Reported from Park City by Vanessa Juarez, Whitney Pastorek, Missy Schwartz, Sean Smith, Adam B. Vary, and Dawnie Walton
Technically, it was day 2, but for most people on the ground in Park City, Utah, Friday, Jan. 18, was the start of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. And guess what? It snowed! And it was cold! And everything happened at head-scramblingly high altitude! Ah, Sundance, old friend. We missed you.
Anyway, some EW reporters spent the day recovering from having come within fainting distance of their top crush of the 1970s (the Sundance Kid himself, Robert Redford), while others exhaled after getting a whiff of sweet-scented Colin Farrell at the red-carpet premiere of his crime comedy In Bruges.
Elsewhere, Michael Keaton bumped into Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson (wearing a very cool — er, warm — fuzzy hat). Alan Rickman dined with his Bottle Shock cast-and-crew-mates. And Wackness star Mary-Kate Olsen told a suddenly rapt audience that filming her makeout session with costar Ben Kingsley was ”fun” — even though she was worried the whole time about accidentally removing his hairpiece. Oh yeah, EW was there, on the scene.
Not that every crowd was treated to such humorous delights. Good Dick, a video-store-set comic love story, starring Jason Ritter, Tom Arnold, and newcomer Marianna Palka (who also wrote and directed), was met with a, shall we say, less-than-tepid response. Many acquisitions people walked out of the film’s 11:30 a.m. screening early, and while EW reporters were waiting for the bus following the show, one passerby summed up the movie thusly, ”I didn’t know they made them that bad.” Ouch. Meanwhile, things didn’t get much better at the 3:15 presentation of The Guitar, a ”fairy tale” about a woman (Saffron Burrows) dying of cancer, which is the feature directorial debut of one Amy Redford (yes, daughter of). As an EW reporter observed in the theater, you can always tell that a movie is not playing well when Blackberry screens start flickering in the audience.
Of course, it all happened on a day that started with a press screening of the festival’s first acquisition, The Black List (a documentary by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and Elvis Mitchell about the contemporary African-American experience), where Chris Rock, one of the film’s subjects, had his comic thunder stolen by another interviewee…political adviser Vernon Jordan. Indeed, at Sundance, you never know what to expect.
(Compiled by Joshua Rich)