The Five: Sundance Films Everyone is Buzzing About

While the 2012 Sundance Film Festival is only about halfway over, and awards won’t be given out till later in the week, there are still a whole crop of movies people are loving on as of this moment. Some have been picked up for distribution, while others are still waiting for a studio to come along and adopt them.

We wanted to stop in now, though, and fill you in on which movies everyone is buzzing about so that you can start anticipating them now before they arrive in theaters later this year.
 
 
Celeste and Jesse Forever
 
Andy Samberg and Rashida Jones star in this romantic dramedy about best friends who are married and now attempting a civilized, friendly divorce that will help them maintain their tighter-than-tight friendship.
 
What People Are Saying:Celeste & Jesse Forever's meandering story means it feels a bit longer than its lean 89 minutes, but there's enough good stuff in there to be worth it.” – Katey Rich, CinemaBlend
 
Will It Hit Theaters: Yes. No release date yet, but Sony Pictures Classics has picked it up for distribution.
 
The Surrogate
 
John Hawkes delivers an Oscar-worthy performance in this real-life story of a man living inside an iron lung, paralyzed from the neck down, who hires a sex surrogate (Helen Hunt) to help guide him through losing his virginity.
 
What People Are Saying: “What follows (in the film) is this unbelievably touching journey about sex, love and intimacy with a fantastic, Oscar-worthy performance from John Hawkes, who takes us on a character's emotional adventure with only his face and his breathing.” – Erik Davis, Movies.com
 
Will It Hit Theaters: Yes. In the festival’s biggest purchase so far this year, Fox Searchlight picked up the film for $6 million.
 
Beasts of the Southern Wild
 
Set in the swamps of Lousiana on the other side of the levees, this ridiculously ambitious film is the fest’s most buzzed-about; a true independent sensation featuring all non-actors in a fantastical story about a young girl coming of age in the most beautiful (and dangerous) place in the world.
 
What Are People Saying: “One of the most striking films ever to debut at the "Sundance Film Festival, Beasts of the Southern Wild" is a poetic evocation of an endangered way of life and a surging paean to human resilience and self-reliance.” – Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
 
Will It Hit Theaters: Yes. Fox Searchlight is currently in talks to acquire the film.
 
For A Good Time, Call
 
Ari Graynor and newcomer Lauren Miller (who also co-wrote) star in this raunchy, female-driven R-rated comedy about two girls who launch a phone sex operation out of their apartment in order to pay their rent.
 
What People Are Saying: “To put it bluntly: This is independent comedy at its best from a crop of up-and-coming talent you might not be familiar with yet, but you will be soon. Wildly crass, and yet sweet as an apple pie, it's the kind of discovery that makes you fall in love with the genre all over its face again, and again ... and again.” – Erik Davis, Movies.com
 
Will It Hit Theaters: Yes. Focus Features has acquired the rights to distribute the film.
 
The First Time
 
Britt Robertson steals the show here as a whip-smart teen who hooks up with a boy (Dylan O’Brien) at a party, and the subsequent complications that go along with having sex for the first time.
 
What People Are Saying: “"The First Time" doesn't look or feel like a Sundance competition entry, but if you overlook it due to that television pedigree, you'll miss out on an effectively sweet, frequently clever offering buoyed by an attractive group of stars who aren't really newcomers, but will seem like newcomers to most festival audiences.” – Daniel Fienberg, HitFix
 
Will It Hit Theaters: TBD. As of this writing, the film has not sold.
 
We’ll circle back toward the end of the festival and update you on these titles, as well as throw you some more that you can look out for in theaters later this year.

 

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