Sundance 2013 Preview: Dramatic and Documentary Premieres

Ryland Aldrich, Festivals Editor


We launched part one of our Sundance Preview series yesterday with a look at all four competition slates. Today we take you through a handful of our picks from the out of competition Premieres and Documentary Premieres sections. Stay tuned all week for plenty more pre-fest coverage from the Sundance Film Festal.

Dramatic Premieres



THE NECESSARY DEATH OF CHARLIE COUNTRYMAN
This highly coveted script by Matt Drake (Project X) marks the directorial debut of Frederick Bond. Shia LeBeouf stars as the titular traveler with Evan Rachel Wood as the Hungarian heartthrob and Mads Mikkelsen as the violent foil in this little plot. Moby cranked out some tunes (along with Dead Mono and Christophe Beck) for what could end up being one of the most talked about films of the fest.


PRINCE AVALANCHE
David Gordon Green's (George Washington, Your Highness) latest is this remake of Icelandic film Either Way. Emile Hirsch and Paul Rudd star in the road painter comedy that has been reimagined in Texas.


THE WAY, WAY BACK
My pick for sleeper hit of the fest is this Nat Faxon and Jim Rash (comic actors and writers of The Descendants) feature debut about an introverted kid who spends his summer at a rundown water park. With a great script and a cast that includes Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph, Rob Corddry, and Liam James, how is this not going to be awesome?


DON JON'S ADDICTION
JGL is about to start threatening James Franco's hardest working man in Hollywood title. He stars in his feature directorial debut about a porn-addicted modern day Don Juan. Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Brie Larson, and Tony Danza co-star.


BREATHE IN
Felicity Jones returns to Sundance, this time with Guy Pearce, Amy Ryan, Mackenzie Davis, and Kyle MacLachlan in Drake Doremus's follow-up to 2011's Grand Jury Prize-winning Like Crazy. Jones plays a foreign exchange student who lands like a rock in the pond of her American host family's idyllic life.


A.C.O.D.
Screenwriter Stuart Zicherman makes his directorial debut at the helm of a star-studded affair dealing with being an adult child of divorce. The cast includes Adam Scott, Richard Jenkins, Catherine O'Hara, Amy Poehler, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clark Duke, and Jessica Alba.


STOKER
Park Chan-wook's (Oldboy, Thirst) long awaited English-language debut is this supernatural thriller starring Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Dermot Mulroney, Jacki Weaver, and Nicole Kidman. Fox Searchlight is distributing.


THE EAST
Zal Batmanglij impressed Sundance audiences with his 2011 competition film Sound of My Voice. He's back with this Fox Searchlight produced film about a female private investigator that infiltrates an anarchist group. Brit Marling returns alongside Alex Skarsgård, Ellen Page, Toby Kebbell, Shiloh Fernandez, and Patricia Clarkson.


BEFORE MIDNIGHT
Another nine years have passed in the lives of Ethan Hawkes's Jesse and Julie Delpy's Celine. Finally, Richard Linklater will reveal if Jesse caught that plane and how the pair's philosophies on life, society, and love have evolved in the interim.


jOBS
Joshua Michael Stern's (Neverwas, Swing Vote) Ashton Kutcher-as-Steve Jobs biopic made some prefest buzz when it sold to Open Road. The company plans to release the film in theaters in April.


THE LOOK OF LOVE
Michael Winterbottom (24 Hour Party People, The Killer Inside Me) reteams with Steve Coogan for this hilarious looking tale of Britain's richest pornographer. Anna Friel, Imogen Poots, Tamsin Egerton, and Stephen Fry co-star.


VERY GOOD GIRLS
Every Sundance seems to have a young-girls-gone-badish movie of some sort and it seems like Dakota Fanning is usually involved. This time she teams with Sundance fave Lizzie Olsen in screenwriter/producer Naomi Foner's directorial debut about two girls who fall for the same guy one hot New York summer.

Documentary Premieres



WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS
One of the most anticipated docs at the fest is Oscar winner and prolific director Alex Gibney's exploration of Julian Assange and the cultural impact his organization has created.


ANITA
What was really on that can of Diet Coke? Five-time Oscar nominee (with one win for Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision in '95) Frieda Mock looks back at the Anita Hill circus and the first time most people heard harassment pronounced the funny way.


SOUND CITY
This directorial debut docu from rock star Dave Grohl tells the story of famous recording studio Sound City and takes a look at the recording industry's move towards digital.


WHICH WAY IS THE FRONT LINE FROM HERE? THE LIFE AND TIME OF TIM HETHERINGTON
Best known to Sundance audiences as the co-director of 2010 Grand Jury Prize-winning Restrepo, Hetherington's co-director Sebastian Junger tells the story of the photojournalist-filmmaker and his tragic 2011 death in Libya.


THE CRASH REEL
Oscar nominated director Lucy Walker (Waste Land) tells the story of brain damaged snowboarder Kevin Pearce.

We'll be back tomorrow to preview the Midnight, Next, Spotlight, and New Frontiers sections.

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