Sundance Sweethearts

The anticipated indie releases of 2012.

By Bryan Berlin

I have never been to a music or movie festival. The closest I’ve been is when I went to WFNX’s Clambake: an 8-artist, one-day event on Lansdowne Street in the same city I live in. It was far from a festival. There weren’t even any clams.

In my mind, Sundance is a magical place. For those who’ve never heard of it, it’s a 10-day independent movie festival located in Park City, Utah. Thinking about this, I instantly paint the picture of walking to an art house theater as snow is slowly falling. I actually had the chance to go there this year but it alluded me at the last moment.

An amazing thing happened to me in 2005; a friend introduced me to Garden State and a whole knew world of movies opened up to me: indie movies. Yes, I may have become that kind of person a little bit, but I suddenly learned there was this extraordinary base of great storytelling that went unseen to the general public.

In 2006 I got hooked on Little Miss Sunshine. I saw it three times in theaters. I was hooked. In 2007 it was Juno. In 2008 it was Charlie Bartlett. 2009 brought (500) Days of Summer. 2010 was Blue Valentine. 2011 was Like Crazy. Each time, I would see a trailer for these movies and get obsessed months before their release date. I would watch the trailers just to smile at how amazing these movies looked. Alright – I’m a weird kid.

Regardless, I get excited every year when I start reading synopses and hearing hype from the Sundance movies. I immediately scour the internet to see if I can find any movie trailers so I can get even more excited for their releases. With all that being said, I now present to you my 2012 Sundance Draft Class:


Starring: Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim), Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation), Megan Mullally (Everything)

This movie’s about an alcoholic couple that hits a rough patch when Winstead decides to get sober. The plotline seems so real (a la Blue Valentine) and Offerman and Mullally, the real life dream couple, seem like they’ll offer comic relief as Winstead’s co-workers. The core of this story reminds me a lot of the struggle Jesse Pinkman goes through in Breaking Bad and the relationship he has Jane.

Here’s a few clips:

Here’s a chat with Director James Ponsoldt:

Safety Not Guaranteed

Starring: Mark Duplass (The League), Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Rec), Jake Johnson (New Girl)

I like this cast because I feel like if I saw these three hanging out at a bar it wouldn’t be surprising at all. In that situation I’m sure I would walk over to them and quickly make a fool of myself also. The movie has Duplass placing a classified ad looking for people to travel through time with him. Jonhson and Plaza decide to join him, and I’m sure some hilarity ensues.

Here’s a talk with Director Colin Trevorrow:


Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher (Wedding Crashers), Lizzy Caplan (Party Down)

While Bachelorette may seem like a Bridesmaids rip-off at first glance (which is going to happen since Bridesmaids was such a hit), Kirsten Dunst assures viewers it’s a little different: “It’s a little bit of a Swingers vibe but with women.” Fine, it may still be close, but these types of movies have been around for a while and will still be made (Adam Scott is also one of groomsmen – can’t go wrong there).

Here’s a little teaser clip:

Black Rock

Starring: Kate Bosworth, Lake Bell (Children’s Hospital), Kate Aselton (The League)

A fun fact about Mark Duplass is that he’s a powerhouse in the indie circuit. Almost everyone who knows him knows him from The League, but he and his brother have written and directed multiple indie movies (most notably Cyrus) including this one. The story follows the three girls on a remote island in Maine who are on vacation when things go terribly wrong. Not only is the cast decent (fun fact: Aselton is married to Duplass), but I’m hoping the title is a LOST reference.

Here’s a chat with the leading ladies:

Liberal Arts

Starring: Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother), Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene), Allison Jannery (Juno)

This is the second film written, directed, and starring Josh Radnor. His first, Happythankyoumoreplease, was a Sundance hit back in 2010 and definitely worth watching. The story follows Radnor falling for Olsen, but I’m almost certain she doesn’t turn out to be the mother. Oh wait, nevermind.

Here’s a clip:

Chat with Josh Radnor:


2 Comments on “Sundance Sweethearts”

  1. Kaity says:

    You picked all of the ones I want to see too. Thanks for the clips!

  2. damage nbsp says:

    I constantly spent my half an hour to read this blog’s articles or reviews everyday along with a cup of coffee.

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