The Sundance Film Festival is best known as a haven for the sort of risky, low-budget movies that might otherwise fall through the cracks between the latest Hollywood blockbusters… but that doesn’t mean Sundance movies can’t make some serious bank! Here are 10 films that took home a little something more than just awards and acclaim — from “Four Weddings and a Funeral” to “Memento.”
Little Miss Sunshine
Beat the heat with a weekend of watching movies. This week, we’ve got a recent indie classic and some steamy period pieces featuring some now famous folks engaging in sexiness…so you can say you knew them when.
I know the very IMPORTANT opinions of the showrunner, and executive producer, of Two and A Half Men are probably almost TOO important to you people. So you probably agree with him when he says there are just too many tv shows and movies starring women these day. I mean why wouldn’t you? He’s the guy that came up with the solution to “but what happens when three men are too much?” I happen to be on the same page as this dude. There are too many models on Entourage, too many Victoria’s Secret Specials, too many women wearing bikinis on Spike TV, and most of all, there are too many women having sex with Ashton Kutcher on Two and A Half Men. I happen to like a movie with a little more bite to it–starring females that are asskickers, every day heroes, or just happen to not worry what they look like in a bikini. You know, girls that stay away from Turtle (Entourage shout out!) and perhaps might be a role model for the millions of young girls out there who are six and already starting to worry about their love handles. Here are my favorites:
I’m writing to give props to a small company that I love … Big Beach Films. Why do I love them? (They have summarily rejected plenty of my own scripts … so why?) Well, they’ve been making good work. They’ve been taking chances.
Formed in 2004 by producer Peter Saraf and funder/producer Marc Turtletaub, one of Big Beach’s first films was Liev Schrieber’s EVERYTHING WAS ILLUMINATED. A success? Well, not really. It had some beautiful elements. But overall, adaptation is really difficult, and this epic Jonathan Safron Foer novel was simply tough to reduce to the screen. When the documentary OPERATION FILMMAKER hit the screen, a profile of ILLUMINATED’s Iraqi intern, it didn’t help in making the film look a little indulgent. But Big Beach survived it without a hiccup – and maybe ended up looking okay. (Trailer here.)
The next film out was LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE. Nuf said.
By Sunday morning, with the snow taking a break and the sun shining, the deal-making aspect of Sundance finally kicked into high gear. Woohoo!
Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions announced that they’d closed a deal for MARGIN CALL, the Kevin Spacey financial thriller that excited early interest from buyers and is considered one of the more broad-reaching films here.
While Mr. Redford made riding a horse look good, a horse itself doesn’t necessarily provide much character unless it happens to be a “black beauty.” The car however, the mode of transportation that ultimately replaced the horse, is quite another thing. It lends itself to the big screen and can steal the limelight from its…
The early morning announcement of the Academy Awards [www.imdb.com] marked the next step of the journey that many films began at Sundance last year. Three of the narrative films were on the nomination slate: LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE [www.imdb.com](Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress for Abigail Breslin and Best Original Screenplay; HALF NELSON [www.imdb.com] (Best Actor for Ryan Gosling); THE ILLUSIONIST [www.imdb.com] (Best Cinematography). And two documentaries are also up for Oscars: AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH [www.imdb.com] (Best Documentary, Original Song); IRAQ IN FRAGMENTS [www.imdb.com] (Best Documentary). Finally WEST BANK STORY [www.imdb.com] is up for Short Film: Live Action.