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This was the coveted ticket at Sundance, apparently. We arrived 2 1/2 hours before the screening and were shocked to find that we were nearly 90th in line! We luckily got into our screening,but unfortunately, the movie was a disappointment. The cast is stellar; Joe Fiennes and Winona Ryder are the headliners, and there are many cameos, including Tim Blake Nelson and Robin Tunney, who starred in director Finn Taylor's last movie, Cherish. In addition, Chris Penn (who unfortunately passed away just the day before the premiere of this film at Sundance), Wilmer Valderrama, Alessandro Nivola, Ty Burrell, Juliette Lewis, Tom Hollander, and David Arquette were some of the other cameos included.
Joe Fiennes plays a police detective who is thrown off the squad due to his propensity to faint at the sight of blood. He and Ryder's character get together and try to find out what makes these "Darwin Award" winners tick. I am not sure that point is ever resolved in this film, which is part of the reason why it is uneven. Also, there is just no chemistry between Ryder and Fiennes. I really didn't care whether or not the two of them "got together" or not.
There are a few laughs in the film as the Award "winners" demonstrate what they did to "win." The problem is that they just didn't effectively sum up the movie. It was a little confusing. I will probably rent the DVD when it comes out so that I can see if I just missed it. Another problem is the documentary "filmmaker" who tags along. Why? He seems pointless.
All in all, we had a great time at the screening; Fiennes, Valderrama, Burrell, and Brad Hunt, as well as Finn Taylor, and the author of the book (The Darwin Awards) led the Q and A session afterward. That was the best part of the screening! My recommendation is that if you want to see a good Finn Taylor film, rent "Cherish".
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