IFC Films have thrown their hat into the ring with the Sundance Film Festival pick-ups, closing a deal to distribute the Jim Mickle-directed drama Cold in July, based on Joe R. Lansdale’s novel and starring Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard, Don Johnson and Vinessa Shaw. This is following a deal to distribute “Mad Men” star John Slattery’s directing debut God’s Pocket, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and based on the novel by Pete Dexter.
Cold in July premiered on Saturday night in the U.S. dramatic competition with Hall playing a Texas man who kills a home intruder and end up having to face the dead man’s father who wants justice for the killing. God’s Pocket stars Hoffman as a man in a similarly dire situation, trying to cover up the death of his stepson in a construction “accident” putting him into a life and death struggle.
Of the two movies, Cold in July has generally received a more favorable reaction out of Sundance with William Goss tweeting: “Cold in July: Jim Mickle applies Jaws’ cagey group dynamic to A History of Violence’s upset domesticity. Of course I dug it.”
/Film’s Germain Lussier adding: “Never for one second did I have any idea where Cold in July was going. A tense, awesome ride with a super cool edge.”
The Hollywood Reporter‘s favorable review also compared the movie to David Cronenberg’s A History of Violence.
Variety called Slattery’s debut a “strained and tedious pile-up of small-town stupidity” in their own review, and ScreenDaily‘s Tim Grierson called the movie> a “a drab blue-collar comedy” in his review.
With the Sundance Film Festival now past the opening weekend and midway through the second week, many of the biggest premieres have already past, but with many sales taking place on a daily basis, we can probably expect two or three more big announcements in the coming days. So far, Kristen Stewart’s Camp X-Ray, one of the big buzz movies going into Sundance has yet to receive distribution.