January 17th, 2013

Screen Play: Sundance 2013 Must-See Movies

Don Jon’s Addiction
The Gist: A Don Juan type juggles relationships with Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, and porn.
Why We Care: It’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut.

Very Good Girls
The Gist: Two New Yorkers (Dakota Fanning, Elizabeth Olsen) fall for the same boy.
Why We Care: Olsen’s a pro at playing good girls, even all at once. Case in point: Sundance 2011 hit Martha Marcy May Marlene.

Sound City
The Gist: Dave Grohl, Tom Petty, Trent Reznor, and others resurrect the fabled recording studio.
Why We Care: Grohl puts on a performance tonight with mystery musicians from the doc.

The Gist: What’s scarier than found-footage film V/H/S, which was directed by multiple horror genre greats? Its sequel.
Why We Care: The Blair Witch Project director Edúardo Sánchez gets a go.

The Gist: Funny people (Catherine O’Hara, Richard Jenkins, Jane Lynch) collide for a comedy pivoting around Adam Scott, a grown man with mommy, daddy, and stepmom issues.
Why We Care: Amy Poehler is the saucy stepmom.

Before Midnight
The Gist: Richard Linklater directs Celine and Jesse’s (Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke) latest rendezvous.
Why We Care: We need a new favorite indie trilogy.

The East
The Gist: Team Sound of My Voice Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling take on anarchy with Ellen Page, Patricia Clarkson, and Alexander Skarsgård.
Why We Care: Skarsgård — in snow boots.

The Gist: Mia Wasikowska and Nicole Kidman get weird in a horror film about a mother, her daughter, and the mysterious live-in uncle.
Why We Care: It’s Oldboy director Chan-wook Park’s first English-language film (stream Oldboy on Netflix before Spike Lee’s remake starring Elizabeth Olsen hits theaters). And Clint Mansell tunes the score.

Two Mothers
The Gist: Best friend mothers (Naomi Watts, Robin Wright) fall in love with each other’s sons.
Why We Care: Twilight’s Xavier Samuel and Animal Kingdom’s James Frecheville are the motherlovers.

The Gist: Dirty title character Matthew McConaughey is a fugitive who recruits two teenage boys to help with his clean getaway.
Why We Care: Jeff Nichols, who brought Take Shelter to Sundance two years ago, writes and directs.

Kill Your Darlings
The Gist: Daniel Radcliffe, Ben Foster, and Jack Huston play Beat Gen poets with one thing in common — murder.
Why We Care: Dexter’s Michael C. Hall is the murdered; Elizabeth Olsen brings Edie Parker to life.

Stories We Tell
The Gist: Writer/director Sarah Polley’s doc explores her own family’s unanswered history.
Why We Care: She’s exceptional with fiction (Take This Waltz, Away from Her). Now we want the truth.

The Gist: Trainers and experts sound off on Tilikum and the horrors of orca captivity.
Why We Care: Killer whales don’t kill — unless they’re the main attraction at a theme park.

Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes
The Gist: A teen becomes obsessed with her neighbor, who looks like her dead mother.
Why We Care: It’s all about the ladies. Francesca Gregorini directs; Kaya Scodelario (Wuthering Heights, Skins) stars; Rooney Mara and Tatiana von Furstenberg co-produce.

Touchy Feely
The Gist: A massage therapist loses her touch.
Why We Care: Lynn Shelton, whose 2012 Sundancer, Your Sister’s Sister, was a hit, writes and directs. Rosemarie DeWitt, Allison Janney, and Scoot McNairy ensemble.

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
The Gist: Bonnie and Clyde types shoot up the Texas hills then are separated by prison.
Why We Care: Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck are the Bonnie and Clyde types; Ben Foster and Nate Parker (remember the kid from Arbitrage?) are the backup.

The Way, Way Back
The Gist: A coming-of-age tale about a kid who befriends a water park manager.
Why We Care: It’s written and directed by the guys who wrote The Descendants (minus Payne). And, well, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Sam Rockwell, and Maya Rudolph are no drips.

The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman
The Gist: Charlie (Shia LaBeouf) falls in love with a woman (Evan Rachel Wood) he can’t have.
Why We Care: After LaBeouf’s confirmation of starring in LVT’s Nymphomaniac and his naked frolic through a Sigur Rós music video, we can’t help but be curious.

The Spectacular Now
The Gist: Party animal (Miles Teller) meets odd duck (Shailene Woodley). Lives change; Coach Taylor and Mary Elizabeth Winstead co-star.
Why We Care: After getting Smashed last year, MEW reteams with director James Ponsoldt for a script written by the 500 Days of Summer boys.

Crystal Fairy
The Gist: Jamie and friends road trip through Chile looking for fairy dust (a.k.a. drugs).
Why We Care: Chilean-born, New York-based Sebastián Silva of The Maid fame directs. White-bodied, comedic genius of awkward proportions Michael Cera stars.

Prince Avalanche
The Gist: David Gordon Green’s return to indie. Two dudes (no, that’s not Mario and Luigi; it’s Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch) paint highway lines and argue a lot.
Why We Care: Explosions in the Sky fuels the sound track. And, of course, Rudd IRL.
Sundance runs January 17-27. Tickets and showtimes are available at sundance.org.
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    weekend where i just paint...watch every movie...eat...
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    Sundance runs January 17-27. Tickets and showtimes are available at sundance.org.
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    stoked stoked stoked stoked!! especially...studying studying studying studying.
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