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Best Of Sundance 2013

Edward Loera |
January 28, 2013 | 2:56 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Every January, the coolest of celebrities layer on their cutest parkas and head to the snow-capped mountains of Parkside, Utah for the Sundance Film Festival. This prestigious festival celebrates the upcoming works of American independent film, and in past years has brought forth some of the year's most memorable and pre-Oscar buzzworthy movies. Past titles coming from Sundance include such standouts as ‘Little Miss Sunshine’, ‘Precious’, ‘Napoleon Dynamite’, and ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’, and the fest is the perfect opportunity to see what film may be be on your next years’ Oscars office pool.

As movie studios continue to fight over the next best movie of 2013, we’ve included some of Sundance’s standout films that may come to a theater near you.

Kill Your Darlings

(Sundance)
(Sundance)
Harry, is that you? Yes, our resident wizard Daniel Radcliffe returns as a young Allen Ginsburg while studying at Columbia. During his studies, Ginsburg falls for his fellow classmate Lucien Carr, who introduces Gingsburg to the Bohemian world of New York and future Beat-authors William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac. Add in a murder, and you get a film that explores the beginnings of these famed poets and authors.

The Spectacular Now

(Sundance)
(Sundance)
Shailene Woodley is quickly becoming a name to remember around Hollywood. Star of ‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager’, Woodley shines in ‘The Spectacular Now' as a nerdy, science-fiction reading girl who befriends Sutter Kelly, an in-the-moment type dude who loves to party but lacks any real direction. Whether or not this storyline has already been exhausted remains to be seen in this high school romance film exploring the difficulties and insecurities that come with adolescence.

Don John’s Addiction

(Sundance)
(Sundance)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, nuff said. Making his directorial debut, Gordon-Levitt plays Jon Martello, a total guido whose womanizing tendencies do not provide him as much satisfaction as when he watches online pornography. Unhappy with his situation, Gordon-Levitt’s character decides to pursue a much more satisfying love life through the likes of co-stars Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore. As raunchy as it is funny, this film testifies to Gordon-Levitt’s wide range of skills.

Mud

(Sundance)
(Sundance)
‘Mud’ tells the story of two boys, Ellis and Neckbone, who on the banks of the Mississippi encounter outlaw Mud (played by Matthew McConaughey). McConaughey flexes his acting skills as a quick-witted drifter who takes an interest in the two boys as he tries to reunite with his a former love. The film portrays the Deep South with detailed imagination, creating an irresistible tale of adventure that excites people of all ages.

Ain’t Them Bodies Saint

(Sundance)
(Sundance)
‘Ain’t Them Bodies Saint’ gives us another tale of outlaws, if not a much darker one. Starring Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck as Ruth Guthrie and Bob Muldoon respectively, this film explores the relationship of an outlaw couple that, after a shootout with policemen, lands Bob in prison. While incarcerated, Ruth gives birth to a daughter, all the while dealing with her longing for Bob. Although at times a bit long, the film otherwise trenchantly explores how we look for resolve in our lives. 

jOBS

(Sundance)
(Sundance)
Ashton Kutcher took on the daunting task of portraying Steve Jobs, the innovative co-founder of Apple who has revolutionized the entire technological world. And whether or not the film accurately portrays the personalities surrounding the creation of Apple (co-founder Steve Wozniak would sharply disagree), Kutcher manages to capture a short-tempered, highly imaginative Jobs whose turbulent path towards CEO of Apple changed the world as we knew it.

Touchy Feely

(Sundance)
(Sundance)
‘Touchy Feely’s strong cast -including Rosemarie DeWitt, Ellen Page, Josh Paris, and Ron Livingston - gives a strong performance that explores how people learn to feel comfortable in their own skin. This film tells the story of Abby, a massage therapist who suddenly becomes repulsed by bodily contact, and her brother Paul, whose failing dentistry practice is, unsurprisingly, reinvigorated by his “magic” touch.
 

Lovelace

(Sundance)
(Sundance)
Sex and pornography continue to be a hot subject at Sundance with ‘Lovelace’, a biopic about Linda Lovelace - played by Amanda Seyfried. Lovelace was a hardcore pornographic actress who starred in ‘Deep Throat’, the infamous porno that garnered a huge audience in the 1970s. Adult-film actress turned sexual freedom promoter turned anti-porn advocate, Lovelace lived a life of international recognition that, sadly, held many secrets and sorrows. With cast mates including James Franco, Sarah Jessica Parker, Chloe Sevingy, and Sharon Stone, Lovelace promise to be a standout film.

The Way, Way Back

(Sundance)
(Sundance)
In “The Way, Way Back’, Steve Carrel breaks from his typical soft-spoken, awkward, big-hearted characters to play Trent, an outspoken and overbearing guy who's dating Pam (played by Toni Collette). At the center of this film is the coming-of-age story of Duncan, the 14-year-old son of Pam who over the summer works at the local waterpark as his mother and her boyfriend begin to grow more distant towards him. Duncan finds a mentor in a worker at the water park, Owen, who helps him navigate the tricky tides of adolescence.

Fruitvale

(Sundance)
(Sundance)
Coming into Sundance with relatively little buzz, ‘Fruitvale’ has quickly become one of the jems of the festival. The film chronicles the last day of Oscar Grant, the 22-year-old Bay Area resident who was fatally shot by a B.A.R.T police officer even though unarmed. Grant’s murder by law enforcement, and the subsequent violent protests that took place throughout Oakland, as well as the viral videos of the shooting, reignited tensions between civilians and law enforcement. The film suggests that Grant’s life was tragically cut short in the midst of Grant putting his life back together after years of trouble. Starring Michael B. Johnson as Oscar and Octavia Spencer as his mother, this film evokes big emotion and big social questions about American society and law enforcement.

Reach Staff Reporter Edward Loera here and follow him on Twitter here



 

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