Landlocked Blues

I saw every film I wanted to see at Sundance, and sold my ticket for Winter's Bone, which won the Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic and Screenwriting Award.

An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact.

Eh…


Animal Kingdom

» World Cinema Jury Prize: Dramatic

After the death of his mother, a 17-year-old boy is thrust precariously between an explosive criminal family and a detective who thinks he can save him.

Animal Kingdom is a competent Aussie rehash of existing crime family dramas.


Hesher


» Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Natalie Portman, Rainn Wilson

A mysterious, anarchical trickster descends on the lives of a family struggling to deal with a painful loss.

The writer-director of Animal Kingdom co-wrote Hesher.

I did not expect to cry at the ending.


Blue Valentine

» Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams

A complex portrait of an American marriage. Charts the evolution of a relationship over time.

I was hesitant to see Blue Valentine because it sounded like a film that Steven would like.

Steven will love it.

Two parallel storylines – a courtship and a break-up. Ryan Gosling is utterly charming in the courtship half.


Four Lions

A comedy tour de force about a bunch of self styled British jihadis.

If nothing else, Four Lions merits a "sweet" rating for sheer audacity. I mean, a tragic farce about Muslim terrorists?

You'll guffaw, you'll cringe…


a clip


happythankyoumoreplease

» Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic
» written and directed by Josh Radnor (Ted on How I Met Your Mother)

Six New Yorkers negotiate love, friendship, and gratitude at a time when they're too old to be precocious and not ready to be adults.

happythankyoumoreplease is…Empire State.

Tony Hale refreshingly plays against type and slays a touching monologue.


Louis C.K.: Hilarious

Sharp-tongued comedian Louis CK pulls no punches in this visceral concert experience.

Louis described Hilarious as a "cinematic" record of his 2009 material.

I needed an inhaler when he describes his scrotum.

"Shame glaze" – Bwah!


Exit Through the Gift Shop

» directed by Banksy
» Critics' Best Non-Competition Film

The story of how an eccentric French filmmaker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner with spectacular results.

Catfish

When a young New York City photographer is contacted on Facebook by an 8-year-old painting prodigy from rural Michigan, he becomes deeply enmeshed in her life, even falling in love with her older sister—that is, until a crack appears in her story.

The two hottest tickets at Sundance were documentaries.

Well, Exit Through the Gift Shop is billed as a documentary, but some people suspect that it is an elaborate Andy Kaufman-esque joke.

Catfish, meanwhile, may fall victim to hype.


Buried

A U.S. contractor working in Iraq awakes to find he is inside a coffin.

Yes, Buried is just 90 minutes of Ryan Reynolds inside a box, presented stylishly and sustained with questionable contrivances, like a season of 24.

The denouement is oppressively tense.

One thought on "Landlocked Blues"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.