Sundance Film Festival 2011

Ed Helms, Now and Then

Ed Helms, Now and Then

“Is it too early to declare 2011 as the year of Ed Helms?” wonders the Hollywood Reporter, citing the former Daily Show correspondent’s first starring role in the warmly received comedy CEDAR RAPIDS, which just debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, as well as roles in the forthcoming HANGOVER sequel and what is sure to…

Robert Redford on Career 'Irony'

Robert Redford on Career 'Irony'

You might be surprised to learn, as we were, that Sundance Film Festival founder Robert Redford, who has nurtured the work of countless filmmakers over the years, doesn’t have a scrum of those filmmakers clamoring to cast him in meaty roles. “I ask the question — I say, ‘Hey I’d like to be [in that…

CEDAR RAPIDS: A Film With Heart

CEDAR RAPIDS: A Film With Heart

Miguel Arteta’s CEDAR RAPIDS, which premiered Sunday night at the Sundance Film Festival, is garnering positive, if not rapturous, reviews. General consensus: The insurance-industry fish-out-of-water comedy, which stars Ed Helms, John C. Reilly, Anne Heche and Isiah Whitlock Jr.,  is slight, but sturdy, sweet and funny, with a lot of heart. A sampling of responses:…

And the Nominees Are … Sundance Film Festival Veterans

And the Nominees Are … Sundance Film Festival Veterans

About those Academy Award nominations announced this morning, Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan has noted a trend: If you add up the number of [Oscar] nominations [for films] from last year’s [Sundance Film] festival — 14 all told — it’s a more impressive total than the dozen for THE KING’S SPEECH. The two…

David O. Russell: From Ticket Taker to Oscar Nominee

David O. Russell: From Ticket Taker to Oscar Nominee

David O. Russell, who began his movie career as a Sundance Film Festival ticket taker in 1991, woke up today to find that his film THE FIGHTER had nabbed seven Academy Award nominations, including best picture and, for him, best director. It was a triumph for the filmmaker, who has experienced career ups and downs…

THE SON OF NO ONE Gets Harsh Reception

THE SON OF NO ONE Gets Harsh Reception

Despite an all-star cast featuring Al Pacino, Channing Tatum, Ray Liotta, Juliette Binoche and Katie Holmes and solid advance buzz, Dito Montiel’s THE SON OF NO ONE has been dubbed the 2011 Sundance Film Festival’s “first bomb.” At a screening for press and industry members on Monday, the crime drama, which is scheduled to close…

Kevin Smith: Indie King or God Complex?

Kevin Smith: Indie King or God Complex?

Kevin Smith protests the Westboro Baptist Church.
First there was the hype, then there was the letdown, and now, a day after Kevin Smith screened his latest film, RED STATE at Sundance, there is the residual anger. On Sunday, the CLERKS writer-director stunned audiences and film buyers alike by announcing that he was not, as promised, going to auction off the distribution rights to RED STATE, a movie he touted as a “horror movie” inspired by Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps.

Instead, Smith bought the rights himself, for twenty bucks, and said that in an act of anti-studio-system protest, he’d sell his own film, starting things off with a 15-city tour this summer. Smith’s disingenuousness was made all the worse by the overload of characteristic Smith hype that preceded RED STATE’s screening. (The protest/counter-protest outside the Eccles Theater being just one piece of his elaborate fabric.) Not helping matters is that the film, though loved by certain Smith die-hards, is generally considered a disappointment.

AMC Covers the Sundance Film Festival

AMC Covers the Sundance Film Festival

As you prowl around looking for Sundance Film Festival news, in between dashes from screening to screening in Park City or from blog to blog on your couch, permit us to point you to some of the nifty festival coverage on our sibling site AMC. AMC News will be blogging from the festival and will…

A Happy ANOTHER HAPPY DAY Story

A Happy ANOTHER HAPPY DAY Story

A meet-cute Sundance Film Festival story has the gossip press sighing: Ashton Kutcher reportedly surprised wife Demi Moore by showing up at a bash for Sam Levinson’s generally well-received ANOTHER HAPPY DAY, in which Moore stars with Ellen Barkin and Kate Bosworth. (The film debuted Sunday night in the festival’s U.S. Dramatic Competition.) According to…

A Flurry of Sundance Film Festival Deals

A Flurry of Sundance Film Festival Deals

More deals closed Monday at the Sundance Film Festival. Among them: Andrew Rossi’s PAGE ONE: A YEAR INSIDE THE NEW YORK TIMES: Magnolia Pictures and Participant Media have partnered to purchase the U.S. rights to the film, a documentary that takes viewers behind the scenes at the venerable broadsheet, with a theatrical release planned for this…

Sundance Film Festival Deals: HOMEWORK, MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE

Sundance Film Festival Deals: HOMEWORK, MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE

Fox Searchlight Pictures has snapped up two Sundance Film Festival films in rapid succession. On Sunday night, Fox Searchlight presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley announced that the company had acquired “most worldwide rights” to first-time filmmaker Gavin Wiesen’s HOMEWORK, a coming-of-age story starring Freddie Highmore, Emma Roberts, Michael Angarano, Elizabeth Reaser, Rita Wilson, Sam…

Sundance Film Festival: Chaz Bono Gets Standing O

Sundance Film Festival: Chaz Bono Gets Standing O

“I was living life as a man trapped in a female shell,” Chaz Bono says in Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey’s documentary chronicling his gender reassignment, BECOMING CHAZ, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday. “Now for the first time I’m living in my body.” Bono, who was greeted by a standing ovation…

Kevin Smith Makes Waves With RED STATE

Kevin Smith Makes Waves With RED STATE

Kevin Smith’s RED STATE, which opened at the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday night amidst protests by the inflammatory Christian fundamentalist group that inspired it (and counter-protests, in which Smith himself participated), is “cleverly contrarian enough to get a rise out of almost any audience,” Hollywood Reporter critic Todd McCarthy writes in one of the…

Joe Zee: how to dress Kate Bosworth, Demi Moore and Ellen Barkin

Joe Zee: how to dress Kate Bosworth, Demi Moore and Ellen Barkin

Still from US Dramatic Competition film ANOTHER HAPPY DAY.
I met costume designer Stacey Battat way back when she was still working for Marc Jacobs in their Mercer Street store, which probably explains her close relationship to Sofia Coppola. Flash-forward to today, she was most recently the costume designer for Sofia’s newest film, Somewhere, as well as the recent Gwyneth Paltrow musical vehicle, COUNTRY STRONG.

Cory Booker Brings BRICK CITY to Park City

Cory Booker Brings BRICK CITY to Park City

Forest Whitaker and Newark Mayor Cory Booker (Photo Credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images). For more images from this party, check out the photo gallery.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker was “in the house” on Sunday, which is how he was introduced at a screening of the documentary series BRICK CITY, whose second season premieres next Sunday on Sundance Channel.

Wearing jeans, hiking shoes, and a black zipper-neck sweater, Booker was in non-politician mode as he spoke with the show’s executive producer Forest Whittaker, and co-directors Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin in front of a small audience gathered at the Bing Bar on Main Street. Also in the house: Isabella Rossellini and Rosie O’Donnell, who before the screening was posing with a small rescue dog wrapped up in a snow-suit. “It’s going to be a photo spread, me and my puppy,” O’Donnell joked.

This season of BRICK CITY, which feels like a docu-version of The Wire, focuses more singularly on Booker as he fights for re-election, and faces severe budget-cuts, a rising crime rate, and a faith-losing constituency.

The year “was a battle for him,” Benjamin said of Booker. “Because every incumbent in America is suffering a lot of pushback because of government and dwindling funds and resources for everything… It’s been a tough year for him.”

Sundance Film Festival Review Roundup: THE GUARD

Sundance Film Festival Review Roundup: THE GUARD

Another Sundance Film Festival movie getting good buzz: John Michael McDonagh’s Irish-inflected buddy-cop film THE GUARD, starring Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle, which premiered Thursday night as part of the festival’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition. Some critical responses: “It’s McDonagh’s wicked one-liners – and the skillful timing of Gleeson and Cheadle – that gives this…

Paul Rudd Tackles MY IDIOT BROTHER

Paul Rudd Tackles MY IDIOT BROTHER

With his MY IDIOT BROTHER, Jesse Peretz seeks to follow in the delicate footsteps of successful dramatic-comedy hybrids from past Sundance Film Festivals like LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE and “(500) DAYS OF SUMMER,” the Los Angeles Times notes. Paul Rudd plays the film’s bearded, Croc-wearing, granola-eating, idealistic title character, who works his way through the households…

Sundance Film Festival Deals: MARGIN CALL

Sundance Film Festival Deals: MARGIN CALL

Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions announced Sunday that, following all-night negotiations, they had teamed up to acquire the domestic distribution rights to J.C. Chandor’s financial-industry thriller MARGIN CALL. The film, which officially debuts at the Sundance Film Festival on Tuesday, Jan. 25, but was screened for the press and members of the industry on Friday morning,…

Festival Parties: James Franco Channels Suzanne Somers

Festival Parties: James Franco Channels Suzanne Somers

James Franco’s installation at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, THREE’S COMPANY: THE DRAMA, sounds like something you have to experience firsthand to fully appreciate. In it, he seeks to examine the classic ‘70s sitcom, featuring those three kooky roomies Chrissy, Janet and Jack, by, according to the official description, “breaking out individual elements of narrative,…

Lizzie Olsen is this year's "It" Girl

Lizzie Olsen is this year's "It" Girl

Lizzie Olsen at Sundance Channel HQ. A week ago, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Olsen was just another 21-year-old senior at NYU who happened to have two very famous half-sisters: the TV-movie-fashion-and-overall-marketing phenomenon known as Mary Kate and Ashley. This week, thanks to the Sundance Film Festival, where she’s starring in two much-buzzed about films (MARTHA MARCY MAY…

Sundance Film Festival Deals: LIKE CRAZY

Sundance Film Festival Deals: LIKE CRAZY

In what Entertainment Weekly is calling “the first big sale” at the Sundance Film Festival, Drake Doremus’s LIKE CRAZY got snatched up by Paramount Pictures on Saturday night following “an all-night bidding session.” The film, a long-distance love story starring Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones, from the director who brought the very different film DOUCHEBAG…

Buzz on the Bus

Buzz on the Bus

Where do you go to hear about the best films at the Sundance Film Festival, network with filmmakers, and meet chicks? On the bus of course! It’s all about public transit in Park City. Want to see more? Check out clips from the festival here. Be sure to satisfy all your festival needs with the…

Harry Belafonte – More Than A Legendary Singer

Harry Belafonte – More Than A Legendary Singer

Harry Belafonte’s life intertwined in historical events, makes SING YOUR SONG more than a singer’s legacy. Want to see more? Check out clips from the festival here. Be sure to satisfy all your festival needs with the latest buzz, top stories, and celebrity interviews from Sundance Channel’s coverage of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

An Interview With Director James Marsh of PROJECT NIM

An Interview With Director James Marsh of PROJECT NIM

Can a Chimpanzee be humanized? View to learn more. Want to see more? Check out clips from the festival here. Be sure to satisfy all your festival needs with the latest buzz, top stories, and celebrity interviews from Sundance Channel’s coverage of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

Festivals SUNcovered: Sundance Channel HQ

Festivals SUNcovered: Sundance Channel HQ

Get a sneak peak of the Sundance Channel HQ in Park City, Utah and see how they work their magic to bring the Sundance 2011 Film Festival to you. Want to see more? Check out clips from the festival here. Be sure to satisfy all your festival needs with the latest buzz, top stories, and…