Forget the Big Buzz. It’s all about the Big Brrr this year at the 27th annual Sundance Film Festival, which kicked off in snow-covered Park City, Utah, Thursday.
Thanks to a cold snap, the temperature is below zero at night and barely edges into the teens during the day. Paris Hilton and other Hollywood celebrities planning to make the scene at Sundance should pack their long underwear.
Out of 207 films being shown this year, here’s a quick look at five that are generating must-see buzz:
• In Bruges: The festival’s opener is a comedy about two Irish hit men (Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson) stuck in Bruges, a quaint medieval town in Belgium, after an assignment goes wrong. (Opens in theaters Feb. 8.)
• Be Kind Rewind: French-born director Michael Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) has enlisted Jack Black and Mos Def for his latest quirky comedy, this one about video-store clerks who make their own versions of Hollywood classics. (Opens in theaters on Feb. 22.)
• The Great Buck Howard: Tom Hanks produced – and has a supporting role in – this comedy about a tyrannical entertainer (John Malkovich) on the fringes of showbiz. Hanks, in a casting stretch, plays the father of his real-life son Colin Hanks, who portrays the entertainer’s harried assistant.
• Smart People: Dennis Quaid plays an academic who has all the answers, except when it comes to love. He learns how much he has to learn on the topic when he falls for an ex-student (Sarah Jessica Parker).
• What Just Happened?: Big names Robert DeNiro, Bruce Willis, Sean Penn and Catherine Keener star as various Hollywood crazies in a satire about the movie business directed by Barry Levinson (Sleepers) and based on a memoir by veteran producer Art Linson (Fight Club).
Other Sundance entries that sound promising include:
• Sunshine Cleaning: Amy Adams and Emily Blunt play sisters who start a niche cleaning business, mopping up at crime scenes and suicides.
• The Wackness: Mary-Kate Olsen takes another run at the big screen, this time in a supporting role in a comedy about teen who provides pot to his shrink (Ben Kingsley) in exchange for therapy.
• August: Josh Hartnett as a cocky dot.com entrepreneur in 2001 who’s slow to realize the bubble has burst.
• Birds of America: Matthew Perry, Hilary Swank, Ginnifer Goodwin and Lauren Graham in a comedy about excessively dysfunctional siblings.
• The Mysteries of Pittsburgh: Peter Sarsgaard and Sienna Miller in a drama about a recent college graduate who spends a summer learning about life, love and sex, based on the critically acclaimed 1988 novel by Michael Chabon.