These standout films and faces made a big impression in Park City this year.
photographs by Jeff Vespa
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Jack Goes Boating
The ultimate actor’s actor, Oscar-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman made his directorial debut at Sundance this year with Jack Goes Boating, a heartwarming tale based on a play about quirky, unglamorous 40somethings finding love in New York City. Hoffman also appears in the film as the title character, Jack—a role he originated Off Broadway in 2007. Word from the festival is that Hoffman has as much integrity as a director as he does as an actor.
Kristen Stewart & Dakota Fanning
Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart rock out in The Runaways, a biopic delving into the formation and rise of the iconic ’70s all-girl band starring rebellious teenagers Cherie Currie (Fanning, right) and Joan Jett (Stewart, left). A girl kiss and onscreen drug use remind us that Stewart is no Bella in this flick, and Fanning—now 16—is all grown up and making the transition from child star to force to be reckoned with. Art imitated life when Jett performed at the festival to promote the film and the duo joined her on stage. The Runaways hit theaters last month, but these two starlets share the screen again later this year in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, the third installment of the beloved vampire series.
Sympathy for Delicious
We’ve seen him as an elf, a pirate and a crusader, and now Orlando Bloom shows off his acting chops as a punk rocker named The Stain in actor-turned-first-time-director Mark Ruffalo’s Sympathy for Delicious, winner of a Special Jury Prize at Sundance. Bloom portrays the bandmate of a homeless and paralyzed DJ, “Delicious” Dean (played by the film’s screenwriter, Christopher Thornton), who has the power to heal others but not himself. Delicious becomes a sideshow with Bloom’s band. The question is, does he use his gift for good or lose himself to money and fame?
The Company Men
In The Company Men, Affleck joins forces with an all-star cast, including Chris Cooper, Maria Bello and Kevin Costner, to tell the story of company executives reexamining their values after losing their jobs. Making its debut at Sundance, this drama hits close to home for first-time feature-film director/writer and Emmy-winning television producer John Wells, who drew upon real-life experience for the first draft after watching a family member lose his job in the dot-com bust.