Monday, January 30, 2012

FILM: 35 Star-Studded 2012 Sundance Films

This is an extremely superficial breakdown of all the well-known actors featured at Sundance this year. As a result, it only lists the well-known actors, directors, and screenwriters behind them:

2 Days in New York [comedy]
CAST: Julie Delpy, Chris Rock
SYNOPSIS: A biracial/bi-continental couple's relationship is tested when her family visits for two days, and race and sex are put on the table.
THE DRAW: Delpy also wrote and directed a film called 2 Days in Paris with a similar situation, and she's been quoted as saying that this is a sequel, a continuation of this woman's exploration of tumultuous relationships. It should be interesting to see how things play out when her lover is a black man this time.
28 Hotel Rooms [drama]
CAST: Chris Messina, Marin Ireland ("Mildred Pierce")
SYNOPSIS: While traveling for work in a city far from their homes, a novelist and a corporate accountant find themselves in bed together. Although she’s married, and he’s seeing someone, their intense attraction turns a one-night stand into an unexpected relationship and a respite from the obligations of daily life. Through a series of moments—some profound, some silly, some intensely intimate—we see a portrait of an evolving relationship that could become the most significant one of their lives.
THE DRAW: Messina is one of those criminally overlooked actors that's rarely given meaty roles
like this.
Arbitrage [drama/thriller]
CAST: Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth ("Lie to Me"), Brit Marling (Another Earth), Nate Parker (Red Tails), model Laetitia Casta
SYNOPSIS: A successful businessman scrambles to sell his company before his fraud is uncovered.
THE DRAW: Gere's always good under pressure and he's been getting rave reviews.
The Arm [short/comedy/drama]
DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: Jessie Ennis, Brie Larson (Kate in "The United States of Tara"), and Sarah Ramos (Haddie in "Parenthood")
CAST: Miles Heizer ("Parenthood"), Jessica Hecht (Sideways), Allie Grant ("Suburgatory"), Logan Miller ("I'm in the Band")
SYNOPSIS: To keep up with social pressure in a technologically advanced world, Chance (Heizer) starts a texting relationship with Genevieve—a girl he meets at a yogurt shop. But when tragedy befalls his crush, he's forced to realize that he was never in a relationship at all.
THE DRAW: Because the female screenwriter craze has spread even to the youth, and Heizer rarely gets to do anything on his family drama except pout and roll his eyes.
Bachelorette [comedy]
CAST: Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher (Confession of a Shopaholic), Lizzy Caplan ("Party Down"), James Marsden, Adam Scott ("Parks and Recreation"), Kyle Bornheimer ("Perfect Couples"), Rebel Wilson (Bridesmaids)
SYNOPSIS: Regan (Dunst) is used to being first at everything. Imagine her horror and chagrin when she finds out the girl everyone called Pig Face (Wilson) in high school is going to tie the knot before she does! But Regan sucks it up and takes on bridesmaid duties along with her childhood pals: substance-abusing, promiscuous Gena (Caplan) and ditzy Katie (Fisher). The single ladies are determined to put their bitterness aside and have an awesomely hedonistic bachelorette party.
THE DRAW: It's more of a female Hangover than another Bridesmaids, and it's said to push the envelope in terms of females hating on other females.
Bear [short/comedy/drama]
SCREENWRITER: Nash Edgerton (brother to Joel), David Michod (Animal Kingdom)
CAST: Nash Edgerton, Teresa Palmer (I Am Number Four)
SYNOPSIS: Jack means well, but sometimes good intentions have horrible consequences.
THE DRAW: I mean after that teaser, do you have to ask?
Black Rock [thriller]
DIRECTOR: Katie Aselton
SCREENWRITER: Mark Duplass (Cyrus)
CAST: Kate Bosworth, Lake Bell, Katie Aselton ("The League")
SYNOPSIS: Sarah invites her old friends, Abby and Lou, on a reunion trip to a remote island in Maine. It’s the sort of weekend that can transform the three into fully realized, grown-ass women. Emotional release will come, but this is no weepy ballad of reconciliation. It's a taut, satisfying thriller.
THE DRAW: The mystery that turns it from drama to thriller.
Celeste and Jesse Forever [drama comedy]
DIRECTOR: Lee Toland Krieger (The Vicious Kind)
SCREENWRITER: Rashida Jones, Will McCormack
CAST: Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg, Chris Messina (Julie & Julia), Ari Graynor (Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist), Emma Roberts, Elijah Wood
SYNOPSIS: Celeste and Jesse met in high school and got married young. They laugh at the same jokes and finish each other’s sentences. They are forever linked in their friends’ minds as the perfect couple—she, a high-powered businesswoman and budding novelist; he, a free spirit who keeps things from getting boring. Their only problem is that they have decided to get divorced. Can their perfect relationship withstand this minor setback?
THE DRAW: You have to get on board for the new wave of actresses-turned-screenwriters. Plus, Samberg needs a breakout role desperately, so his career doesn't live-and-die on the "SNL" lot.
The End of Love [drama]
CAST: Mark Webber, Shannyn Sossamon (40 Days and 40 Nights), Michael Cera, Jason Ritter ("Parenthood"), Amanda Seyfried
SYNOPSIS: Mark is a struggling actor stuck between the life he once knew and the one waiting for him. When the mother of his two-year-old son suddenly passes away, Mark is forced to confront his shortcomings. Their fates, now intertwined, hang in the balance as Mark grapples with his ability to grow up. When he meets Lydia, a young mother, he is no longer able to live in the comfort of denial.
THE DRAW: It's an interesting mix of actors, and it's always good to see what Cera and Ritter will do next.
Excision [horror]
CAST: AnnaLynne McCord ("90210"), Traci Lords (Cry-Baby), Ariel Winter ("Modern Family"), Roger Bart (Stepford Wives), Jeremy Sumpter ("Friday Night Lights"), John Waters
SYNOPSIS: Pauline (McCord) isn’t your typical teen. She picks scabs, dissects road kill, and fantasizes about performing surgery on strangers. Her fascinations disturb her parents and her classmates. Pauline reserves special disdain for “the church” and her “therapist,” Reverend William (Waters), who, in Pauline's mind, is in no position to judge, or indulge in, her psychosexual fantasies. No one understands Pauline except for Grace (Winter), her younger sister, who suffers from cystic fibrosis. An outcast at school and at home, Pauline decides she is ready to lose her virginity...and this is when the weirdness really begins.
THE DRAW: McCord is the brightest star on her teen series, so it's best we start to see range now before it's inevitably canceled.
The First Time [romance/drama/comedy]
DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: Jonathan Kasdan (In the Land of Women)
CAST: Britt Robertson ("Secret Circle"), Dylan O'Brien ("Teen Wolf"), Craig Roberts (Submarine), James Frecheville (Animal Kingdom), Victoria Justice ("Victorious"), Christine Taylor (Dodgeball)
SYNOPSIS: Dave (O'Brien), a high school senior, spends most of his time pining for a girl he can’t have. Aubrey (Robertson), a junior with artistic aspirations, has a hot boyfriend who doesn’t quite understand her or seem to care. Although they go to different schools, Dave and Aubrey find themselves at the same party. When both head outside to get some air, they meet. A casual conversation sparks an instant connection, and, over the course of a weekend, things turn magical, romantic, complicated, and funny as Aubrey and Dave discover what it's like to fall in love for the first time.
THE DRAW: The fact that films like these, where characters have but a few hours to legitimize their claim of insta-love, are difficult to execute.
For a Good Time, Call... [comedy]
SCREENWRITER: Katie Anne Naylon, Lauren Anne Miller
CAST: Ari Graynor (Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist), Lauren Anne Miller, Justin Long, Mark Webber, James Wolk ("Lone Star" and "Shameless"), Nia Vardalos
SYNOPSIS: College "frenemies" Lauren (Miller) and Katie (Graynor) move in together after losing a relationship and rent control, respectively. Sharing Katie's late grandmother's apartment in New York City, the girls bicker with each other until one fateful night, when Katie's noisy bedroom activities make Lauren barge in and discover a dirty little secret. This revelation brings them closer together, and Lauren (the brains) and Katie (the talent) concoct a wildly successful phone sex business.
THE DRAW: Not even going to pretend it's not because it was co-written and stars Seth Rogen's fiancee.
For Ellen [drama]
CAST: Paul Dano, Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite), Jena Malone (Sucker Punch), Margarita Levieva ("Revenge" and Adventureland)
SYNOPSIS: After an overnight long-distance drive, Joby (Dano) has a special meeting—with lawyers and his ex-wife. A struggling musician with the prerequisite tattoos, slimy hair, goatee, and his head firmly floating in the clouds, Joby hasn’t been around to be a dad. Now is his last chance to fight for shared custody of his daughter, Ellen.
THE DRAW: Indies are Dano's bread-and-butter. Not one boring performance to date.
Goat [comedy]
SCREENWRITER: Adapted by Mark Poirier (Smart People)
CAST: Graham Phillips ("The Good Wife"), David Duchovny, Vera Farmiga, Ty Burrell ("Modern Family"), Justin Kirk ("Weeds"), Keri Russell
SYNOPSIS: Having a self-absorbed New Age mother (Farmiga) and an estranged father (Burrell) means 15-year-old Ellis Whitman (Phillips) has grown up relying on an unconventional guardian: a goat-trekking, marijuana-growing sage called Goat Man (Duchovny). So when Ellis decides to leave the alternative ways of his desert homestead for a stuffy East Coast prep school, major changes are in store. But not in the way you’d think. Though often stoned, the exceedingly smart and capable Ellis effortlessly aces school and excels at track. As the year progresses, it’s his relationships with the adults in his life that test him, challenging his beliefs about responsibility and trustworthiness.
THE DRAW: Phillips rarely gets screen time on his CBS law drama, so it'd be good to see if he's a new addition to young Hollywood.
Lay the Favorite [comedy]
DIRECTOR: Stephen Frears (The Queen)
WRITER: D.V. DeVincentis (High Fidelity)
CAST: Rebecca Hall (The Town), Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Joshua Jackson, Laura Prepon ("Are You There Chelsea"), Vince Vaughn
SYNOPSIS: Beth Raymer (Hall) is a beautiful girl with a big heart who leaves her dancing job at a Florida strip club to become a Las Vegas cocktail waitress. Not exactly an ideal career choice, but her borderline-ditzy personality doesn’t give her many options. In walks Dink (Willis), a professional sports bettor who sees through her bubbly exterior and offers her a job placing wagers all over town to gain an advantage over the casinos. Her surprisingly impeccable mind for numbers soon cements her status as Dink’s good-luck charm, until his gorgeous-but-frigid wife, Tulip (Zeta-Jones), starts to get jealous. Faced with no other choice but to fire Beth, Dink’s luck runs out when she heads to New York to work for a smarmy bookie, a turn of events that lands her squarely on the wrong side of the law.
THE DRAW: Hall is known for pretty serious roles, so she's due for a comedy.
Liberal Arts [drama/comedy]
DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: Josh Radnor (Happythankyoumoreplease)
CAST: Josh Radnor ("How I Met Your Mother"), Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene), Richard Jenkins (The Visitor), Allison Janney (The Help), Zac Efron, John Magaro (My Soul to Take), Elizabeth Reaser (Twilight)
SYNOPSIS: Newly single, 35, and uninspired by his job, Jesse Fisher (Radnor) worries that his best days are behind him. But no matter how much he buries his head in a book, life keeps pulling Jesse back. When his favorite college professor invites him to campus to speak at his retirement dinner, Jesse jumps at the chance. He is prepared for the nostalgia of the dining halls and dorm rooms, the parties and poetry seminars; what he doesn’t see coming is Zibby (Olsen)—a beautiful, precocious, classical-music-loving sophomore. Zibby awakens scary, exciting, long-dormant feelings of possibility and connection that Jesse thought he had buried forever.
THE DRAW: Radnor didn't disappoint with his first indie effort, and Olsen is one of 2011's breakout stars.
LUV [drama]
CAST: Rapper Common (Just Wright), Michael Rainey Jr., Dennis Haysbert ("The Unit"), Danny Glover, Charles S. Dutton, Michael Kenneth Williams ("The Wire" and "Boardwalk Empire")
SYNOPSIS: Woody, an adorable 11-year-old boy (Rainey Jr.) awaiting the return of his missing mother, lives with his grandmother and Uncle Vincent (Common), who is fresh off an eight-year prison stint. For Woody, the confident, charismatic Vincent is a titan among men. When Vincent notices that Woody could learn a thing or two about becoming a man, he brings him along as he ventures forth to open his own business. But when legit life fails to support Vincent’s vision, and his old Baltimore crime boss, Mr. Fish, haunts him, the pace of little Woody’s manhood lesson accelerates.
THE DRAW: To see a more dramatic side to the dedicated rapper-turned-actor.
Nobody Walks [drama]
CAST: John Krasinski, Olivia Thirlby (The Wackness), Jane Levy ("Suburgatory") Rosemarie DeWitt (Rachel Getting Married), Justin Kirk ("Weeds"), India Ennenga (The Women), Dylan McDermott
SYNOPSIS: Martine (Thirlby), a 23-year-old artist from New York, arrives in Los Angeles to stay in the pool house of a family living in the hip and hilly community of Silver Lake. Peter (Krasinski), the father, has agreed to help Martine complete sound design on her art film as a favor to his wife. Martine innocently enters the seemingly idyllic life of this open-minded family with two kids and a relaxed Southern California vibe. Like a bolt of lightning, her arrival sparks a surge of energy that awakens suppressed impulses in everyone and forces them to confront their own fears and desires.
THE DRAW: Krasinski is a very funny guy, but he's yet to prove himself dramatically on the big screen.
Price Check [comedy/drama]
CAST: Parker Posey, Eric Mabius ("Ugly Betty"), Annie Parisse ("Law & Order"), Cheyenne Jackson ("30 Rock" and "Glee"), Edward Herrmann ("Gilmore Girls")
SYNOPSIS: Pete (Mabius) is a good guy who used to be cool. Once living his dream in the music industry, he now toils away in the pricing department of a failing supermarket chain to provide for his loving wife and young son. When Pete’s new boss, Susan (Posey), takes over the department, her high-energy enthusiasm and unconventional ideas start to shake things up. She aims to reinvent the company while grooming Pete for the executive fast track. Making more money now than he ever hoped to in the music industry, Pete begins to wonder if this new career is just what he needs to become the man he’s always wanted to be.
THE DRAW: Posey's got a knack for wacky characters. She makes Zooey Deschanel look like an amateur.
Red Lights [thriller]
DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: Rodrigo Cortés (Buried)
CAST: Cillian Murphy, Sigourney Weaver, Robert De Niro, Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene), Toby Jones (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Leonardo Sbaraglia
SYNOPSIS: Two investigators of paranormal hoaxes, the veteran Dr. Margaret Matheson (Weaver) and her young assistant, Tom Buckley (Murphy), study the most varied metaphysical phenomena with the aim of proving their fraudulent origins. Simon Silver (De Niro), a legendary blind psychic, reappears after an enigmatic absence of 30 years to become the greatest international challenge to both orthodox science and professional sceptics. Tom starts to develop an intense obsession with Silver, whose magnetism becomes stronger with each new manifestation of inexplicable events. As Tom gets closer to Silver, tension mounts, and his worldview is threatened to its core.
THE DRAW: Cortés built his state-side reputation on his risky first American indie, which largely took place in a grave. It should be interesting to see what he can do with multiple characters and locations.
Robot and Frank [comedy/drama/sci-fi]
CAST: Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon, James Marsden, Liv Tyler, Peter Saarsgard
SYNOPSIS: Set in the near future, it's an offbeat buddy movie about an elderly ex-jewel thief and his new caretaker robot.
THE DRAW: Futuristic stories about the human condition always reveal compelling observations.
Safety Not Guaranteed [comedy]
CAST: Aubrey Plaza ("Parks and Recreation"), Mark Duplass ("The League"), Jake Johnson ("New Girl" and Paper Heart)
SYNOPSIS: Three magazine employees are sent to investigate a personal advertisement placed in the newspaper: guy seeking partner for time travel. They venture to the coast and set up a haphazard surveillance. Darius (Plaza) is recruited as the shill; her dry wit and cynical nature are perfectly suited to trap this enigmatic oddball, Kenneth (Duplass), and get a good story. But it is she who first sees past the paranoid loner façade to the compelling person inside. The drawback? This still doesn’t rule out the possibility that he just might be crazy.
THE DRAW: Plaza has improved tremendously since 2009's Mystery Team without sacrificing any of her oddball charm.
Save the Date [comedy/romance]
CAST: Lizzy Caplan ("Party Down"), Alison Brie ("Community"), Martin Starr ("Party Down"), Geoffrey Arend ("Body of Proof" and 500 Days of Summer), Mark Webber (Snow Day)
SYNOPSIS: Sarah finds herself caught in an intense postbreakup rebound with new infatuation Jonathan after tragically breaking the heart of rocker Kevin. Always one to give Sarah life advice is her sister Beth, who is diligently planning her upcoming wedding to apprehensive fiancé Andrew. Both sisters fumble through the bumpy emotional landscape of modern-day relationships, forced to relearn how to love and be loved.
THE DRAW: Caplan is due for a breakout role.
Shadow Dancer [drama/thriller]
DIRECTOR: James Marsh (Project Nim & Man on Wire)
CAST: Andrea Riseborough (W.E.), Clive Owen, Aidan Gillen ("Game of Thrones" and Blitz), Domhnall Gleeson (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), Gillian Anderson
SYNOPSIS: Growing up in a Republican family in 1970s Belfast, Collette McVeigh’s (Riseborough)  childhood is shattered, and her family radicalized, when her brother is killed. Twenty years later—a single mother with her own young son—Collette is active in the IRA, along with her two surviving brothers. During an aborted bomb attempt in London, Collette falls into the hands of an MI5 officer, Mac (Owen), who offers her a deal: turn informant or go to prison. Fearing for her son’s welfare, she returns to Belfast where—betraying family and beliefs—she becomes a reluctant mole for British intelligence. As suspicion of Collette mounts and Mac takes increasing risks to protect her, both feel the net closing in.
THE DRAW: It should be interesting to see the well-known documentary director get back to fictional drama to see if he still has the same appeal in the U.S.
Sleepwalk With Me
DIRECTOR: Mike Birbiglia
SCREENWRITER: Mike Birbiglia, Ira Glass ("This American Life"), Joe Birbiglia, Seth Barrish
CAST: Comedian Mike Birbiglia (Cedar Rapids), Lauren Ambrose ("Six Feet Under"), James Rebhorn, Carol Kane, Aya Cash ("Traffic Light")
SYNOPSIS: We are thrust into the tale of a burgeoning stand-up comedian struggling with the stress of a stalled career, a stale relationship threatening to race out of his control, and the wild spurts of severe sleepwalking he is desperate to ignore.
THE DRAW: He jumped out of a window while sleepwalking—like for real. There's plenty evidence of comedians reaching a breaking point, but never while unconscious.
Smashed [comedy/drama]
DIRECTOR: James Ponsoldt (Off the Black)
CAST: Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), Aaron Paul ("Breaking Bad"), Octavia Spencer (The Help), Nick Offerman ("Parks and Recreation"), Megan Mullally ("Will & Grace"), Mary Kay Place ("Big Love")
SYNOPSIS: Kate (Winstead) and Charlie (Paul) like to have a good time. Their marriage thrives on a shared fondness for music, laughter...and getting smashed. When Kate’s partying spirals into hard-core asocial behavior, compromising her job as an elementary schoolteacher, something’s got to give. But change isn’t exactly a cakewalk. Sobriety means she will have to confront the lies she’s been spinning at work, her troubling relationship with her mother, and the nature of her bond with Charlie.
THE DRAW: Paul is riding on accolades from his drug-fueled series, and it's time he parlays that into softer roles.
Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap [documentary]
DIRECTOR: Ice-T and Andy Baybutt
CAST: Bun-B, B-Real, Afrika Bambaataa, Ice Cube, Chuck D., Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, Mos Def, Common, Joe Budden, Salt of Salt n Pepa, KRS-One, MC Lyte, Nas, Q-Tip, Raekwon, Rakim, Redman, Joseph Simmons, Kanye West, Xzibit, and many more
SYNOPSIS: A performance documentary about the runaway juggernaut that is hip-hop.
THE DRAW: Music documentaries tend to be very interesting, because we rarely get to hear what artists think about what they do and how they do it, since they're usually so busy trying to sell their image.
The Surrogate [drama]
CAST: John Hawkes (Winter's Bone), Helen Hunt, William H. Macy
SYNOPSIS: The quest for love appears insurmountable when a man (Hawkes) confined to an iron lung determines, at age 38, to lose his virginity. Based on the autobiographical writings of Berkeley, California–based journalist and poet Mark O’Brien, it chronicles his attempt to transcend the limbo between childhood and adulthood, in which he is literally trapped. With the blessing of an unusual priest (Macy) and support from enlightened caregivers, the poignantly optimistic and always droll O’Brien swallows his fear and hires a sex surrogate (Hunt).
THE DRAW: It's an interesting human experience to explore.
That's What She Said [comedy]
DIRECTOR: Carrie Preston
CAST: Anne Heche ("Hung"), Alia Shawkat ("Arrested Development" and Whip It), Marcia DeBonis ("Lipstick Jungle")
SYNOPSIS: Longtime best friends Bebe (DeBonis) and DeeDee (Heche) are both wrestling with love. Bebe has met someone new and is in the exuberant phase of a budding romance. DeeDee is trying to move on from someone she can’t forget—mostly in destructive ways, like alcohol and chain smoking. As Bebe waits for the perpetually late DeeDee at their favorite coffee shop, she meets Clementine (Shawkat), a distraught young woman who can't keep a boyfriend due to her nymphomania. With Clementine in tow, Bebe and DeeDee soon embark on the kind of outrageous misadventure that only New York City can offer.
THE DRAW: New York is the best city to have adventures in. And who doesn't miss Shawkat?
This Must Be The Place [comedy/drama]
CAST: Sean Penn, Frances McDormand, Judd Hirsch ("Numb3rs"), Eve Hewson, Kerry Condon ("Luck"), Harry Dean Stanton ("Big Love")
SYNOPSIS:  Cheyenne (Penn), the bizarre, disconnected former lead singer of an iconic goth rock band, is rich and living in a palatial estate with his down-to-earth wife, Jane (McDormand). Emotionally distant from his disapproving father since adolescence and facing a midlife crisis, he undertakes to make things right by, of all things, hunting a Nazi who tormented his father in a concentration camp. The resulting detective work and road trip lead the emotionally unmoored Cheyenne to self-realizations, human connections, and a showdown perhaps more surprising than any other in movie lore.
THE DRAW: Penn being Penn.
Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie [comedy]
DIRECTOR: Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim
CAST: Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Zach Galifianakis, Will Forte
SYNOPSIS: Tim and Eric are given a billion dollars to make a movie but squander every dime, and the sinister Schlaaang Corporation is pissed. Their lives at stake, the guys skip town in search of some way to pay the money back. They happen upon a chance to rehabilitate a bankrupt mall full of vagrants, bizarre stores, and a man-eating wolf that stalks the food court, and they see dollar signs—a billion of them.
THE DRAW: I dunno. I guess if you like their TV show, and for the cameos.
Una Hora Por Favora [short/comedy]
DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: Jill Soloway ("Six Feet Under," "The United States of Tara," and "How to Make It In America")
CAST: Wilmer Valderrama, Michaela Watkins ("Enlightened" and The Back-Up Plan)
SYNOPSIS: A woman hires a day laborer for an hour and gets more than she bargained for.
THE DRAW: Watkins is grossly underappreciated considering how hilarious she is, and I'm a little intrigued by the plot teaser.
Wish You Were Here [drama/mystery]
CAST: Joel Edgerton (Warrior), Teresa Palmer (I Am Number Four), Felicity Price ("Home and Away"), Antony Starr
SYNOPSIS: Expectant parents Alice (Price) and Dave (Edgerton) join Alice’s younger sister, Steph (Palmer), and her new boyfriend, Jeremy (Starr), on an impromptu tropical getaway in Cambodia. But following Jeremy’s abrupt disappearance, the others must attempt to return to their normal lives in Sydney. The shell-shocked survivors' recovery begins to fall apart when a stinging truth about their time in Cambodia is revealed. The three must contend with the fallout, along with the looming threat of further revelations about that fateful night.
THE DRAW: The mystery.
The Words [drama/thriller]
DIRECTORS/SCREENWRITERS: Brian Klugman & Lee Sternthal (TRON: Legacy)
CAST: Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde, Zoe Saldana, Ben Barnes (The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian)
SYNOPSIS: Rory Jansen (Cooper), a struggling writer, aspires to be the next great literary voice. When he discovers a lost manuscript in a weathered attaché case, he realizes he possesses something extraordinary that he desperately wishes he had created. Rory decides to pass the work off as his own and finally receives the recognition he desperately craves. However, he soon learns that living with his choice will not be as easy as he thought as he faces a moral dilemma that will make him take a hard look at the man he has become.
THE DRAW: Cooper has proven with the indie Limitless that he does well with morally conflicted characters.
Your Sister's Sister [comedy/drama]
DIRECTOR: Lynn Shelton (Humpday)
CAST: Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt (Rachel Getting Married), Mark Duplass ("The League"), comedian Mike Birbiglia (Cedar Rapids)
SYNOPSIS: One year after his brother’s death, Jack (Duplass) hasn’t recovered. His best friend, Iris (Blunt), prescribes solitary reflection and sends him to her father’s empty cabin. But she doesn’t realize her sister, Hannah (DeWitt), is there for similar reasons, having just walked out on a seven-year relationship. Over tequila shots, Hannah and Jack get acquainted. When Iris drops in unexpectedly, complications arise in the form of rivalry and more than a few surprising revelations.
THE DRAW: Because Blunt has a knack for both comedy and drama, and rarely gets to showcase both simultaneously.

*All film plots were cribbed from either the Sundance website or IMDb.

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