JoBlo.com/Sundance #1

by Scott Weinberg

Hey there, you cinematic carnivores. Welcome to yet another year at Sundance Film Festival. I've heard a lot of complaints from people that "Meh, Sundance sucks this year," but since most of those comments are coming from people who've seen precisely NONE of the movie selections, you'll forgive me if I don't put too much stock in such comments. (It'd be like someone yelling how rotten a cheeseburger is without bothering to take a bite.) Yeah, I've seen a few clunkers (find me a film fest that DOESN'T have a few) but I've also seen some surprisingly solid titles as well. Here's a small fistful:

Note: Clips are courtesy of The Sundance Channel.


Definitely my favorite of the festival (so far), this one stars John Cusack as a retail manager and devoted father of two young daughters. But when the poor guy learns that his wife has been killed in Iraq, he suffers through a painful crisis. With absolutely NO idea how to break the horrible news to his girls, Cusack packs 'em into the mini-van and hits the highway for an impromptu family road trip. Sincere, sweet and entirely hanky-worthy, this movie hit me right in the gut ... and it felt pretty darn good. Plus, c'mon, it's Cusack!


Another unexpected winner. Michael Pitt plays a good-natured yet wandering homeless kid who strikes up an unlikely friendship with a semi-sleazy paparazzi photographer (as played by the excellent Steve Buscemi). It's a little funny, a little serious, and quite a bit more fair-minded and insightful than I expected. Throw in a quietly amusing performance by Alison Lohman as a mega-pop-star diva-hottie and a few solid surprises along the way, and you have Tom DiCillo's best flick since Living in Oblivion.



Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney play a pair of semi-estranged siblings who are forced to work together when their ailing old papa needs to find a new place to live. Slyly amusing (but only in the most realistic ways) and strangely touching, this one's not a big colorful indie extravaganza, but it boasts a pair of great performances and a screenplay that clearly comes from a very sincere place. Not for all tastes, but a darn fine movie all the same.


Yep, this is the one you've been hearing about; it's about a teenage girl who discovers she has, um, a set of teeth in a decidedly, well, feminine area. Yeah, you got it. You may have never heard of "vagina dentata" before, but it's been a nasty little myth for at least a thousand years or so -- and now it's earned its very own movie. Equal parts sickly amusing and outspokenly horrific, Teeth is a brave, brazen and bizarrely entertaining little horror/comedy. Obviously not for the squeamish (or for the guys who are already terrified of women), but I think it's one of the slickest, sickest looks at young women since my beloved MAY hit the scene.


Coming soon: Catherine Keener puts out cigarettes on Ellen Page's back, Parker Posey hooks up with a Frenchman, and some guy gets killed after allowing a horse to, um, schtup him! Ah, Sundance!


Source: JoBlo.com



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