Whatever you may think about the Sundance Film Festival, the reality is it’s a big deal in Hollywood and beyond. And speaking of ‘deals,’ this year, like the last few years, there was a surge of acquisitions, some for big bucks.
Vulture has a nice roundup with eight big takeaways. Here are three that jumped out at me:
Sundance is having a summer comedy moment.
You won’t have to wait long to check out the two biggest sales of the festival, since Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut Don Jon’s Addiction and the coming-of-age comedy The Way, Way Back are both slated for summer. The former should be particularly interesting to track, since it can be marketed as an R-rated naughty-lad film in the vein of The Hangover (Scarlett Johansson in all those slinky dresses oughta help). But there’s a whole lot on its mind, too: Expect countless op-eds and feature stories tied to Don Jon‘s porn-addiction plot point.
Female filmmakers continue to make gains.
Why was a trifle like the Jerusha Hess–directed Austenland given a prime berth in the festival’s competition lineup? We suspect that programmers couldn’t resist engineering a Sundance competition slate where half the films were directed by women, especially after last year’s Cannes lineup was so notoriously male-dominated. However, they needn’t have bothered including Austenland since the other women in competition delivered such strong work, including Stacie Passon (who helmed the intriguing lesbian call-girl dramedy Concussion) and Lake Bell (who took home screenplay honors for In a World).
We’re in the middle of a teen-movie renaissance.
If you swooned through The Perks of Being a Wallflower last fall and thought, Why can’t all teen movies be this perceptive and deeply felt? then just wait. James Ponsoldt’s sensational The Spectacular Now is on its way, featuring Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley (who both picked up acting awards at Sundance) as utterly real high-schoolers who drink too much, fall in love, and break your heart. Even the comparatively larky Toy’s House, where three teens escape into the woods to build their own rules-free compound, is a total pleasure.
Here’s a title to remember from this year’s festival: Fruitvale and its writer-director Ryan Coogler.
For more of the Vulture article, go here.
Plus Indiewire has this helpful guide: Top films and performances of Sundance 2013 as compiled by film critics.