Sundance Part Three

On Saturday N and I drove to downtown Salt Lake City to grab a quick bite to eat and to watch two shows at the Rose Wagner Center. We were short on time so we gulped down sandwiches at Caputo's, paused to drool over their amazing cheese selection, and headed to the theater.

The first show we saw was Dare, a coming-of-age story about three rich high school seniors trying to break out into adulthood and explore their sexuality. It was my least favorite film out of the six we saw and I'm having trouble mustering up the enthusiasm to give it a full review.

The best thing about it was Zach Gilford's performance. We got tickets to Dare mostly because it had Gilford in it (He plays Matt Saracen on Friday Night Lights which I think is one of the best shows on TV.) and it was playing at the same theater as Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.

I liked Brief Interviews with Hideous Men a lot more. Based on the collection by David Foster Wallace, the film was written and directed by John Krasinski (aka Jim from The Office).

The framing sequence for the film is this (from the festival description): A doctoral candidate in anthropology at a prestigious East Coast university, Sara Quinn thinks she can remedy both her heartache and her academic challenges with a new research project and begins conducting a series of interviews with men. As she records the astonishing and disquieting experiences of various subjects, Sara discovers much more about men—and herself—than she bargained for.

The real stars of the film are the interviews and the monologues taken from the book. Sara doesn't have much to do except to react to the words and actions of the men around her and so it's pretty obvious that she's a framing device and not a full-fledged character. At times I found myself eager for her to quit moping about and get off the screen so the next interview would start. It's a difficult book to adapt for a movie but I think Krasinski did a pretty good job overall.

Whew! And that, my friends, is that. No more droning on about Sundance movies from me. I was kind of running out of steam at the end, as I'm sure you could tell. Tomorrow we'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming.