Going in to the first Sundance showing of The Skeleton Twins, in which Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader play a troubled sister and brother coping with the legacy of their screwed-up family, I knew nothing about the film except that it was being billed as the movie that reunited the two former SNL teammates but wasn’t a comedy. Glancing at that photo above, I thought to myself: Hmmmmm, I hope it’s not one of those glum dysfunctional-family indie specials in which gifted comedians blank themselves out for the sake of art. I needn’t have worried. The Skeletons Twins is very much a drama, but it has lots of laughs, too — the kind of good, soul-ticking laughs that emerge, organically, from dramatic situations. Its tone is comparable to that of The Kids Are All Right or Alexander Payne’s films. The Golden Globes would have no problem nominating The Skeleton Twins in the Best Comedy or Musical category. Yet as directed and co-written by Craig Johnson, this is a tenderly sincere, and smart, and beguiling, and penetrating movie about the way that ordinary messed-up people can wind up stumbling through their lives. And let me say right up front: The two actors are fantastic together, every bit as powerful as Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo were as the woundedly bound siblings of You Can Count on Me. But then, we already know from Bridesmaids what a knockout of a leading lady Kristen Wiig can be. It’s Bill Hader who’s the revelation. I think he could become a major screen actor. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Sundance Film Festival (41-50 of 430)
In director Lynn Shelton’s Sundance film Laggies, Keira Knightley’s character Megan is having a quarter-life crisis until she meets Annika (Chloe Grace Moretz) and her dad Craig (Sam Rockwell).
So what does Star Wars have to do with all this? We’ll let Rockwell, Moretz, and Shelton explain it, in this Sundance interview with EW’s Sara Vilkomerson:
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Ten years after Garden State became a breakout hit — and the unofficial soundtrack — of the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, Zach Braff returned to Park City yesterday with his long-awaited, Kickstarter-financed follow-up, Wish I Was Here. Braff said when he made Garden State that he “just wanted to write a movie that describes how I felt about being 28 in 2004.” With Wish I Was Here, which he co-wrote with his brother Adam, he’s taken a similar approach. He plays a struggling commercial actor whose judgmental, conservative Jewish father (Mandy Patinkin) is dying of cancer. When he and his overburdened working wife (Kate Hudson) can no longer afford tuition for their two children’s private school, he decides to home-school them in an unconventional way while clinging to hopes for a resurgence in his acting career.
“Garden State was all the things me and my [20-something] friends were obsessing about and talking about and worrying about, and I put it into a movie,” Braff told the audience after the film’s premiere. “And with this, my brother and I were sharing the things that we’re talking about. He’s got two young children. What are the things he’s wrestling with in teaching them. And with me, it’s my own spirituality. I find the films that I love the most — as a film lover — are the ones that are someone’s unique story. This isn’t a film that anyone else could’ve directed, or something that got passed around and got eventually made. No one else could tell this story that my brother and I wrote.”
When you lose someone special, it’s rather common to feel severe pangs of regret. Regret that you held back, that you never told that person how you really felt when they were still alive. If only you could go back — or if they could come back — for just one more day or even one last moment together.
In Life After Beth, which premieres on Jan. 19 at the Sundance Film Festival, Zach (Dane DeHaan) gets that opportunity. His dead girlfriend (Aubrey Plaza) has been miraculously resurrected and she has no memory of her recent demise. She looks as fresh and pure as a minister’s daughter on Sunday, but Zach isn’t yet ready to praise Jesus. After all, one person’s “resurrected” is another person’s, um, zombie.
In this exclusive video from the horror-comedy, Beth’s parents (John C. Reilly and Molly Shannon) deem that contradiction a minor semantic quibble. For Zach, he’s stuck in the rarely diagnosed stage of grief some medical professionals describe as Freaked Out. READ FULL STORY
EW’s Anthony Breznican chats with the cast of Love is Strange at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, about the film that follows a gay couple — Alfred Molina and John Lithgow — whose marriage causes Molina’s character George to lose his job. Watch the view below: READ FULL STORY
Director Lenny Abrahamson and his stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and Scoot McNairy came by EW’s Sundance Lounge Saturday to talk about their movie Frank, which also stars Michael Fassbender as a musical genius… wearing a giant ceramic head… the entire film.
Fassbender himself couldn’t make it, but we did get to spend time with the head. Check out the video interview below. READ FULL STORY
EW’s Sara Vilkomerson chats with the cast of Happy Christmas — including Melanie Lynskey, Joe Swanberg, and Anna Kendrick — about the film at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
Check out the video below: READ FULL STORY
The One I Love resembles a certain type of Sundance movie on its surface, especially since it stars Mad Men‘s Elisabeth Moss and indie filmmaker (and The League funny man) Mark Duplass as a married couple on the verge of separation. But not everything is as it seems in Charlie McDowell’s movie, which premieres at Sundance on Tuesday, Jan. 21. The couple’s therapist (Ted Danson) sends them on a weekend retreat, which seems idyllic but quickly turns weird. Perhaps otherworldly. “The most exciting thing about this movie is that there’s a very unexpected twist as to what you think this movie will be, and it happens very early on in the film,” says Duplass, who also executive produced. “Lizzie and I are predominately known for doing in-depth personal relationship type films and TV, and we wanted to do something that at once embodied and at the same time flipped that on its head.”
So what’s the twist?
Duplass won’t say, though in the video clip below, his character Ethan seems to be acting as though the wife he went to bed with is not the same woman who’s cooking him breakfast.
McDowell, whose parents are the actors Malcolm McDowell and Mary Steenburgen, was also challenged by Duplass’s cryptic brevity. The producer pitched the seed of a plot in a one-sentence email. “This was the first time that I gave so very little information of what I thought the movie could be and about, kind of purposely,” says Duplass. “That initial concept I gave him was, ‘Okay, here’s about nine words. There’s something interesting in here. Can you build a movie out of it?’ And he totally did it.”
Click below to see Moss and Duplass the morning after… something happened. READ FULL STORY
When Justin Simien’s college-based satire Dear White People premieres Saturday night at the Sundance Film Festival, it will come with a built-in fan base. The film is not a star-studded affair, nor is Simien a household name in the independent world. But Simien can claim a cadre of followers one million strong due to the inventive concept trailer he created in June 2012.
Put together out of necessity (turns out, financiers aren’t dying to give cash to an untested filmmaker for a black satire when the last one to make any noise was Spike Lee’s 1989’s debut Do the Right Thing) the Dear White People trailer, which you can watch here, generated a million views on YouTube and caught the attention of both CNN and The Washington Post.
From there things got moving: Producers jumped aboard. Financing followed. READ FULL STORY
On Entourage, Vincent Chase would do his dumb-whore popcorn movies (like Aqua-Man) and feel humiliated, but the truth is that he rarely looked more hapless than when he was making one of his “integrity” projects — like his Pablo Escobar biopic, or the I’m-just-Vinnie-from-the-block indie Queens Boulevard, which wound up getting showcased at Sundance. If Entourage wasn’t about Vincent Chase but was about Kristen Stewart instead, her Escobar-meets-Queens Boulevard wince-worthy integrity dud might be Camp X-Ray, in which Stewart plays a guard at Guantanamo Bay who winds up uncovering the big lie of American anti-terrorist policy by making friends with one of the prison camp’s detainees. Has he been unjustly imprisoned? Maybe, but as the film sees it, the real injustice is that he’s been locked up with no end in sight, and he’s nice. READ FULL STORY
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