In Park City, Utah, the Sundance Film Festival is in full flurry, with dozens of movies seeing the dark insides of theaters for the first time, and indie filmmakers crossing their fingers in hopes of landing their pictures with a distributor. The festival, which runs Jan. 10 – 20, has already seen some breakouts — and some blunders. Here’s EW’s rundown on the films that have generated the most buzz so far.
1. ”Tadpole” The Sigourney Weaver comedy about a Voltaire-mad teen (Aaron Stanford) in love with an older woman is leading in the Film Most Likely to Get Snapped Up category. If you don’t already have tickets, you’re not going to get ’em.
2. ”Blue Car” Debuting writer-director Karen Moncrieff, is the indie on a roll with the aching story of an emotionally damaged girl (Agnes Brucker) who finds herself through poetry. (It isn’t as High Drama as it sounds). On Sunday night, Miramax was circling both this film and ”Tadpole.” Fans of TV’s ”Alias” will soon see Brucker in a guest spot; she has also filmed a role in Sandra Bullock’s ”Murder by Numbers.”
3. ”The Good Girl” ”Chuck and Buck”’s reunited director/writer team of Miguel Arteta and Mike White got raves for their new one, which stars Jennifer Aniston. The star-packed premiere saw a reunion of another sort, as Robert Redford bounded over to greet his ”Spy Games” co-star (and Aniston hubby) Brad Pitt.
4. ”Stolen Summer” Fans of HBO’s ”Project Greenlight” — which charts Pete Jones in his myriad filmmaking foibles (with occasional appearances by producers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck) — will be intrigued by this piece of news: His movie doesn’t suck! In fact, people are crazy for the flick, with lines wrapped around the corner.
5. ”Gerry” And in the love-it-or-hate-it category: Gus Van Sant’s new film, which he co-wrote with his stars, Matt Damon and Casey Affleck. While introducing the flick, Van Sant admitted he was nervous about the reception for his dialogue-sparse, allegorical story about two hikers who get hopelessly lost. (A fair number of snores, in fact, could be heard throughout the theater during the 103-minute film). But the slick soiree to celebrate the film was the place to be Saturday night, with guests of honor Van Sant, Damon, Affleck, and his brother Ben, in town for the debut. Those who didn’t make the invite list might have walked across the street for a very different party, celebrating the David Cross-Bob Odenkirk white-trash comedy ”Run Ronnie Run.” Attendees were treated to jello shots, hot dogs, car fresheners, and, oh, yes, ‘N Sync’s Lance Bass, who popped in to pay respects.
Coming Thursday, Jan. 17: EW.com’s report on the mid-week Sundance events