The folks at the Sundance Film Festival, the annual Park City, Utah, event, announced in-competition and out-of-competition titles this week, and while it’s pretty much a guessing game until they’re actually screened, there’s plenty here that sounds promising, provocative, possibly great. Stars with work onscreen (the fest runs Jan. 20- 30) include Al Pacino, Ewan McGregor, John C. Reilly, Sigourney Weaver, Greg Kinnear, Laura Linney, Kevin Spacey, Pierce Brosnan, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Paul Rudd andElizabeth Banks.
Typically, at least one or two films emerge from Sundance with a burning winter glow -- and a distribution deal. Here are just a few (potential) highlights:
Higher Ground Oscar-nominated actress Vera Farmiga’s directing debut, about an unhappy woman who turns to fundamentalists for help. (See photo of Farmiga and Dagmara Dominczyk with their hands out to God – or maybe they just had manicures.)
Red State Directed by New Jersey’s own Kevin Smith, about a band of misfits who encounter fundamentalists (a trend!) in the Midwest. Michael Parks, John Goodman and Melissa Leo are among the stars.
My Idiot Brother The ever affable Paul Rudd is a dealer who moves in with each of his sisters (Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer) after doing time for a pot bust.
Perfect Sense A love story with Ewan McGregor and Eva Green, from David Mackenzie (Young Adam, Mister Foe).
The Details Dark comedy with Tobey Maguire and Elizabeth Banks.
Meek's Cutoff Director Kelly Reichardt reteams with her Wendy and Lucy star Michelle Williams in this indie western that also boasts Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Bruce Greenwood and Shirley Henderson.
Becoming Chaz Doc about Sonny and Cher progeny Chastity Bono's transition from female to male.
Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey The man behind Sesame Street’s fire engine red fur ball.
The Greatest Movie Ever SoldMorgan (Super Size Me) Spurlock’s doc about Hollywood marketing, advertising and product placement.
Reagan Documentarian Eugene Jarecki profiles the iconic 40th U.S. president.
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