Joshua Brunsting

by: Joshua Brunsting
January 23rd, 2011

Never let it be said that there is a slow day while the Sundance Film Festival is going on.

While much of the focus this weekend has been placed upon the shoulders of Kevin Smith and his latest film, RED STATE (which premiered tonight with seemingly middling reviews from press who got a chance to get into the premiere), a few other films have found themselves homes over this past weekend.

First, one of the festival’s other big names, the Drake Doremus film LIKE CRAZY, has gone to Paramount Pictures. Starring Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones, LIKE CRAZY is not only the first big hit of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, but it’s one of the more interesting moves this year, with Paramount (who makes their money in films like TRANSFORMERS and the upcoming THOR and CAPTAIN AMERICA) taking up this decidedly smaller project. Could it be bigger studios are taking hints from the likes of the Weinstein Company (who themselves picked up last year’s big Sundance hit, BLUE VALENTINE), and others who have found the festival to be fruitful come late year awards season? Toss in a supporting turn by Jennifer Lawrence, and you have a film that is not only apparently taking the hearts of critics, but the biggest names in film distribution as well.

A decidedly less beloved film, MARGIN CALL, has also picked a distributor, in Roadside Attractions. In another interesting move, a film that’s gotten far less interesting or high praise has gone to a much tinier distributor than you would imagine, given the really great cast. However, buzz has been really middling, but when you have a cast including Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, and Jeremy Irons, there is still quite a lot of reasons to get really excited.

Finally, on the documentary front, James Marsh’s latest documentary, PROJECT NIM, has gone to HBO. The film follows the life of a trained monkey, and while it may not sound like much, the film has apparently gotten a lot of great responses coming out of its premiere.

Also, MPI Media Group has nabbed SXSW 2010 and Sundance 2011 film, MR. NICE, with the really well loved Paul Rudd-starring comedy, MY IDIOT BROTHER going to The Weinstein Company for a paltry $6 million. More on Sundance purchases as they come.

What do you think?

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