February 07, 2005 12:00 PM


The Sundance Film Festival

Industry insiders and ardent film fans flocked to Park City, Utah, for an early peek at promising new indie movies. The lowdown on 2005’s crop:

BEYOND FRIENDS In the likable ensemble comedy Happy Endings, Lisa Kudrow gives a knockout comic performance as a woman looking for the son she gave up for adoption 20 years earlier.

BEST SIGHT GAG A dissolute Pierce Brosnan, clad only in a black Speedo and matching ankle boots, marches drunkenly through a hotel lobby in The Matador. This larky comic thriller casts Brosnan as a hit man suffering from burnout.

HIGH WATTAGE Rising star Naomi Watts sparkles in Ellie Parker, a slight but amusing film following the travails of an aspiring Hollywood actress.

LET THEM EAT CAKE London drug dealer Daniel Craig puts the moves on Sienna Miller while trying to quit the business in Layer Cake, a stylish crime drama.

WHEN MOM MOVES IN A young lesbian Chinese American doctor is thrown for a loop in the winning offbeat romantic comedy Saving Face when her widowed mom (Joan Chen) shows up at her doorstep. Mom is pregnant but won’t name the father.

CAREER CHANGE A pimp (Terrence Howard) hopes to make it as a hip-hop singer in Hustle & Flow, an entertaining drama that plunks a familiar follow-your-dream story into an unconventional, seamy setting. This should make the talented Howard a star.

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