Jennifer Aniston gets a deal, John Malkovich debuts as a director, and more
Javier Bardem, John Malkovich, ...
Credit: Javier Bardem and John Malkovich: Jeff Vespa/

If this update from Sundance was anything like the festival itself, it would be shot on digital camera, star Tim Blake Nelson and Christina Ricci, and eventually be sold for a cool $3 million (of which the author would get nothing). Here’s a mid-week progress report on Park City’s cinema circus:

MONEY TALK Miramax’s $5 million tab for the Sigourney Weaver comedy ”Tadpole” may have been the priciest pick-up so far. But Harvey and Co.aren’t the only ones throwing their weight around. Sony Pictures Classics shelled out $2 million for ”Love Liza,” featuring Philip Seymour Hoffman as a depressed widower, while Fox Searchlight scooped up the dark Jennifer Aniston-led comedy ”The Good Girl” for $4 million.

‘DANCER’ IN THE DARK Also sparking a bidding war is John Malkovich’s directorial debut ”The Dancer Upstairs,” a taut political thriller starring Javier Bardem (”Before Night Falls”). But the Latin America-set drama seems to have left numerous audience members confused, because of the film’s many dialects and dictions. (Malkovich blamed poor screening-room sound for the discontent.) ”I don’t foresee any problems, ” he says dryly (note: John Malkovich says *everything* dryly). ”It’s a very clear language.”