Welcome back! Now that we’ve been through my “bottom” five films from the 2010 Sundance Film Festival’s opening weekend, we get to the good stuff – the top five! Let’s just jump right in and see what is more than likely to be gracing a silver screen near you sometime this year (or quite soon even).
Filmed nearby at Snowbasin Resort in Huntsville, Utah, comes a neat little film about the perils of skiing. It features some up and comers in the form of actors Emma Bell, Shawn Ashmore, and Kevin Zegers, who play Parker, Joe, and Dan respectively. We find the three hoping to have one last run down the hill before the resort closes for the week. At Mount Holliston they’re only open for the weekend and they bribe an employee to let them have one last hop down the hill before closing for a measly $100. Then all hell breaks loose for the three as they are left behind and abandoned on the lift. It’s pick your poison time as wolves, compound fractures, and frostbite all rear their ugly heads in a fight for survival that flies by in a scant 90 minutes or so. The characters are never too self-centered and their conversations feel real while the three try to figure a way out of their sticky situation. Luckily for everyone, this film opens (at least locally here in Utah) on February 5 and, having been picked up by Anchor Bay, should hopefully expand as a trailer makes it way around the net. A full review should be available next week.
Featuring one of the more interesting titles at this year’s festival for sure, Josh Radnor (of How I Met Your Mother fame) brings an at times heartbreakingly hilarious tale of friendships, relationships, and the things that make them work or how one can make things worse while not knowing what to do. When Sam (Radnor) wakes up late from yet another drunken one-night stand late for an interview concerning his debut novel he runs into young Rasheen (Michael Algieri), who Sam thinks has been left behind on the subway by his family. Rasheen doesn’t know how old he is and Sam is told that it was his foster family which left him and now Sam is stuck with a child in the place of a found pet on the street. This is the first of at least one too many plot lines, yet the supporting characters give so much attention to their work that it could be seen as a cross between Garden State and Love Actually. It does run a little too long and has tons of montages running rampant, but I’d rather watch a collection of scenes set to music than each individual scene dragged out in its entirety any day. The soundtrack is infectious and Kate Mara steals the whole show as Sam’s mysterious belle named Mississippi. Watch out for Kate in this summer’s Iron Man 2 playing opposite Robert Downey, Jr. and Jon Favreu in at least one scene.