Sundance Hits And Misses So Far

Last year’s Sundance Film Festival was a memorable frenzy of purchases with distributors forking over millions for the rights to release films screened at the fest. In the first six days over a dozen films went for often record-breaking prices.

This year however there’s been no such rush on purchases.

Short of Marina Zenovich’s Roman Polanski documentary there has been little in the way of sales, and what has sold has been for only moest amounts. The lack of sales is believed to be fear due to many of last year’s big sellers like “Grace is Gone,” “Clubland,” “Slipstream,” “Rocket Science,” “Delirious,” and “The Savages” all dramatically tanking at the box-office.

Nevertheless packed screenings have been taking place and Lance Hammer’s debut effort “Ballast,” about a Mississippi Delta family shattered by suicide and violence, seems to be drawing the most consistent races. Jonathan Levine’s quirky “The Wackness” is also receiving a very enthusiastic response.

Good reaction also circles documentary “American Teen,” the Colin Farrell hitman comedy “In Bruges,” William Hurt drama “Yellow Handkerchief,” Brad Anderson’s thriller “Transsiberian” and the Michael Keaton-directed “The Merry Gentleman.”

Not faring as well are “The Great Buck Howard,” Amy Redford’s “The Guitar,” Sean Ellis’ horror flick “The Broken” and Barry Levinson’s “What Just Happened?” which received mixed or muted reactions.