Sundance 2011 Diary – Day Three

Sundance 2011 Diary – Day Three

Jan 24, 2011

Part of the Sundance festival's push toward interactivity has resulted in lots of ways for people to experience the event without having to schlep all the way to Park City. If you go to Sundance.org, you can check out various live-streaming press conferences and panels each day. And there's an entire Sundance YouTube channel with plenty of content you can watch in your PJs.

And then there's Sundance Selects, which will make festival titles Kaboom and Uncle Kent available very soon via video-on-demand. (Both of these movies will also get theatrical distribution, but their sexual explicitness might make them more appropriate for home viewing, if you know what I mean.)

Meanwhile, here at the festival, one insider told me that the Audience Award was pretty much wrapped up after Saturday morning's world premiere of Tom McCarthy's Win Win, which stars Paul Giamatti as a small-town lawyer and wrestling coach who gets way more than he bargained for after becoming an elderly client's guardian – specifically, the arrival of the client's grandson (first-timer Alex Shaffer, who's terrific). It's charming and funny, and the cast – which also includes Amy Ryan, Bobby Cannavale, Jeffrey Tambor, Melanie Lynskey, and Burt Young – couldn't be better. I'll go out on a limb and predict they've got a very good shot at the Robert Altman Award, given for best ensemble, at next year's Independent Spirit Awards.

In other news from Saturday, Morgan Spurlock took his meta-approach to product placement one step further by adding "POM Wonderful Presents" to the title of The Greatest Movie Ever Sold; the rom-com Like Crazy got mostly positive word-of-mouth, as did The Future, the latest from Miranda July; and audiences apparently wept over We Were Here, a documentary about AIDS in San Francisco in the '70s and '80s, as told by survivors of the era. In the same way that it took three decades for pop culture to start seriously addressing the Holocaust, we're entering into an era where, one hopes, more filmmakers will look at the devastation of the early years of the epidemic.

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