Jan 25, 2010

SUNDANCE 2010: Catfish, Blue Valentine, Winter's Bone, Buried, Boy, Cyrus, Howl, Get Low, I'm Here, The Company Men

'[Winter's Bone] Debra Granik’s blend of low-budget regional realism and crime thriller is an absolute knockout, for me the narrative film of the festival so far. Young Jennifer Lawrence is sensational as Ree, fierce teenage scion of an Ozark family of bootleggers, outlaws and meth-cookers' — Salon

'The advance word from Sundance on “Blue Valentine”—a romantic drama by Derek Cianfrance in which a couple on the rocks (played by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams) revisit their relationship in flashbacks—has been very favorable.' — The New Yorker

'Overwhelmingly sad, honest, creepy and ultimately hopeful, Catfish is easily the most buzzed-about documentary of the Sundance Film Festival so far... Catfish is a must-see for the Friend-Me-Now generation, as well as a striking portrait of a modern-day online relationship' — Cinematical

'Earlier tonight I caught the midnight world premiere of Rodrigo Cortés' Buried, the stuck-in-a-coffin film starring Ryan Reynolds. In short, it was phenomenal... I already knew it was set entirely inside a coffin where Reynolds is stuck and buried, but the big question is if they could actually pull off a 90 minute film set entirely in a coffin. They did. They not only pulled it off, but it's an amazing film.' — First Showing

'Spike Jonze’s new half-hour short film titled I’m Here is a robot love story celebrating a life enriched by creativity...The film is sweet, charming and surprisingly naturalistic, a mix of a romantic fairytale and the sad reality of blind love.' — Slash Film

'Intelligent and highly respectful of its central character and his titular landmark poem, "HOWL" is an admirable if fundamentally academic exploration of the origins, impact, meaning and legacy of Allen Ginsberg's signal work. It is also an intriguing hybrid of documentary, narrative and animated filmmaking' — Variety

'Aaron Schneider's Get Low [is] a first-rate backwoods American drama with a touch of whimsy. Superbly acted by Robert Duvall , Bill Murray, Lucas Black, Sissy Spacek and Bill Cobbs. An eloquent, plain-spoken, true-heart thing about values, friendships, backstories and buried business' — Jeffrey Wells
Vanity Fair's Julian Sancton, meanwhile, has assembled a list of indie-film tropes and the Sundance movies that employ them:— Car accidents (Hesher, Welcome to the Rileys, Nowhere Boy, Enter the Void, Blue Valentine, Animal Kingdom, Boy); Dead parents, usually by car accident (Hesher, Enter the Void, Welcome to the Rileys, Night Catches Us, Boy, Nowhere Boy, Animal Kingdom, Winter's Bone); Dead children, usually by car accident (Welcome to the Rileys, I Am Love, Enter the Void, Night Catches Us, Dead pets, all by car accident (Boy, Blue Valentine); Deadbeats (Hesher, Blue Valentine, Boy, Sympathy for Delicious); Slovenly beards indicating despair (Hesher, Blue Valentine, Sympathy for Delicious, Enter the Void, Douchebag); Prominent cigarette-smoking (Welcome to the Rileys, Blue Valentine, Enter the Void, Nowhere Boy, Hesher); Sexless marriages (Welcome to the Rileys, Blue Valentine); Use of the song "You and Me" by Penny & The Quarters (Blue Valentine, Night Catches Us) and Kristen Stewart as a runaway (Welcome to the Rileys, The Runaways). The Carpetbagger adds: a New York setting (Holy Rollers, Please Give, The Extra Man, Howl, HappyThankYouMorePlease); Dept of Eagles and/or Grizzly Bear on the soundtrack (Blue Valentine, Jack Goes Boating), and Kristen Stewart in smudged eyeliner (Welcome to the Rileys, The Runaways).

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