The Pitch: “When thirty-something Jesse is invited back to his alma mater, he falls for a young 19-year-old college student and is faced with the powerful attraction that springs up between them.
The Point: Not only is Elizabeth Olsen the indie It Girl right now, this is the second film from How I Met Your Mother‘s Josh Radnor, and it features Allison Janey and Richard Jenkins. Also, Kate seemed to enjoy it at Sundance, and it already has US distribution.
The Pitch: “The Loft is home to the secrets of 5 men who use it for their sexual indiscretions. When a dead body of an unknown woman is found in their loft, friendships are tested, loyalties fade and marriages crumble as they mystery unfolds.”
The Point: A promising premise, and a cool cast including Karl Urban, James Marsden (who should be in everything), Isabel Lucas, and Wentworth Miller. Add to that director Erik Van Looy (who did The Memory of a Killer) and it all sounds spot on.
The Pitch: “When Molly returns to her long-abandoned family home, frightful reminders of a nightmarish childhood begin seeping into her life. She begins an inexorable descent into evil that blurs the lines between psychosis and possession.”
The Point: If director Eduardo Sanchez‘s name looks familiar, it’s because he was part of the team behind The Blair Witch Project. He hasn’t struck gold in years, but Altered was decent enough, and he also apparently made a horror spoof called ParaAbnormal which was well-received. Might be time to see this freakishly tall director’s next evolution.
The Pitch: “Jacob is reclusive and forced by a rare disease to drink human blood. His world opens up when he falls in love with Mary. He must control his violent tendencies as the police suspect his involvement in a series of grisly murders.”
The Point: He’s a vampire that’s not a vampire. Very clever.
The Pitch: “Molly’s Girl is a funny, quirky comedy about a wonderful misfit girl named Molly who, although not gay, falls in love with a lesbian woman, a gay/lesbian rights activist.”
The Point: The sales pitch is not doing itself any favors there. A funny comedy? Oh, really? However, it sounds vaguely like a flipped Chasing Amy, and the director misleadingly shares the name of a gay member of The Kids in the Hall.
The Pitch: “An Algerian immigrant teacher takes over a Montreal middle-school class shaken by his predecessor’s suicide.”
The Point: Yet another Oscar nominee. It’s from Canada, so you know it’s good.
The Moth Diaries
The Pitch: “Rebecca begins her junior year at an elite girls boarding school and is caught in a web of obsession, jealousy and betrayal. Eroticism, death and the supernatural entwine in a powerful emotional drama.”
The Point: Director Mary Harron might best be known for American Psycho but her resume is solid, if not short. She’s earned a shot with anything she puts her name on.
My Brother The Devil
The Pitch: “Set in present day Hackney, London My Brother the Devil is a film about brotherhood and betrayal. It’s the story of two teenage British Arab brothers whose relationship is put to the test over the course of one summer.”
The Point: Although Arab films about masculinity are no rarity, this one shines with some surprising avenues and stand-out performances.
My Way (Mai-wei)
The Pitch: “On D-Day, two friends meet again in German uniforms on the shores of Normandy. When the war between Japan and the USSR broke out, they were dragged to the battlefield which led them to a long journey from Manchuria to Normandy.”
The Point: This sprawling, Korean war epic is definitely sentimental (read: Korean), but it has Saving Private Ryan-style battle sequences that are genuinely affecting and gorgeous.
The Pitch: Revealing the pitch they included as a sales guide would reveal too much of the story, but…
The Point: …it played Fantastic Fest, so you can read a review of Penumbra.
The Pitch: “Jean Dujardin and Gilles Lellouche lead a star-studded cast in a comedy exploring the triumphs, failures, glories and disasters of male infidelity in all its desperate, absurd and wildly funny variety.”
The Point: After The Artist, the OSS movies, and an Oscar win (for Dujardin) and Mesrine (for Lellouche), this seems like a no-brainer.
The Pitch: “Eli Smith (Jesse Eisenberg), his troubled mother Penny (Melissa Leo), and the hapless drug dealer Sprinkles (Tracy Morgan) have to face mistakes of the past, challenges of the future and the possibilities of love.”
The Point: See above.