January 25, 2012 at 06:31 PM EST

The 2012 Sundance Film Festival is entering its sleepy second half, when the crush of celebrities and traffic and gifting suites and party buses have all evaporated into the crisp Utah air, and nothing is left but the movies themselves. If the final films playing at the festival are as good as EW’s Owen Gleiberman found the first half’s films to be, then this year’s Sundance will definitely be remembered as one of the best in recent memory. Check out our far-ranging conversation about the Sundance highlights (and a few lowlights) below, including Richard Gere in Arbitrage, the Kennedy-family doc Ethel, and Josh Radnor’s Liberal Arts

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Read more:

Sundance: Richard Gere rules in the tasty ‘Arbitrage.’ Plus, a possible festival award winner (though for the wrong reasons)

Sundance: Peter Jackson, Damien Echols on ‘West of Memphis,’ and visiting ‘The Hobbit’ set — VIDEO

Sundance: Spike Lee on ‘Red Hook Summer,’ George Lucas, and Tyler Perry — VIDEO

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