Sundance Today: Brad Pitt and James Franco Walk the Red Carpet; 'Diary of a Teenage Girl' Stirs Divided Reactions

Sundance Today: Brad Pitt and James Franco Walk the Red Carpet; 'Diary of a Teenage Girl' Stirs Divided Reactions

Jan 25, 2015

Brad Pitt and James Franco at Sundancd 2015 for 'True Story'

People We're Buzzing About

Brad Pitt: The actor walked the red carpet on Friday in behalf of True Story, starring James Franco. Pitt serves as a producer for the project.

Keanu Reeves: Making his first-ever appearance at Sundance, Reeves showed up with members of the cast as well as director Eli Roth for the world premiere of Knock Knock. The director says it's a "great thrill" to be making his Sundance debut with the film, which he says is a suspense movie rather than a hard-edged horror entry. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Courtney Love: The musician and occasional actress attended the premiere of Montage of Heck, a documentary about her late husband, Kurt Cobain. Love walked the red carpet with her daughter Frances Bean Cobain, now 22 years of age. [THR]

Julia Roberts: Even without attending the festival, the actress managed to steal the spotlight. She will produce and star in a big-screen adaptation of Batkid Begins, a documentary revolving around a five-year-old boy with leukemia who wanted to be a superhero. The movie premiered last night at the Slamdance Film Festival, which is held in Park City, Utah, concurrently with the Sundance fest. [Deadline]


 

Around the Web

The cast of 'The Diary of a Teenage Girl' at Sundancd 2015

The Diary of a Teenage Girl: As is often the case, Sundance premieres sometimes inspire wildly differing reactions. Alexander Skarsgard is the object of affection in a teenage girl's first sexual encounter in the debut film by Marielle Heller, which has drawn both raves -- "This will be one of the significant indie titles of the year and a good commercial bet," according to The Hollywood Reporter -- as well as putdowns -- "I made it two-thirds of the way through … when it occurred to me that anything else I could conceivably be doing would be more interesting," snarls a critic for the New York Post. who apparently walked out of the screening.

The Hunting Ground: Described by a Los Angeles Times critic as "a devastating indictment of the plague of rapes on campuses," Kirby Dick's documentary features interviews with many women detailing the sexual assaults they suffered, and then the reaction of school officials and other authorities to their claims. The movie has also produced a storm of social media activity. 

Acquisitions: This year several films were snapped up for distribution even before the festival began, such as James Ponsoldt's The End of the Tour, which dramatizes an extensive interview between a Rolling Stone reporter (Jesse Eisenberg) and author David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel). Nicole Kidman's Strangerland also got picked up; it's the story of the parents of two children who go missing in the Australian desert. The Bronze, a raunchy comedy that provoked a lot of reaction on opening night, has been acquired for theatrical release, and it appears that supernatural title The Witch will secure distribution shortly.

 

My Own Private Sundance

Hailee Steinfield at Sundancd 2015

Celebrities who are at Sundance get just as excited as everyone else, such as Hailee Steinfield, above.

 

It's fun to follow along on Twitter from the warmth of home as intrepid festgoers slog through endless screenings and then share their instantaneous reactions to new movies.

 

Some critics shared their hopes for the movies they were about to see.

 

Even celebrities who weren't present at Sundance shared their feelings.

 

 

 

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