By Gregg Goldstein gcgoldstein@yahoo.com

Sundance Sales Chart Day Three

by Gregg Goldstein

Film Section Sales
Co
Odds Pros Cons First
Screening
Today’s Top Five
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 2:1 Standing O for audacious portrait of abused girl; vivid performances by Mo’Nique and wacky supporting cast (Mariah Carey, Sherry Shepherd, Lenny Kravitz) How much of the rapturous response is the Sundance effect? And how do you sell it? 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
Humpday DrComp Sub 3:1 Straight best buds link for gay porn; those who loved it really have a hard-on for it No stars, a premise not for the squeamish, and failed to turn some on 1/16, 12:15p, Eccles
The September Issue Doc Comp CAA 3:1 Rare inside look at the alleged inspiration for “The Devil Wear’s Prada,” Vogue’s Anna Wintour; great early buzz from SLC screening Sellers still have to convince buyers it’s as theatrical as its subject 1/16, 6:30p, Rose Wagner
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
Brooklyn’s Finest Prem WM/
CAA
4:1 Gere, Cheadle, Hawke, Snipes, Barkin in cop drama from “Training Day” director. Supposedly a few solid offers, and editing could continue Not the feel-good film of the year. Audience liked sections of it, hated others. 1/16, 6:15p. Eccles
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; it better be a satisfying cry 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; word-of-mouth building from pre-fest screening 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
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
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
The Killing Room Mid CAA 5:1 Psychological thriller with compelling premise and solid indie cast slayed some audience members … … while others feel it’s a pretentious “Saw”; could middling response kill its chances? 1/16, 11:30a, 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
Helen Spectrum Little 10:1 Ashley Judd sinks her teeth into bipolar role, and can sell some ancillary Seems to be depressing buyers, and audience response is tepid 1/16, 8:45, 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 Early buzz not looking good, but many have yet to weigh in 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
6:1 Indie vet Tom DiCillo unveils all-original footage of The Doors Video sales assured, but will it break on through to theatrical? Some industry office screener feedback less than stellar 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
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 5:1 Spike Lee filmed this unconventional, Tony-nominated musical, and both names will help sell the project: some good initial word Still has to show its theatrical pull 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 6:1 Ad industry study getting good word of mouth; could it be this year’s “Helvetica?” Amidst interest, some are questioning commercial appeal 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” No waves just yet. 1/16, 3:15p, HV4

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“Most of these women were in their early twenties. Most of them refused to go any further with him, but a few went to dinner, or to some sort of casting situation, or to someplace private… if the stories were just about some crazed sex addict who approaches thousands of women on the street trying to get laid, I wouldn’t be posting this now. I don’t want to be attacking every Hollywood douchebag who hits on countless women. That type of behavior isn’t cool, but I think it’s important to separate douchebaggery from any kind of sexual coercion. But the women I talked to who DID go someplace private with Toback, told stories that were worse than the women only accosted on the street… So I did what I could do in my impotent state – for over twenty years now, I’ve been bringing up James Toback every chance I could in groups of people. I couldn’t stop him, but I could warn people about him… I’ve been hoping the Weinstein/O’Reilly stuff would bring this vampire into the light (him and a couple others, frankly). So I was happy today to wake up to this story in the L. A. Times.”
~ James Gunn

“BATTLE OF THE SEXES: Politics and queerness as spectacle/spectacle as politics and queerness. Pretty delightful, lovely, erotic. A-

“Not since EASY A and CABARET have I seen Emma Stone give a real sense of her range. Here, she has pathos and interiority and desire. I love the cinematography and the ways in which the images of the tennis icons are refracted and manipulated via various surfaces/mediators. Also, wild how a haircut is one of the most erotic scenes in cinema this year. Spine tinglingly tactile that feels refreshing. Proof that *cough* you don’t need to be ~graphic/explicit~ to be erotic *cough*. Also, it made me want to get into tennis. Watching it, at least.

“There are interesting touches and intimations as to the cinematic nature of sports, & unpacking the formal approach of broadcasting sports.Also, I was here for Sarah Silverman smoking. And also, hi Mickey Sumner!! It’s a really interesting film about the ways in which public spectacle is never apolitical, and how spectacle is prone to assignation.

“There’s this one other scene from BATTLE OF THE SEXES that I love, and it’s the one in the bar. You see Billie looking after Marilyn as she dances. Through a crowd. There’s a paradoxical closeness and distance between them. In the purple light, and the kitschy decor, everything is distorted. But Billie catches a glance and you can feel the nervous swell inside.”
~ Kyle Turner