time she’s directed a film whose script she didn’t personally pen. Although the story by Andrea Seigel is more tightly constructed (and much more neatly wrapped up) than Shelton’s own improvised scripts, the story of arrested development in extremis fits neatly into the director’s oeuvre.
With the 2014 Sundance Film Festival kicking off tonight, the quality of this year’s lineup will gradually emerge in our daily coverage. However, for buyers at the festival, the question is less about the quality of various movies and more about their marketability. While the festival runs ten days, only a handful of movies in the main lineup have generated serious interest for distributors at this early stage. Here’s a look at ten contenders.