Taking a break from the 2010 awards spectacle, the crystal ball has started for 2011 with the announcement of the winners of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival:
a love story starring Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones (The Tempest), and Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar nominee from last year's Sundance champ, Winter's Bone. Keep on eye out here, as the last two years in a row, the big Sundance winner has been it's way into Oscar's fancy (Precious in 2009, and Winter's Bone in 2010); of course, with clearer thinking, one must be reminded that the last two years have been the only times in history where Sundance's top prize was also a Best Picture nominee...
GRAND JURY PRIZE (Documentary): How to Die in Oregon
A documentary by Peter Richardson about assisted suicide. Perhaps an Academy flick-- remember that 2 of the eventual Oscar nominees from last year made it in (Exit Through the Gift Shop and Restrepo), while the presumed frontrunner, now also-ran Waiting for 'Superman' also premiered at the 2010 Sundance Festival.
AUDIENCE AWARD (Drama): Circumstance
Drama centering around a wealthy Iranian family coming to terms with a teenager's sexual rebellion, and her brother's dangerous obsession...sounds ominous, and cheery!
AUDIENCE AWARD (Documentary): Buck
A documentary about master horse trainer, Buck Brannaman.
WORLD CINEMA AWARD (Drama): Happy, Happy
From Norway...Animal Kingdom won this prize a year ago, featuring a glowing and blistering Oscar nominated performance from Jacki Weaver.
WORLD CINEMA AWARD (Documentary): Hell and Back Again
A documentary from the perspective of the US Marine fighting in Afghanistan.
WORLD CINEMA AUDIENCE AWARD (Drama): Kinyarwanda
WORLD CINEMA AUDIENCE AWARD (Documentary): Senna
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Buzzed about flick starring Elizabeth Olsen (the sister of Mary Kate and Ashley) about a woman struggling to re-assimilate after fleeing a cult. Also stars Sarah Paulson and John Hawkes, a Best Supporting Actor nominee for Winter's Bone. I'd love to be around to hear people mangle that title up...would that be cruel?
BEST DIRECTOR (Documentary): Jon Foy, Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles
BEST DIRECTOR- WORLD CINEMA (Drama): Paddy Considine, Tyrannosaur
BEST DIRECTOR- WORLD CINEMA (Documentary): James Marsh, Project Nim
Awards buffs well remember that Marsh won the documentary prize two years ago for Man on Wire.
WALDO SALT SCREENWRITING AWARD: Sam Levinson, Another Happy Day
Dysfunction family flick starring Ellen Barkin, Ezra Miller (City Island), Demi Moore, Thomas Hayden Church and Ellen Burstyn.
BEST SCREENWRITING- WORLD CINEMA: Erez Kav-El, Restoration
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE: Felicity Jones, Like Crazy