NPR logo Oh Yeah... Sundance!

Cutting Room Floor

Oh Yeah... Sundance!

Today something finally got through the deluge of inauguration missives and directions — the Sundance Film Festival starts on Thursday. I can't help but feel that in any other January, talk about Sundance would rate fairly high on TOTN's buzz list, but this year, it's not even the elephant in the room, as my boss pointed out — it's the flea.

It seems really unfortunate to have the independent showcase going on at the same time as the biggest political event in ages, particularly since the show in Washington, DC is supposed to draw jet-loads of celebrities. It could mean the average Joe has an easier time getting into screenings in Park City, but it could also mean less attention for worthy movies. And, according to Neil Miller at, there are 37 films he plans to see, and 13 films he thinks are the cream of the crop.

Here are four he highlights that sound especially intriguing:

Big Fan: "[Patton] Oswalt takes the lead as a 35-year old Staten Island parking-garage attendant who is the self-described 'world's biggest New York Giants fan.' But after a misunderstanding with one of the Giants' players, he is sent down a path that will test his devotion to the extreme."

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men: "It's Jim from The Office. Writing and directing a movie. What more reason do I need to give? Taken a step further, Brief Interviews is based on an very interesting compilation of short stories by the late David Foster Wallace."

I Love You Phillip Morris: "The buzz around this film, which is the one that will forever be known as the love story between a Texas policeman turned con artist (Jim Carrey) and his sensitive fellow prisonmate (Ewan McGregor), is red hot. As in big heaping pile of memorably controversial A-list-actor-kissing-scenes hot. But I've got a feeling that there's much more to it than that. This writer/director tandem (Ficarra and Requa) previously wrote the script for Bad Santa, which as you know was a much more clever movie than it ever received credit for."

Dead Snow: "The story of eight medical students and their encounter with Nazi zombies in the Norwegian mountains, might just be enough to account for a few sleepless nights. And I won't be complaining — Nazi zombies are f***ing awesome, man."

Quite a lineup! Check out Miller's article, and this film guide, and tell me — which films are you hoping get distribution deals?