So far, the Sundance Film Festival is only a couple days in but there have been a number of big buzz movies and one that had everyone excited sight unseen is the latest comedy from Lynn Shelton, Laggies, starring Keira Knightley, Sam Rockwell and Chloe Moretz. After generally positive reactions following its premiere on Friday night, the distributors are circling and fledgling distributor A24 has stepped up to join the bidding war to distribute the film.
This is Shelton's third year in a row at Sundance, having brought her previous movie Touchy Feely there last year and My Sister's Sister, starring Emily Blunt, RoseMarie DeWitt and Mark Duplass a year earlier.
In Laggies, Knightley (who also made waves at Toronto with Can A Song Save Your Life? plays a 28-year-old woman who'd rather hang out with girls in high school rather than giving up her life to marry her fiancé.
A24 has had significant success in 2013 with movies like Spring Breakers and Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring and they're already stepping forward as a real player when it comes to festival pick-ups if they are able to close the deal for Shelton's latest film.
According to Deadline there are still five bidders in the mix to pick up the movie for somewhere around $2 million, but clearly, there's a lot of distributors who want to be in the Lynn Shelton game right now. (UPDATE: A24 has indeed closed the deal and will give Shelton's new movie a summer release.)
A couple comments from the premiere:
Jeff Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere tweeted: There’s a place for light-ish relationship movies about youngish women, and trust me -- "Laggies" is one of these films that works. "Laggies" is about shifting and facing up and moving on and going with it. I swear to God it works, and it has the great Sam Rockwell!
The Playlistjoined in with: "Laggies: Sam Rockwell salvages it (sorta), occasionally funny & charming, but a total mess of a movie w sociopath lead."
Alex Billington of First Showing and Anthony Breznican of EW.com both pointed out praise for Kaitlyn Dever from last year's indie breakout Short Term 12, Billington tweeting: "Biggest laugh in all of Laggies comes from another one of the breakout stars of Short Term 12 - Kaitlyn Dever, who played Jayden in that."
Breznican added: "Keep an eye on ShortTerm12's @KaitlynDever,who has a small role in Laggies. She steals movies now, but soon she'll be owning them. #sundance"
You can also read Variety's positive review of the film here, which puts the spotlight on Knightley's performance