Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sundancing 2008

We saw 2 movies at Sundance last night. Let me just start by saying that the Rose Wagner is officially my venue of choice in Salt Lake. It's so nice! I have a place in my heart for the Broadway, don't get me wrong, but this was just a comfortable experience. I really liked it.

It generally happens that some movies at Sundance are better than others. . . and it's hard to tell ahead of time what will fall into either category. Last night was a prime example.

Our first movie was Pheobe in Wonderland, starring 9 year old Elle Fanning. I had no idea Dakota Fanning had a little sister, and I certainly didn't think she'd blow me away with her acting skills, but HOLY COW. This little girl is amazing. The role she's playing of a girl with Tourettes Syndrome that is just starting to exhibit serious symptoms of the disease. She has a moment with her mother, played by Felicity Huffman where she breaks down that was seriously heartbreaking. And she's 9! The adults in the movie are all pretty over the top. Bill Pullman gives the most honest performance, but the movie isn't really about them anyway. If you get a chance, and I'm sure you will, because this will certainly get picked up by a studio, SEE this movie.

The second film of the night was Michael Keaton's directorial debut called Merry Gentleman. After sleeping on it, I've decided the best way to describe this film is uneven. It didn't know what kind of movie it wanted to be. It was occasionally funny, occasionally depressing, and often SLOW and dull. Kelly Macdonald was awesome, as usual, but the script did her no favors. It was a pretty big disappointment of a movie, especially following Phoebe. I can't say I'd recommend this one.

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