By Gregg Goldstein gcgoldstein@yahoo.com

Sundance Sales Chart Day Two

by Gregg Goldstein

Film Section Sales
Co
Odds Pros Cons First
Screening
Today’s Top Five
Brooklyn’s Finest Prem WM/
CAA
2:1 Gere, Cheadle, Hawke, Snipes, Barkin and “Training Day” director doing what they’ve done best: cop drama With all these surefire elements, why does it need a Sundance rampup to sell? 1/16, 6:15p. Eccles
I Love You Phillip Morris Prem CAA/
End
2:1 A Carrey/McGregor prison romance from writers of “Bad Santa” First-time helmers tackle subject matter that could go very wrong in the wrong hands. 1/18, 9:30p, Eccles
Push: Based on the
novel by Sapphire
DrComp Cin 4:1 Audacious portrait of abused girl; vivid performances by Mo’Nique and wacky supporting cast (Mariah Carey, Sherry Shepherd, Lenny Kravitz) From the man who brought you “Shadowboxer”; could be too over the top 1/16, 8p, Racquet Club
Spread Prem CAA/
End
2:1 Gigolo satire from sexpert helmer of “Young Adam” How many good Ashton Kutcher or Anne Heche comedies can you name? 1/17, 9:15p, Eccles
The Winning Season Premieres Cin 4:1 Female “Bad News Bears” centering on high school basketball team, Emma Roberts, late add like top-seller “Hamlet 2″ Sam Rockwell films sell big at Sundance, but haven’t performed. James Strouse a Sundance fave … but not for comedy 1/19, 8:30p, Library
Other Narratives In Play
An Education World DrComp CAA 4:1 ’60s coming-of-age romance from scribe Nick Hornby with Sarsgaard, Molina, Thompson and a breakout Mulligan Subject matter too familiar and trite if not done right 1/18, 3p, Egyptian
Arlen Faber Dr Comp CAA/
ICM
4:1 Daniels, Graham, Pucci in romantic tale of reclusive author Might be too navel-gazing or quirky for its own good 1/18, 5:15p, Racquet Club
Cold Souls DrComp Cin 4:1 Giamatti, Strathairn, Watson, Ambrose in a unique “metaphysical tragi-comedy” Yes. A metaphysical tragi-comedy 1/17, 5:15p, Racquet Club
The Greatest DrComp End/
CAA
4:1 Tearjerker with Brosnan and Sarandon called “as fine a debut as we can present” Son dies in car accident, for those who didn’t get their fill in “Reservation Road” 1/17, 3:15p, Eccles
In The Loop Premieres Prot 4:1 James Gandolfini in satire of war and politics could be a sleeper hit Small, filled with unknown Brits and distinctly British humour 1/19, 11:15a, Yarrow
Motherhood Premieres End 4:1 Harried-mom comedy with Thurman, Edwards, Driver Urban anxiety can make for anxious audiences 1/21, 9:30p, Eccles
Paper Heart DrComp UTA 4:1 Two words: Michael Cera. Possibly offbeat hit Muted response to screener making rounds 1/17, 8p, Racquet Club
World’s Greatest Dad Spectrum CAA/
Cin
4:1 Robin Williams in another dark comedy from “Sleeping Dogs Lie” writer/director Bobcat Goldthwait Williams sometimes a selling point, sometimes a liability 1/18, 5:30p, Library
Big Fan DrComp Andr
Hur
5:1 Good buzz on sports fanatic spoof directed by “The Wrestler” scribe … … who also wrote “The Onion Movie.” Star Patton Oswalt an unproven commodity 1/18, 8p, Racquet Club
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men Dr Comp CAA 5:1 Hot star John Krasinski directing, starring and adapting from David Foster Wallace novel Adaptations are tricky, and not every sitcom star is Zach Braff. Slot after heated sales lineup weekend 1/19, 3:15p. Eccles
Endgame Prem End 5:1 Good cast (Hurt, Ejiofor) in South African apartheid thriller CNN currently chock full of other real-life political thrillers 1/18, 6:16p, Eccles
Five Minutes of Heaven World DrComp UTA 5:1 Liam Neeson, James Nesbitt and director of “Downfall” Violence in Northern Ireland. Good times. 1/19, 6:30p, Egyptian
Helen Spectrum Little 5:1 Ashley Judd sinks her teeth into bipolar role Mental illness, depression… Lifetime movie? 1/16, 8:45, Library
Humpday DrComp Sub 5:1 Straight best buds link for gay porn; getting great buzz Will need great buzz to overcome no stars, and a premise not for the squeamish 1/16, 12:15p, Eccles
The Killing Room Mid CAA 5:1 Psychological thriller with compelling premise and solid indie cast Possibly just a pretentious “Saw” 1/16, 11:30p, Prospector
Peter & Vandy DrComp End 5:1 Some good buzz behind Manhattan romance with Sundance “Teeth” award-winner Weixler Stage adaptations risk being stagey; Star Ritter must live down last year’s “Good Dick” 1/19, 8p, Racquet Club
Shrink Premieres WM 5:1 “In Treatment” has proven the appeal of therapy dramas Spacey’s star power has shrunk; Hollywood inside baseball? 1/18, 11:15a, Yarrow
Dare DrComp xCin 6:1 Sex-charged teen romance featuring Emmy Rossum Supporting cast (Gasteyer, Cumming, Bernhard) from many an indie stinker 1/19, 5:15p, Racquet Club
The Messenger Premieres UTA 7:1 Talented scribe Oren Moverman’s directing debut Another Iraq war drama; Ben Foster, Harrelson have spotty track records 1/19, 9:30p, Eccles
Amreeka Dr Comp WM 8:1 Sometimes humorous, very topical struggle of Palestinian mom on West Bank No stars, Iraq war backdrop … it better be great 1/17, 12:15p, Eccles
Black Dynamite Mid End 8:1 Blaxploitation satire with potential for cult following Too culty for its own good? 1/18, 11:30p, Library
The Missing Person Spectrum Visit 8:1 Contemporary film noir with welcome return of Amy Ryan and breakout star Michael Shannon Too arty for its own good? 1/16, 6p. Library
Manure Premieres v 10:1 Thornton, Leoni, McLachlan in what could be the Polish Bros’ Coen Bros moment with a ’60s period comedy Polish Bros artiness sometimes overwhelms all else 1/20, 9:30p, Eccles
Mary & Max Opening Night Icon 10:1 Quirky Aussie claymation from Oscar-winning director good enough to attract Hoffman and Collette Too quirky for many at the opening night screening, garnering mixed reactions 1/15, 6p, Eccles
Mystery Team Midnight Sub 10:1 Potential sleeper with foul-mouthed teens; could hit right chord… …or extremely wrong one. Online trailer looks iffy; no-name cast 1/17, 11:30p, Library
Toe To Toe DrComp WM 10:1 Complicated relationship between two female high school teammates; interracial issues a hot topic Virtually all unknown cast; tough sell 1/16, 3:15p, Eccles
The Vicious Kind Spectrum ICM 10:1 Tough portrait of emotionally damaged father See “Pros” 1/17, 8:30p, Library
Don’t Let Me Drown DrComp Loeb
Loeb
20:1 Latino high schoolers in post-9/11 romantic drama No stars, depressing premise 1/18, 12:15p, Eccles
Other Documentaries In Play
The Carter Midnight Cin 4:1 One of the hottest selling rappers in a hurting music biz, Lil’ Wayne Will the audience for this film go to the theater or wait for DVD? 1/17, Midnight Eccles
When You’re Strange Doc Comp Sub/
Cin
4:1 Indie vet Tom DiCillo unveils all-original footage of The Doors Video sales assured, but will it break on through to theatrical? 1/17, 9p, Temple
Good Hair Doc Comp ICM 5:1 If every black hair magazine reader buys a ticket to producer/star Chris Rock’s comic, celeb-filled take on the topic, it’s a hit. Interest in niche topic could be hair today, gone tomorrow 1/18, 9p, Temple
The September Issue Doc Comp CAA 5:1 Rare inside look at the alleged inspiration for “The Devil Wear’s Prada,” Vogue’s Anna Wintour Won’t be in vogue if it’s as cold as its subject 1/16, 6:30p, Rose Wagner
Why We Laugh: Black Comedians on Black Comedy Spectrum WM 5:1 Robert Townsend interviews a Who’s Who of top comedians. The next Kings of Comedy? Maybe be too long on analysis, too short on laughs 1/17, 5:30p, Prospector
Passing Strange Spectrum: Docu Spotlight End 6:1 Spike Lee filmed this unconventional, Tony-nominated musical, and both names will help sell the project Must prove worthy of life beyond PBS 1/16, 2:30p, Library
Reporter Doc Comp Films
Trans
6:1 A New York Times reporter’s valiant attempt to put an African crisis on the map speaks volumes about the state of journalism today Most political docs have had a tough boxoffice ride 1/16, 9:30p, Temple
We Live In Public Doc Comp Sub/
Cin
6:1 Stranger than fiction dot-com boom art experiment from Web entrepreneur Must rise above Discovery Channel audience interest to sell 1/19, 6p, Temple
The Cove Doc Comp Sub/
WM
8:1 Fascination with dolphins may propel sale of this dark tale Animal Planet shows wade in similar waters 1/18, 3p, Temple
No Impact Man Spectrum: Docu Spotlight Cin 8:1 Family undertakes controversial experiment to live a year with no carbon footprint; could tap “An Inconvenient Truth” audience Another inconvenient truth: many socially conscious docs have no theatrical impact 1/16, 11:30a, Library
Art & Copy Doc Comp Sub 10:1 Ad industry study getting good word of mouth Risks being too academic 1/16, 5:30p, Prospector
Big River Man World Doc Comp Salt 20:1 Slovenian man’s attempt at record swim could be Michael Phelps meets “Grizzly Man” Drowned by competition? 1/16, 3:15p, HV4

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Quote Unquotesee all »

“The sad and painful truth is that pretty much everyone in this town knew who Harvey was. I have had long talks with my most liberal friends. Did we know he was a rapist? We didn’t. But did we know that for decades he has been offering actresses big careers in exchange for sexual favors? Yes, we did — and make no mistake, that is its own kind of rape. And did we all — or did any of us — refuse to do business with him on moral grounds? No. We ALL STAYED IN BUSINESS WITH HIM. I have never done business with Harvey but I can tell you with certainty that I would have — because I was recently approached by a film festival he sponsors. They asked me to submit my short film for their consideration and I did it without thinking twice. I am a dyed-in-the-wool feminist and a vocal one at that. So why didn’t I think twice? Because this entire town is built on the ugly principals that Harvey takes to an horrific extreme. If I didn’t work with people whose behavior I find reprehensible, I wouldn’t have a career.”
~ Showrunner Krista Vernoff

From AMPAS president John Bailey:

Dear Fellow Academy Members,

Danish director Carl Dreyer’s 1928 film “The Passion of Joan of Arc” is not only one of the visual landmarks of the silent era, but is a deeply disturbing portrait of a young woman’s persecution in the face of the male judges and priests of the ruling order. The actress Maria Falconetti gave one of the most profoundly affecting performances in the history of cinema as the Maid of Orleans.

Since the decision of the Academy’s Board of Governors on Saturday October 14 to expel producer Harvey Weinstein from its membership, I have been haunted not only by the recurring image of Falconetti and the sad arc of her career (dying in Argentina in 1946, reputedly from a crash diet) but of Joan’s refusal to submit to an auto de fe recantation of her beliefs.

Recent public testimonies by some of filmdom’s most recognized women regarding sexual intimidation, predation, and physical force is, clearly, a turning point in the film industry—and hopefully in our country, where what happens in the world of movies becomes a marker of societal Zeitgeist. Their decision to stand up against a powerful, abusive male not only parallels the cinema courage of Falconetti’s Joan but gives all women courage to speak up.

After Saturday’s Board of Governors meeting, the Academy issued a passionately worded statement, expressing not only our concern about harassment in the film industry, but our intention to be a strong voice in changing the culture of sexual exploitation in the movie business, already common well before the founding of the Academy 90 years ago. It is up to all of us Academy members to more clearly define for ourselves the parameters of proper conduct, of sexual equality, and respect for our fellow artists throughout our industry. The Academy cannot, and will not, be an inquisitorial court, but we can be part of a larger initiative to define standards of behavior, and to support the vulnerable women and men who may be at personal and career risk because of violations of ethical standards by their peers.

Yours,
John