Erik’s Sundance Film Festival ’09 Diary: Day 3


Aside from stalking the halls at Flavorwire, Erik Davis contributes to and is also the editor-in-chief of AOL Moviefone’s, one of the longest-running and most popular movie blogs online. He’ll be bringing us his industry reports from Sundance throughout the festival, and can be reached with tips or questions at erik [dot] davis [at] gmail [dot] com.

The weather is beautiful and so far the films are even better. Day 3 at Sundance brought the world premiere of The Greatest, a weepy, family-grieving-over-their-dead-kid flick starring Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon. And both of them turned in solid performances full of hurt and redemption, but the real stand-out was Carey Mulligan — a young up-and-comer from the UK who rocks a British Katie Holmes look, but absolutely steals the show as the pregnant almost-girlfriend of the boy that dies.

Following The Greatest was the world premiere of one of the most anticipated films of the festival, 500 Days of Summer, reuniting indie-darlings Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. Here’s a snippet from my review on Cinematical: “The feel-good, Fox Searchlight-y film of the festival, 500 Days of Summer is like When Harry Met Sally … if Sally turned around and repeatedly stabbed Harry in the heart with a toothpick. It’s an anti-fairytale about a boy who falls head over dress shoes for the kind of girl who doesn’t believe in love or fate or any of those cheesy words we often hear mentioned over and over again in this kind of romantic comedy.” It’s definitely this year’s hip, Garden State-esque rom-com, with a gotta-have-it soundtrack and a host of memorable scenes.

But, funnily enough, the greatest (and most memorable) film of the festival so far (for me) has got to be Mystery Team — that Napoleon Dynamite meets Encyclopedia Brown comedy from the internet-famous Derrick Comedy troupe out of New York. It’s silly and raunchy, and kind of reminded me of The Brady Bunch Movie on crack. Unfortunately, with no real names in the cast, the film — which is also hard to market — probably won’t succeed with a theatrical run, but with the right buzz behind it, this is a movie that will absolutely blow up on DVD.

Other Buzz: • Brooklyn’s Finest works until its ridiculous third act kicks in. • Despite Ashton Kutcher doing his best Josh Hartnett, Spread is taking in some positive buzz. • Cold Souls is definitely worth the watch as Paul Giamatti turns in a brilliant performance.