New films directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman, Michael Winterbottom, Nicole Holofcener and Joel Schumacher, and starring such thesps as Ben Affleck, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds and Adrien Brody, mark the lineups of the Premieres, Midnight and other noncompetitive sections of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, which unspools Jan. 21-31 in Park City, Utah.
Although a handful of the Premieres titles, which generally sport bigger budgets and showier casts than the competition films, already have distributors, most do not, so prospective buyers will pay particularly close attention to the entries in this arena.
By contrast, purists with a craving for personal cinema on low and no budgets will gravitate toward the eight features in the new Next category, as well as to the perennial New Frontier sidebar for non-narrative and avant-garde fare.
The new Spotlight section, an evolved version of Spectrum, features one world preem and eight films previously seen at other festivals that fest topper John Cooper and director of programming Trevor Groth hope will benefit from their exposure here.
Park City at Midnight, which has long been home to the outrageous and extreme from all over the world, will serve up eight pictures, seven in their world premieres; Brody stars in two of them.
Points of interest among the Premieres are Hoffman's directorial debut, "Jack Goes Boating," an oddball love story starring Hoffman in an adaptation of Bob Glaudini's play; TV producer John Wells' feature directorial bow, "The Company Men," toplining Affleck, Kevin Costner and Tommy Lee Jones as three men dealing with corporate downsizing; Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini's new picture, "The Extra Man," a quirky comedy-drama; Winterbottom's ultra-violent adaptation of Jim Thompson's cult novel "The Killer Inside Me" and his Naomi Klein docu "Shock Doctrine"; musicvid helmer Floria Sigismondi's feature debut, "The Runaways," about the '70s all-girl band led by Joan Jett, starring Stewart and Dakota Fanning; Holofcener's Gotham-set ensembler "Please Give"; and Schumacher's "Twelve," an adaptation of the late Nick McDonell's cult novel about the reckless ways of rich Upper East Side teens.
Premieres section presently consists of 13 titles, although Cooper advised that two or three more films could be added before fest begins.
The 2010 Sundance lineup includes:
All films are from the United States unless otherwise noted
- "Abel" (Mexico), the directorial debut of actor Diego Luna, written by Luna and Agusto Mendoza, about a peculiar young boy who, as he blurs reality and fantasy, takes over the responsibilities of a family man in his father's absence. With Jose Maria Yazpik. World premiere.
- "Cane Toads: The Conquest" - Director-writer Mark Lewis' 3D feature-length follow-up to his classic 1988 short, "Cane Toads: An Unnatural History," a documentary horror film about the environmental devastation left in the wake of the giant toads' unstoppable march across Australia. World premiere.
- "The Company Men," the first feature directed and written by "ER" producer John Wells, a corporate downsizing drama starring Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper and Rosemarie DeWitt. World premiere.
- "The Extra Man" - Directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini and written by the directors with Jonathan Ames, a comedy-drama about a down-and-out playwright and escort to wealthy Upper East Side widows who takes a young aspiring writer under his wing. Toplines Katie Holmes, John C. Reilly, Paul Dano, Kevin Kline and Alicia Goranson.
- "Get Low" - Directed by Aaron Schneider and written by Chris Provenzano and C. Gaby Mitchell, the offbeat story of a mysterious '30s hermit who schemes to stage his own funeral while still alive. Stars Robert Duvall and Bill Murray. Previously shown in Toronto, the Sony Classics release will serve as the Salt Lake City gala film.
- "Jack Goes Boating" - Directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman and written by Bob Glaudini from his own play about a limo driver whose blind date trggers an offbeat love story that involves two working-class New York City couples. With Hoffman, Amy Ryan, John Ortiz, Daphne Rubin-Vega and Tom McCarthy. The world premiere of the Overture release.
- "The Killer Inside Me" - Directed by Michael Winterbottom and written by John Curran, a new version of crime novelist Jim Thompson's yarn about a small-town Texas deputy sheriff who turns into a murderer. Stars Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, Simon Baker and Elias Koteas. World premiere.
- "Nowhere Boy" (U.K.) - Directed by Sam Taylor-Wood and written by Julia Baird and Matt Greenhaigh, the biographical story of the family secrets and musical influences that shaped the teenage John Lennon in late '50s Liverpool. Features Aaron Johnson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Thomas Sangster, Anne-Marie Duff, David Morrissey. Previously seen at the London Film Festival, the Weinstein Co. release is making its international premiere.
- "Please Give" - Directed and written by Nicole Holofcener, a character study about a New York City husband and wife who come into conflict with the granddaughters of the old woman who lives next door. Toplines Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall, Catherine Keener and Sarah Steele. The world premiere of the Sony Classics relese.
- "The Runaways" - Directed and written by Floria Sigismondi, about the launch of the eponymous '70s all-girl band by tough teen Joan Jett and an eccentric producer. Stars Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Scout Taylor-Compton, Michael Shannon, Alia Shawkat and Tatum O'Neal. The world premiere of the Apparition release.
- "Shock Doctrine" - Directed by Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross, a documentary based on the book by journo Naomi Klein exposing how shock is used to implement economic policy in vulnerable environments. The North American premiere of a film shown in different form in Berlin and already broadcast on British television.
- "Twelve" - Directed by Joel Schumacher, written by Jordan Melamed and based on the popular novel by Nick McDonell, who died just after having written the book at 17, a tome spinning on excesses involving sex, drugs and murder among the young Upper East Side elite. With Chace Crawford, Emma Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland, 50 Cent and Zoe Kravitz. This closing-night attraction will be seen in its world premiere.
- "Untitled Duplass Brothers Project" - Directed and written by Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass, in which a recently divorced guy meets a new lady, and then her son. With John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei, Jonah Hill, Catherine Keener. World premiere.
All are world premieres
- "Armless" - Directed by Habib Azar and written by Kyle Jarrow, an offbeat comedy about a woman coming to terms with her husband's strange secret. With Daniel London, Janel Moloney, Keith Powell, Laurie Kennedy and Matt Walton.
- "Bass Ackwards" - Directed and written by Linas Phillips, in which a man coming off a disastrous affair with a married woman has a lyrical, strange and comedic cross-country journey in a modified VW bus. Features Phillips, Davie-Blue, Jim Fletcher and Paul Lazar.
- "Bilal's Stand" - Directed and written by Sultan Sharrief, which centers on the title character, a Muslim high school senior in Detroit who juggles his dysfunctional family, their taxi-stand and an ice carving contest while secretly attempting to win a college scholarship. With Julian Gant.
- "The Freebie" - Directed and written by Katie Aselton, the tale of a man and wife who decide to give each other one night with another partner. Toplines Dax Shepard and Aselton, who co-starred in "Puffy Chair."
- "Homewrecker" - Directed by Todd Barnes and Brad Barnes and written by the Barneses and Sophie Goodhart, about the last romantic in New York City, who is an ex-con locksmith on work release. Features Ana Reeder, Anslem Richardson and Stephen Rannazzisi.
- "New Low" - Directed by Adam Bowers, a comedy in which a twentysomething man tries to figure out whether he belongs with the best woman he ever he's ever known or the worst. With Adam Bowers, Jayme Ratzer, Toby Turner and Valerie Jones.
- "One Too Many Mornings" - Directed by Michael Mohan and written by Anthony Deptula, Mohan and Stephen Hale, in which two damaged former high school friends reconnect by admitting how much they've messed up their lives. Features Deptula, Stephen Hale and Tina Kapousis.
- "The Taqwacores" - Directed by Eyad Zahra and written by Michael Muhammad Knight, about how the beliefs of a Pakistani-Muslim engineering student in Buffalo are severely challenged when he moves into a house filled with punk Muslims. With Noureen DeWulf, Dominic Rains, Rasika Mathur, Tony Yalda and Anne Marie Leighton.
- "Bran Nue Dae" (Australia) - Directed by Rachel Perkins and written by Reg Cribb, Perkins and Jimmy Chi, about a young man's 1965 summer in the pearling port of Broome spent fishing, hanging out with his mates and consorting with his girl. Stars Rocky McKenzie, Jessica Mauboy, Geoffrey Rush and Ernie Dingo. U.S. premiere.
- "Daddy Longlegs" (formerly known as "Go Get Some Rosemary") - Directed and written by Benny Safie and Josh Safdie, about a thirtysomething torn between being a friend or father to his kids. Features Ronald Bronstein, Sage Ranaldo and Frey Ranaldo. North American premiere.
- "Enter the Void" (France) - Directed and written by Gaspar Noe, a hallucinatory plunge in which a murdered drug dealer watches over his sister from the spectral realm. Toplines Nathaniel Brown, Paz de la Huerta, Cyril Roy, Emily Alyn Lind and Jesse Kuhn. U.S. premiere.
- "I Am Love" (Italy) - Directed and written by Luca Guadagnino, an obsessive love story set in upper-class Milan. Stars Tilda Swinton, Edoardo Gabbriellini, Pippo Delbono, Alba Rohrwacher and Marisa Berenson. U.S. premiere.
- "Louis C.K.: Hilarious" - Directed by Louis C.K., a concert film starring the eponymous comedian. World premiere.
- "Lourdes" (Austria-France-Germany) - Directed and written by Jessica Hausner, in which a wheelchair-bound woman travels to Lourdes in an attempt to escape her isolation. Stars Sylvie Testud, Lea Seydoux, Bruno Todeschini, Gilette Barbier, Gerhard Liebmann and Irma Wagner. U.S. premiere.
- "Mother and Child" - Directed and written by Rodrigo Garcia, an ensembler about the intersecting lives of women involved in adoption. Toplines Naomi Watts, Annette Bening, Kerry Washington, Jimmy Smits and Samuel L. Jackson. U.S. premiere.
- "A Prophet" (France) - Directed by Jacques Audiard and written by Thomas Bidegain, Audiard, Abdel Raouf Dafri and Nicolas Peufaillit, about the education and rise of a young criminal in a French prison. Features Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif, Hichem Yacoubi and Reda Kateb.
- "Women Without Men" (Germany-Austria-France) - Directed and written by Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari, an examination of Iranian society in 1953, when the CIA-backed coup overthrew the nationalist government of Mohammed Mossadegh and installed the shah in power.
All films are from the United States unless otherwise noted, and are receiving their world premieres
- "8: The Mormon Proposition" - Directed by Reed Cowan, which looks into the role played by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in promoting and passing California's Proposition 8 against gay marriage.
- "Catfish" - Directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, concerning the unforeseeable consequences of Facebook contact between a young New York City photographer and an 8-year-old painting prodigy from rural Michigan.
- "Climate Refugees" - Directed by Michael Nash, about how changing conditions are provoking mass global migration and border conflicts.
- "Countdown to Zero" - Directed by Lucy Walker, about the dangers of nuclear weapons.
- "Life 2.0" - Directed by Jason Spingarn-Koff, which examines how lives are transformed by the virtual world called Second Life.
- "Teenage Paparazzo" - Directed by Adrian Grenier, in which a photo taken of the actor by a 13-year-old boy prompts an examination of the effects of celebrity on culture.
- "To Catch a Dollar: Muhammad Yunus Banks on America" (Bangladesh-U.S.) - Directed by Gayle Ferraro, about how Yunus winning the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize prompts the opening of Grameen America in Queens, N.Y., replicating the banking model program he started in Bangladesh.
- "Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. the New York Knicks" - Directed by Dan Klores, about how Knicks killer Miller became Public Enemy No. 1 in New York.
PARK CITY AT MIDNIGHT
All films are from the United States and world premieres unless otherwise noted
- "Buried" - Directed by Rodrigo Cortes and written by Chris Sparling, in which Ryan Reynolds plays a U.S. contractor in Iraq who is buried alive inside a coffin with only a lighter and cellphone to help him escape.
- "Frozen" - Directed and written by Adam Green, about three skiers stranded on a chairlift faced with extreme choices to avoid freezing to death. With Emma Bell, Shawn Ashmore and Kevin Zegers.
- "High School" - Directed by John Stalberg Jr. and written by Erik Linthorst, Stalberg and Stephen Susco, in which a random drug test coincides with a high school valedictorian's first hit of pot. Features Sean Marquette, Matt Bush, Adrien Brody, Michael Chiklis, Colin Hanks, Mykelti Williamson, Andrew Wilson, Yeardly Smith, Michael Vartan, Curtis Armstrong, Erica Phillips and Adhir Kaylan.
- "The Perfect Host" - Directed by Nick Tomnay and written by Tomnay and Krishna Jones, about a criminal on the run who cons his way into the wrong party with an unusual host. Stars David Hyde Pierce, Clayne Crawford, Helen Reddy and Nathaniel Parker.
- "7 Days" (Canada) - Directed by Daniel Grou and written by Patrick Senecal, centering on a doctor who takes revenge by kidnapping, torturing and killing the man who murdered his young daughter. Toplines Remy Girard, Claude Legault, Fanny Mallette, Martin Dubreuil and Rose-Marie Coallier.
- "Splice" (France-U.S.) - Directed by Vincenzo Natali and written by Natali, Antoinette Terry Bryant and Doug Taylor, which follows two brilliant scientists as they secretly mix human and animal DNA in an experiment. Features Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, Delphine Chaneac and David Hewlett. North American premiere.
- "Tucker and Dale vs. Evil" (Canada) - Directed by Eli Craig and written by Craig and Morgan Jurgenson, a horror spoof in which two West Virginian hillbillies encounter trouble on a vacation at their dilapidated mountain cabin. With Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk, Katrina Bowden and Jesse Moss.
- "The Violent Kind" - Directed and written by the Butcher Brothers, which sees things go south for some rowdy young bikers at a secluded farmhouse when they are tormented by a mysterious force. Features Taylor Cole, Christina Prousalis, Tiffany Shepis, David Fine and Joseph McKelheer.
All films are from the United States unless otherwise noted
- "Double Take" (Germany-Netherlands) - Directed by Johan Grimonprez, which reimagines Alfred Hitchcock as a paranoid history professor who unwittingly becomes caught up in a double take on the Cold War. Features Mark Perry and Ron Burrage. North American premiere.
- "Memories of Overdevelopment," directed and written by Miguel Coyula, an adaptation of a novel by Edmundo Desnoes that blends live-action, animation and newsreel footage to evokesthe personal memory of a misanthropic Cuban intellectual. With Ron Blair. World premiere.
- "Oddsac" - Directed by Daniel Perez, a visual record for the band Animal Collective. World premiere.
- "Pepperminta" (Austria-Switzerland) - Directed by Pipilotti Rist and written by Rist and Chris Niemeyer, a modern fantasy in which an anarchist of the imagination sets out to fight for a more humane world. World premiere.
- "Utopia in Four Movements" - Directed by Sam Green, a "live documentary" in which the director will provide voiceover for a portrait of the current battered state of the utopian impulse.