by Andre Soares, published on November 28, 2012 - 4:41 pm PST|
Sundance 2013 movies: Daniel Radcliffe as gay poet Allen Ginsberg, Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, and producer Stephenie Meyer
Beasts of the Southern Wild, Keep the Lights On, Middle of Nowhere, Safety Not Guaranteed, Smashed, The Sessions (then known as The Surrogate), How to Survive a Plague, The Invisible War, and Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present are all 2013 awards-season contenders. All of those titles have been nominated for the Gotham Awards and/or the Spirit Awards, and will likely pop up again in the upcoming weeks, as North American critics, guilds, and academies start announcing their nominees and/or winners. (Photo: Daniel Radcliffe gay poet Allen Ginsberg in Kill Your Darlings.)
Now, what do all those movies have in common? They are all American productions (or co-productions) screened at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. But what about non-US films? Those tend to be less lucky, as US-based critics, guilds, and academies are generally biased toward homemade or at least English-language-made fare.
Anyhow, Im pointing this out because Sundance 2013 selections in the four key categories U.S. / World: Dramatic / Documentary were announced earlier today. As usual, particularly in the last decade or so, small movies with big names have been favored. Hence, at the indie-oriented Sunset Film Festival we have movies featuring the likes of Daniel Radcliffe, Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, Jessica Biel, Kristen Bell, Shailene Woodley, Octavia Spencer, Ellen Page, and Megan Mullally.
Also as usual, expect most of the Sundance 2013 movies to have been forgotten even before the festivals closing night gala. A handful of the Sundance entries, however, will be remembered later next year, once the North American awards-season kicks off with the announcement of the Gotham Awards nominations.
Sundance 2013 U.S. Dramatic competition highlights: Kill Your Darlings, Fruitvale, Austenland
Surely therell be surprises at Sundance 2013, along the lines of Beasts of the Southern Wild and Middle of Nowhere earlier this year. Yet, the presence of, say, Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg in Kill Your Darlings makes the John Krokidas-directed drama one of the festivals hottest tickets. The extensive Kill Your Darlings cast also features Dane DeHaan, Ben Foster, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston, Elizabeth Olsen, Kyra Sedgwick, and David Cross.
This years Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner Octavia Spencer (The Help) has an important role in Ryan Cooglers Fruitvale, about the last day in the life of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old black man shot dead by Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer Johannes Mehserle.
In Jerusha Hess Anglo-American Austenland, a woman obsessed with Pride and Prejudices Mr. Darcy as played by Colin Firth on the BBC production discovers the real thing (more or less) while on a trip to an English resort. The Austenland cast includes Keri Russell, JJ Feild, Bret McKenzie, Jennifer Coolidge, Georgia King, and James Callis. Ah, minor detail. One of Austenlands producers is Stephenie Meyer. Heard of her? No? Heard of the Twilight movies starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner? No? On what planet do you live?
Dean Stockwell still active after more than six decades in Hollywood
Veteran Dean Stockwell, a former child actor who performed opposite Gene Kelly in Anchors Aweigh back in 1945, is featured in Kyle Patrick Alvarezs C.O.G., described as "the first ever film adaptation of David Sedaris work," in which "a cocky young man travels to Oregon to work on an apple farm [where] he finds his lifestyle and notions being picked apart by everyone who crosses his path." The C.O.G. cast also includes Jonathan Groff, Denis OHare, Corey Stoll, Casey Wilson, and Troian Bellisario.
Cherien Dabis May in the Summer is unusual in that its a US / Jordan / Qatar co-production, starring Dabis, Independence Days Bill Pullman, and Hiam Abbass in a family drama set in Jordan. Jill Solloways Afternoon Delight stars Kathryn Hahn, Juno Temple, Josh Radnor, and Jane Lynch in a tale about a Los Angeles housewife whose life takes a surprising turn after she "rescues" a stripper by hiring the woman as a live-in nanny.
More mysterious human behavior in upcoming Lynn Shelton movie
Lynn Shelton, who has made a minor splash with "daring" movies about "controversial" human behavior will be at Sundance with Touchy Feely, in which a massage therapist mysteriously develops an aversion to touching others, while her uptight dentist brother discovers he has a "healing touch." Now, if you find the Touchy Feely plot absurd, thats nothing compared to having a lesbian trying to get pregnant via sex with a straight male and a carefully perforated condom in Your Sisters Sister, or heterosexual guys deciding to have gay sex (with one another) so as to enter a porn film competition in Sundance Special Jury Prize winner Humpday. The Touchy Feely cast includes Your Sisters Sisters Rosemarie DeWitt, Allison Janney, Ron Livingston, Scoot McNairy, and Ellen Page.
Whether or not any of the aforementioned movies will make a major impact in 2013′s cultural, box-office, and awards-season landscape should be answered next January and in the ensuing months. The Sundance Film Festival runs January 17-27, 2013.