With the U.S. film world’s most high-profile and most snow-blanketed event behind us, it's time for some score-carding. Which movies won big and which missed their moment at the Sundance Film Festival? Which trends took hold and which will be gone with the first spring thaw? Also, is Sam Rockwell being replaced by Josh Radnor as the actor contractually obligated to be in every third Sundance film?
Now that John Cooper has given his final screening introduction and the last of the Hollywood interlopers have fled Park City, here are some post-Sundance story lines to watch.
To The Barricades. The Occupy movement is now well over a year old, and the film world is very much starting to take notice. Documentaries and features alike, from nonfiction films like "Inequality for All" and “Occupy: The Movie” to corporate thrillers such as "The East," emerged at this year’s festival, the first of a coming wave of movies peddling these themes. Will they touch the zeitgeist anew? Get ready for the year of the wealth disparity and youthful activism, coming soon to a theater near you.
Bay Area Business. Sundance’s great strength is its ability to take a movie few had an eye on before the fest and, for a variety of reasons--serious themes, emerging filmmaker, compelling back story—launch it into the spotlight. “Fruitvale,” 26-year-old Ryan Coogler’s fact-based tale of the last day in the life of BART shooting victim Oscar Grant, fit this year's bill, for all those reasons and more. The movie, which won both grand jury and audience prizes this weekend, was the major story out of Sundance. What distributor Harvey Weinstein will be able to do with it come the 2013-2014 award season will help write the tale's next chapter.