Have you ever wondered, “Do I actually like this person, or do I just like them because I’m always drunk when I’m with them?” Smashed looks to dive headfirst into this question as Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and her husband Charlie (Aaron Paul) trade in the bottle for sobriety (and the reality that comes with it.) Paul has been burning up TV screens with his portrayal of a meth dealer with heart in Breaking Bad and I look forward to seeing him take the lead on the big screen. Throw in Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally in supporting roles and I’m pretty much sold.
John Hawkes’ name has become almost synonymous with Sundance (with breakout roles in last year’s Martha Marcy May Marlene and 2009’s Winter’s Bone) and this year finds him paired with Helen Hunt, a woman hired to help him lose his virginity – at the ripe ol’ age of 38. But do not expect to see any 40 Year Old Virgin jokes here as The Surrogate looks to focus on the more serious aspect of what waiting that long to experience such a pivotal moment in one’s development (both sexually and socially) really means.
Something From Nothing: The Art Of Rap
Anyone who has tried to take on some of the industry’s top rap artists at karaoke can atest – it is no easy feat spitting those rhymes. Beyond the skill it takes to perform those fast flows, this documentary looks to delve into the process I’ve always been interested in: creating the music and lyrics themselves. Ice-T takes audiences past the bravado and hype that can surround the rap game and find out how some of the world’s top artists (from Nas to Eminem to Run-DMC to Snoop Dogg) create their music and lyrical tongue twisters.
As a writer, there is one thing you must never, ever, ever do – plagiarize. Yes – that blank Word Doc staring back at you can be intimidating, but in the digital era of search fields it is nearly impossible to think you could fly under the radar for long if you poached someone else’s work. Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper) stars as a struggling writer who does the unthinkable and The Words focuses on his journey as he deals with the repercussions of that decision. I am looking forward to seeing Cooper take on this slightly heavier fare while supported by an amazing cast which includes Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid, J.K. Simmons, Olivia Wilde, Zoe Saldana and Ben Barnes.
That’s What She Said
A hopeless romantic (Marcia DeBonis), a chain smoking narcissist (Anne Heche) and a nympho (Alia Shawkat) make quite the trio and should prove both funny (and maybe even heart warming?) as they deal with a series of misadventures. While this is her first leading role, DeBonis looks like she can handle the responsibility alongside Heche who shines in ensemble comedies (as proven last year in Cedar Rapids). Plus this film should hopefully answer whether or not Michael Scott’s catch phrase (which is surprisingly never uttered in the film’s trailer) can hold up as the title of a feature film.
Snuggle up with the rest of our Sundance 2012 coverage