Sundance Film Festival 2012

This is a list of all the movies I have seen from The Sundance Film Festival 2012, in chronological viewing order. It was an excellent festival and experience as usual. The movies I intended to see but missed are still in my Sundance Interest list.

Films #1 and #2 were seen before the festival and #3-17 seen at Sundance itself.

From the premieres section, I particularly liked Liberal Arts.

From the US dramatic competition section, my favourite was Safety Not Guaranteed.

From the Park City at Midnight section, The Pact creeped me out.

From the spotlight section, The Raid was exciting to say the least.

From the shorts / documentaries, The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom was amazing and powerful.

The unseen title I most wished I had managed to catch was The Surrogate.

The best acting performance was by Frank Langella in Robot and Frank.

An honourable mention for just being outright fun goes to For a Good Time, Call ... the after-party for which I attended and met several cast and crew members, including Ari Graynor who seems to be in everything at the moment (loved her in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist).

My favourite new industry meeting was Rebecca Hall who is completely charming as expected (see us in mid-conversation here).

My favourite moment, outside of the IMDb pro 10th birthday dinner, was holding Lucy Walker's bag and coat while she accepted the documentary short film award on Tuesday!

Only 51 weeks until Sundance 2013!
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1.
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Survivors in the areas hardest hit by Japan's recent tsunami find the courage to revive and rebuild as cherry blossom season begins. (39 mins.)
Director: Lucy Walker
“ Seen at the world premiere at The Toronto International Film Festival ” - Col Needham
 
2.
Wuthering Heights (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
A poor boy of unknown origins is rescued from poverty and taken in by the Earnshaw family where he develops an intense relationship with his young foster sister, Cathy. Based on the classic novel by Emily Bronte. (129 mins.)
Director: Andrea Arnold
“ Seen at Toronto ” - Col Needham
 
3.
Celeste & Jesse Forever (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A divorcing couple tries to maintain their friendship while they both pursue other people. (92 mins.)
 
4.
The Pact (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
As a woman struggles to come to grips with her past in the wake of her mother's death and the disappearance of her sister, an unsettling presence emerges in her childhood home. (89 mins.)
 
5.
Arbitrage (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A troubled hedge fund magnate desperate to complete the sale of his trading empire makes an error that forces him to turn to an unlikely person for help. (107 mins.)
 
6.
Smashed (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A married couple whose bond is built on a mutual love of alcohol gets their relationship put to the test when the wife decides to get sober. (81 mins.)
Director: James Ponsoldt
 
7.
Lay the Favorite (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  
Ex-private dancer Beth aspires to be a Las Vegas cocktail waitress, when she falls in with Dink, a sports gambler. Sparks fly as she proves to be something of a gambling prodigy--much to the ire of Dink's wife, Tulip. (94 mins.)
Director: Stephen Frears
 
8.
The Raid: Redemption (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A S.W.A.T. team becomes trapped in a tenement run by a ruthless mobster and his army of killers and thugs. (101 mins.)
 
9.
Robot & Frank (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Set in the near future, an ex-jewel thief receives a gift from his son: a robot butler programmed to look after him. But soon the two companions try their luck as a heist team. (89 mins.)
Director: Jake Schreier
 
10.
Liberal Arts (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
When 30-something Jesse returns to his alma mater for a professor's retirement party, he falls for Zibby, a college student, and is faced with a powerful attraction that springs up between them. (97 mins.)
Director: Josh Radnor
 
11.
For a Good Time, Call... (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Former college frenemies Lauren and Katie move into a fabulous Gramercy Park apartment, and in order to make ends meet, the unlikely pair start a phone sex line together. (85 mins.)
Director: Jamie Travis
 
12.
Nobody Walks (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
A Silver Lake family's relaxed dynamic is tested after they take in a young artist so she can complete her art film. (83 mins.)
Director: Ry Russo-Young
 
13.
2 Days in New York (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Manhattan couple Marion and Mingus, who each have children from prior relationships, find their comfortable family dynamic jostled by a visit from Marion's relatives. (96 mins.)
Director: Julie Delpy
 
14.
Bachelorette (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
Three friends are asked to be bridesmaids at a wedding of a woman they used to ridicule back in high school. (87 mins.)
Director: Leslye Headland
 
15.
Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Three magazine employees head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified advertisement seeking a companion for time travel. (86 mins.)
Director: Colin Trevorrow
 
16.
Middle of Nowhere (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
When her husband is sentenced to eight years in prison, Ruby drops out of medical school in order to focus on her husband's well-being while he's incarcerated - leading her on a journey of self-discovery in the process. (97 mins.)
Director: Ava DuVernay
 
17.
Shadow Dancer (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Set in 1990s Belfast, an active member of the IRA becomes an informant for MI5 in order to protect her son's welfare. (101 mins.)
Director: James Marsh
 
18.
Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Faced with both her hot-tempered father's fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love. (93 mins.)
Director: Benh Zeitlin
 
19.
Filly Brown (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
A promising hip-hop rhymer from Los Angeles finds herself in a gray area when a record producer offers her a compromising shot at stardom. (80 mins.)
 
20.
For Ellen (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
A struggling musician takes an overnight long-distance drive in order to fight his estranged wife for custody of their young daughter. (94 mins.)
Director: SoYong Kim
 
21.
Keep the Lights On (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
In Manhattan, film-maker Erik bonds with closeted lawyer Paul after a fling. As their relationship becomes one fueled by highs, lows, and dysfunctional patterns, Erik struggles to negotiate his own boundaries while being true to himself. (101 mins.)
Director: Ira Sachs
 
22.
Red Lights (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Psychologist Margaret Matheson and her assistant study paranormal activity, which leads them to investigate a world-renowned psychic who has resurfaced years after his toughest critic mysteriously passed away. (114 mins.)
Director: Rodrigo Cortés
 
23.
The Sessions (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A man in an iron lung who wishes to lose his virginity contacts a professional sex surrogate with the help of his therapist and priest. (95 mins.)
Director: Ben Lewin
 
24.
The Words (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A writer at the peak of his literary success discovers the steep price he must pay for stealing another man's work. (102 mins.)
 
25.
Your Sister's Sister (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Iris invites her friend Jack to stay at her family's island getaway after the death of his brother. At their remote cabin, Jack's drunken encounter with Hannah, Iris' sister, kicks off a revealing stretch of days. (90 mins.)
Director: Lynn Shelton
 
26.
Compliance (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A normal Friday service at a fast food restaurant becomes interrupted by a police officer who claims an employee stole from a customer, but something more sinister is going on. (90 mins.)
Director: Craig Zobel