Celebrity Sightings: (and lack thereof) Keeping partygoers on their toes, The Romantics got its big festival party the day before it screened, according to Risky Biz Blog. But they didn't see one celeb -- no Akerman, Wood, Bergen, Brody, Holmes... But Holmes did grab Wood for MTV's Photo Booth. Another festgoer settles in for Blue Valentine without noticing that John C. Reilly, Amy Adams, Ryan Gosling, and Michelle Williams are close by. But Fergie was out au naturel, Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Bartha were chilly over dinner, and the Huffington Post round up the all-important gallery of funny hats in Utah's brisk, January weather. Speaking of which, Ryan Gosling found time to go snow tubing.
Our Coverage: Scott kicked things off this morning with his take on the stoner comedy HIGH School. He wrote: "HIGH School coasts over its missteps and succeeds on equal parts quick humor, likable characters, and pure energy. And weed." Once the weed wore off, he moved on to the luck of the lottery with Jeffrey Blitz's Lucky. Another winner for Weinberg, he wrote: "Shot slick and cut cleanly, with nifty animated interstitials full of interesting jackpot stats, Lucky is a fun little documentary that shows the joys and the unexpected stresses of sudden mega-wealth, and it'd make a great companion piece to a documentary about the actual inner workings of our government's powerfully popular state-sponsored super-lotteries."
Meanwhile, Kevin Kelly had two offerings for us. First, an audio interview with Michelle Williams, Ryan Gosling, and Derek Cianfrance about their new film Blue Valentine -- a feature Kevin calls "the most powerful film I've seen at Sundance so far." He also shared his take on Splice, the new genetic engineering flick with Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley. Kelly implored the companies with the money: "Come on studios, do the right thing and nab this dark, science fiction roller coaster."
Deals: Variety reports that Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right has been picked up by Focus Features for a price said to be about $4-$5 million.
Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter's Risky Biz Blog reported some off-the-radar deals: IndiePix snared the U.S. rights to Women Without Men from director Shirin Neshat, as well as Tim Rutili's All My Friends are Funeral Singers, Myriad Pictures grabbed foreign rights to happythankyoumoreplease from Josh Radnor, and Madmen Entertainment picked up His & Hers for Australia and New Zealand. Also, Maple Pictures announced yesterday that they've grabbed Tucker & Dale vs. Evil for Canadian distribution.
indieWIRE Love: indieWIRE's SundanceDaily rounds up info on Cane Toads: The Conquest, It's a Wonderful Afterlife, and that Joan Rivers doc, before the site goes into more Rivers detail with "10 Things You Want to Know About Joan Rivers." Like, oh, she keeps a collection of dead people's ashes, from deceased husbands to hairdressers to ... VINCENT PRICE!? In more normal news, they also round up three features from Focus' Africa First Initiative Screening.
Tweets, Blogs, and Treats: New Zealand short The Six Dollar Fifty Man won the International Jury Prize for short filmmaking. Meanwhile, as America Ferrera loses Ugly Betty, she returns to Sundance with The Dry Land, eight years after her career-making gig in Real Women Have Curves.
Twitch talked with Canadian filmmaker Cordell Barker about his new short Runaway, which screened at the fest. The interview talks about his process, and how he came to make the hand-drawn short over the last 8 years.
Jay A. Fernandez shares a quote from the Basquiat documentary: "I got tired of seeing white walls with white people with white wine." And then links Basquiat and Banksy.
And CBSNews' coverages of the "Techwood" convergence on Park City, Utah, while Time Magazine offers a brief history of the film fest.