Who'll be the biggest star, among those making their debut this year at Sundance, to arise from the festival?

Some say it'll be 20-year-old Mia Wasikowska (pictured), from 'The Kids Are All Right.' Some say it'll be 75-year-old Joan Rivers, who brought the house down at the screening of 'Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work.'

Read on for more about the search for the new at Sundance, along with buzz, star sightings, reviews, and interviews. Who'll be the biggest star, among those making their debut this year at Sundance, to arise from the festival?

Some say it'll be 20-year-old Mia Wasikowska (pictured), from 'The Kids Are All Right.' Some say it'll be 75-year-old Joan Rivers, who brought the house down at the screening of 'Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work.'

Daily Buzz: 'The Kids Are All Right' stars Julianne Moore and Annette Bening as a lesbian couple whose teenage kids (Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson) look up their biological dad (Mark Ruffalo). IndieWIRE attended the screening and not only calls the drama a crowd-pleaser but also predicts major stardom this year for Wasikowska, who also has the lead in Tim Burton's 'Alice in Wonderland,' due in March.

Another crowd-pleaser, according to a tweet from indieWIRE's Anne Thompson, is actor-turned-director Diego Luna's 'Abel.' One that the crowd hated -- but can't stop talking about -- is Michael Winterbottom's lurid and ultraviolent noir 'The Killer Inside Me.' After two days of fielding brickbats hurled his way over the movie, Winterbottom began defending himself in interviews such as this one with Thompson (one of the few who liked the movie) and this one in The Guardian.

In any case, as Thompson notes, 'Killer' already has a distribution deal in the U.K. Deals for other Sundance movies, however, have been sparse. The Hot Blog's David Poland observes that the movies that rode into Sundance with high profiles (like 'The Runaways') already had secured their deals and were playing Sundance just to generate publicity. The low-profile movies, no one's buying.

Maybe the poor reception among buyers has to do with, well, poor reception. The Oregonian film critic Shawn Levy complains that, with all the cell phone and WiFi users descending upon Park City, the communications systems are overtaxed. Maybe the dropped deals are simply due to dropped calls.

For more on star sightings, buzzed-about movies and the mood of the festival (Day 6: Subdued), read Cinematical's daily digest, "Sundance in 60 Seconds."

News: Another star is born? Maybe. Amanda Peet, at the festival to promote 'Please Give,' spills to Us Weekly that her child on the way is a girl. It'll be the second daughter for the actress and her husband, screenwriter David Benioff. And that, sadly, is about as juicy as the gossip gets this week at Sundance.

The festival's most intriguing celebrity may be the one no one recognizes. At the screening for 'Exit Through the Gift Shop,' moviegoers wondered if the director, elusive graffiti artist Banksy, would show his face. He did not, but he sent a cheeky note, posted at Cinematical.

Entertainment Weekly says that the widely-reported news of a TV rights deal for Spike Jonze's robot-romance short 'I'm Here,' which was to be sold to cable's IFC channel, is premature. So that's even one less deal to write home about this year. It's no wonder that filmmakers are pondering alternatives to traditional theatrical distribution. That was the topic of a panel moderated by indieWIRE's Eugene Hernandez.

Sundance submission '8: The Mormon Proposition' continues to make waves in nearby Salt Lake City, where Utah state senator Chris Buttars keeps digging himself into deeper holes over the comments he made on camera in the film. In the documentary, which is about the Mormon Church's successful drive to strike down gay marriage rights in California, Buttars calls homosexuality "probably the greatest threat to America." Buttars has since claimed that director, Reed Cowan, tricked him into making the statement because Buttars saw Cowan's Brigham Young University T-shirt and assumed he was speaking to a sympathetic listener. Cowan has responded by releasing a still from the film of his interview with Buttars, a photo in which he's clearly not wearing any BYU insignia. (Though it's not clear why it would be okay for Buttars to make such an incendiary comment on camera just because he thought he was talking to someone who agreed with him.) Salt Lake Tribune film critic Sean P. Means' blog has the photo and the story.

Interviews: Every day at Sundance has been Kristen Stewart day; the 'Twilight'-ization continues with indieWIRE's Thompson interviewing Stewart and 'Runaways' co-star Dakota Fanning on video. She also talks to Apparition chief (and indie marketing whiz) Bob Berney about the challenges he faces selling the racy rock 'n' roll saga to Twihards. Thompson also has a video chat with Mark and Jay Duplass, the filmmakers behind romantic comedy 'Cyrus.'

Another pair of filmmaking brothers, Josh and Benny Safdie, popped up on CNN's 'Campbell Brown,' of all places, talking about how their dad kidnapped them when they were kids, and how that inspired their Sundance film 'Daddy Longlegs.' The New York Observer has a profile of the Safdies, too, following the wide-eyed newbies around Park City. (Article contains some NSFW language.)

Campbell Brown Interviews Josh and Benny Safdie


IndieWIRE has a profile of Chinese documentarian Lixin Fan, whose 'Last Train Home' traces the upheaval of China's economic boom through the story of one rural couple who have to leave their children behind when they move to the city to work in a factory.

The most shocking interview of the week may be this one with Gaspar Noé, the shock-the-bourgeoisie filmmaker ('Irreversible') promoting his latest provocation 'Enter the Void.' The Oregonian's Levy gets Noé to admit ... that he cried during 'Avatar.' Twice.

Funniest Q&A of the festival is surely the post-screening session from the documentary 'Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work.' IndieWIRE's Peter Knegt posted video of the whole thing; highlights include Rivers' hilarious and profane joy over NBC's current 'Tonight Show' turmoil. (She recalls her own 'Tonight Show' betrayal by NBC and Johnny Carson back in 1986.) Naturally, the video is full of NSFW language.

Joan Rivers at Sundance


Reviews:
IndieWIRE rounds up what various critics are saying about 'The Killer Inside Me,' 'The Kids Are All Right,' and 'Smash His Camera,' the documentary about veteran paparazzo Ron Galella. Cinematical reviews '12th & Delaware' (calling the documentary a remarkably balanced look at both sides of the abortion debate), 'Buried,' (saying the claustrophobic Ryan Reynolds chiller is effective but gimmicky, like an extra-long 'Twilight Zone' episode), and terrorism comedy 'Four Lions,' which it calls the best movie so far at this year's Sundance.

Video: Microsoft has a big presence at Sundance this year, promoting its new search engine at a lounge it's dubbed the Bing Bar. So far, the Bing Bar has been home to several nonsensical celebrity interviews, many of them conducted by Olivia Munn. Best and strangest is this one with Michael Chiklis (at Sundance to promote stoner comedy 'High School'), whom Munn drags from his dinner, then traps into listening to her describe the '80s cheesefest 'Mannequin.' If you thought nothing could scare 'The Shield's' Vic Mackey, watch Chiklis squirm and mouth silent cries for help as Munn bombards him with non sequiturs.

Olivia Munn Interviews Michael Chiklis at Sundance


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