Every time the Sundance Film Festival announces their competition slate, I respond with one of those blah-blah, gee-this-seems-interesting, well-maybe-not-because-most-of-the-descriptions-seem-boring, blah-dee-blah, I-don’t-actually-have-anything-to-say pieces. This time, however, I forgot the power cord and I’m in a Starbucks on Eighth Avenue and there’s only about 20 minutes left so I can’t really go to town. But some of the stand-outs are as follows:
(1) Blue Valentine, directed and co-written by Derek Cianfrance, with Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, Mike Vogel and John Doman costarring. Relationship drama of some mild interest because of Gosling and Williams, but I’m not holding my breath. I don’t know why I just said that.
(2) Douchebag, directed by Drake Doremus, written by Doremus, Lindsay Stidham, Doremus, Jonathan Schwartz and Andrew Dickler. Great title! Where’s the poster?
(3) Happythankyoumoreplease, directed and written by Josh Radnor. “Six New Yorkers negotiating love, friendship and gratitude when they’re too old to be precocious and not yet fully adults.” I smell a mumblecore movie. Is that what it is? If it is a mumblecore film why don’t they just say that and stop plotzing around? And if you can’t say “mumblecore” any more, what term is everyone supposed to use as a substitute?
(4) Holy Rollers, directed by Kevin Tyler Asch. Young Hasidic guy becomes an international Ecstasy smuggler. With Jesse Eisenberg!
(5) Howl, directed and written by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. Allen Ginsberg, 1950s obscenity trial, horn-rimmed glasses, the horror of the Eisenhower era. James Franco, David Strathairn, Jon Hamm, Mary-Louise Parker, Jeff Daniels.
That’s it…the battery is going. I’ll be dead in 90 seconds.