Sundance: A Preview in Pictures – Part 2

Lovelace

Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman and based on Eric Danville’s novel, this high profile biopic stars Amanda Seyfried, who replaced Lindsay Lohan in the role as the ’70s porn star infamous for the movie Deep Throat and how she transformed into a feminist, anti-porn activist. Seyfried is surrounded by an all-star cast that includes the likes of Peter Sarsgaard, Sharon Stone, Juno Temple, Wes Bentley, Hank Azaria, Bobby Cannavale, James Franco, Adam Brody, Chloe Sevigny and Sarah Jessica Parker, and it’s likely to be one of the more buzz-worthy films for that alone.

Mud (Roadside Attractions)

Jeff Nichols returns to Sundance following his breakout second movie, Take Shelter, starring Michael Shannon. This one is a coming-of-age story about two teenagers who encounter a fugitive named mud hiding out on an island in the Mississippi River and played by man of the moment, Matthew McConaughey, making his very first Sundance appearance ever. Reese Witherspoon is also in the movie, playing Mud’s girlfriend who is waiting for him in town and he tries to convince the boys to help him reunite with her.

The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman

Shia LaBeouf, making his very first Sundance appearance, and Evan Rachel Wood star in this romantic crime thriller by director Fredrik Bond, LaBeouf playing a guy who falls for the latter even though she’s already with a violent crime boss, played by the always excellent Mads Mikkelsen. It also stars Rupert Grint and Melissa Leo and it looks like it could be a solid crime flick.

Prince Avalanche

David Gordon Green is another Sundance vet going back to his 2003 film All the Real Girls which won a Special Jury Prize for “emotional truth.” Since then, he’s been there a number of times, with Snow Angels and the two movies directed by Craig Zobel, including last year’s controversial Compliance, but otherwise, Green’s mainly been playing in the studio sandbox until now. His Sundance return is a remake of an Icelandic film called Either Way, starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch as a pair of highway workers trying to find their way in life.

The Spectacular Now

James Ponsoldt’s Smashed played at last year’s Sundance in competition and got a lot of attention for Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s performance as an alcoholic school teacher and he’s back this year with an adaptation of Tim Tharp’s novel by the writers of the crowdpleasing Sundance hit (500) Days of Summer. This one’s about a partying high school senior played by Miles Teller (Footloose) who gets drunk after being dumped by his girlfriend and meets a nerdy “nice girl” played by The Descendants‘ Shailene Woodley.

Stoker (Fox Searchlight)

Korea’s #1 genre filmmaker Park Chan-wook (Oldboy) makes his English language debut with this thriller starring Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) as a girl whose father dies in a car accident after which she and her unstable mother (played by Nicole Kidman – a rare Sundance appearance for her as well) are visited by a charming man claiming to be her uncle (played by Matthew Goode). Anyone who knows Chan-wook’s work will know that this should be a visual treat.

Touchy Feely

Lynn Shelton’s Humpday was one of the big buzz films at Sundance in 2009 and her follow-up, Your Sister’s Sister, played last year as part of its lengthy festival reunion. For this scripted dramedy in competition, Shelton reunites with Rosemarie DeWitt from “YSS” as a masseuse who suddenly finds herself adverse to physical contact while Sundance favorite Josh Pais gets a rare lead role as her dentist brother.

Upstream Color

It’s been a long time since Shane Carruth’s time-traveling brainbuster Primer won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance–it was 2004 in fact–and he’s now back with his second movie, an equally enigmatic film that involves the relationship between a man and a woman that becomes something much more. Hopefully this one can be explained without diagrams and flow charts, unlike Primer.

The Way, Way Back

Less than a year after winning an Oscar for co-writing Alexander Payne’s The Descendants, TV stars Nat Faxon (Dean from “Community”) and Jim Rash (Ben from “Ben and Kate”) make their directorial debut with a coming of age story–another frequent Sundance staple–about a teenager trying to spend the summer with his mother and her overbearing boyfriend (played by Toni Collette and Steve Carell – reunited from the Sundance hit Little Miss Sunshine).

We Are What We Are

Jim Mickle and Nick Damici, the creators behind the indie horror films Mulberry Street and Stakeland, return with a remake of the Mexican horror film by Jorge Grau, about a family of cannibals who need to figure out how to survive after their father dies. This one stars Kelly McGillis from Top Gun, Witness and other ’80s classics as the family matriarch, continuing her fantastic resurrection thanks to these talented filmmakers.

Those are just some of the movies that we would hope to see if we were attending Sundance, but keep things here at ComingSoon.net and the Weekend Warrior blog where we’ll keep you updated on distribution deals and general reactions about some of the movies above that we can all look forward to seeing over the rest of the year.

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