St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday this year (which means I won’t have jump over any drunk teenagers to get to work in Manhattan). I’m not sure what you’ve got planned, but I’m guessing it involves booze, unlike how they celebrate it in Ireland…with church, tea and maybe booze. I tend to stay indoors every March 17th. The world just isn’t safe for red headed ladies to roam the streets on St. Patrick’s day. Instead, I’ll be watching some of my favorite Irish films. Right after I watch this awesome Guinness commercial celebrating the genteel world of dog herding (again) and right before I don’t buy Nike’s new sneakers terrorized Irish civilians.
The 2011 Sundance Film Festival was banner year, introducing many awards-bait films into the fold, and one unique box office hit. There were, however, also some incredibly hyped films acquired at Sundance that, whether it be faulty marketing, a poor release strategy, or general disinterest, failed to connect with audiences. Here are the five winners (MARGIN CALL) and losers (LIKE CRAZY) among the films that were purchased at last year’s Sundance Film Festival. We’ve already seen one sale at Sundance 2012 (Sony Pictures Classics just picked SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN), so it will be interesting to see if there were any lessons learned from this lot:
Director Drake Doremus accepts the Grand Jury Prize: U. S. Dramatic for ‘Like Crazy’ at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival Awards Night Ceremony at Basin Recreation Field House on January 29, 2011 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Fred Hayes/Getty Images)
And the winner is… Drake Doremus’ LIKE CRAZY, which was just awarded the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s awards ceremony.
The film arrived at Sundance with tremendous buzz—Los Angeles Times critic Kenneth Turan was particularly laudatory—and went on to be rapturously received. It was quickly picked up for distribution by Paramount Pictures and Indian Paintbrush for $4 million, a sale that kicked off a week-long flurry of deals and acquisitions, the likes of which haven’t been seen in Park City since the 1990’s.
Along the way, there were other films that captured audiences’ hearts—MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE; HIGHER GROUND; THE GUARD—but LIKE CRAZY, which stars up-and-comers Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones as college students in Los Angeles whose romance is interrupted by the INS (Jones plays a Brit who overstays her visa), was a persistent favorite throughout the week, thus its win is not much of a surprise.
The Sundance Film Festival deal-making continues. Recent acquisitions: IFC Films has nabbed the North American rights to director David Mackenzie’s romantic thriller PERFECT SENSE, starring Ewan McGregor and Eva Green, which debuted at the festival in the Premieres section on Monday night. (Just announced; see trailer below) The Weinstein Company has picked up the worldwide…
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…
With everyone fussing about who the new, fresh faces are at Sundance, not much has been said about one of the older, less fresh faces who is nonetheless emerging as one of the festival’s early delights: Brendan Gleeson, the 56-year-old Irish actor who was once told by a Hollywood agent that he was “too old…