First of all, I would like to congratulate Kristen Stewart for not having the worst film at Sundance. (More on her films later) That honor goes to Chace Crawford’s gem of a film, “Twelve”, about the sad lives of drug-addicted rich kids. IFC.com called the film “One of the most unintentionally funniest films to ever play at Sundance” and a few reviews have even asked the question if it’s the “worst movie to ever play at Sundance.” IFC questioned the “braveness” of any studio willing to pick it up (it was) so I think ouch would be an understatement.
Another film debuting to mostly negative reviews was Mark Ruffalo’s “Sympathy for Delicious” starring Orlando Bloom (who has basically disappeared from movies and will probably stay gone after this film is released).
On the more mixed to positive side, the Natalie Portman/Joseph Gordon-Levitt film “Hersher” got mostly mixed reviews; James Franco’s film “Howl” recieved a few shaky reviews, but all were in agreement of his excellent portrayal of the poet Allen Ginsberg; “The Kids Are Alright” starring Annette Benning debuted to glowing reviews for it’s portrayal of a truly modern family: a lesbian couple dealing with the re-emergence of the sperm-doner father of their children; Kristen Stewart’s films “the Runaways” and “Welcome to the Rileys” recieved mixed reviews with most noting her good performance that was crippled by trite subject matter (especially in the case of the overwraught “Welcome to the Rileys”). Other films that debuted that I’m interested to hear about is the new Marisa Tomei movie “Cyrus” about a woman who starts dating a man (John C. Riley) that her son (Jonah Hill–yes, her son. Laugh.) hates, and “I Am Love” Starring Tilda Swinton.
Overall I’d say while a few films beat the cliched “indie” subject matter into the ground, the majority of the films like “The Kids Are Alright” found fresh and innovative ways to tell stories and I’m really excited to see how some of these do come Oscar time next year. I feel like this year was such a downer in terms of quality films so I hope at least a few of these from Sundance inject some much needed life back into movies. What are you guys interested in seeing? Are there any movies you’re kicking yourself for not being at Park City to see opening night? Personally I can’t wait for “Hersher”, “I Am Love” (the title alone makes me excited–it sounds regal), “Howl”, “Cyrus”, “The Kids Are Alright”, and Kristen Stewart’s films to see how she holds up. Leave your thoughts in the comments!
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