Handicapping Sundance Stars Chance at Oscar


The annual Sundance Film festival came and went in January of this past year and many films were shown to the public in the hopes of getting picked up by a distributor. Many were picked up, while some were sent to the movie dungeon (Like the movie filmed guerrilla style at Disney World…which is not a shocking outcome). As more and more films are being announced as “Coming to a Theater near you,” I wanted to feature some of the ones I am most looking forward to. Get ready, I am about to get all artsy and Oscar bait-y in your face!

“Lovelace” starring Amanda Seyfried is the story of Linda Lovelace, the famous adult film star who starred in the 1972 box-office smash “Deep Throat.” This one closed a distribution deal hours after it premiered at the festival, so you know it was a hot commodity. This story explains her abusive husband pushing her into doing the film, then her advocacy against pornography as a result. The film was picked up by The Weinstein Company, so expect a large Oscar push come December.


“The Way, Way Back” boasts a stellar cast comprised of Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell and Toni Colette, just to name a few. This coming of age story was picked up for a whopping $9.5 million by Fox Searchlight. The part of this film that has me the most excited are the writers/directors, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, who won Oscars for their incredible work writing my favorite movie of 2011, “The Descendants”. Look for this to be the comedy featured most at the 2014 Oscars.

“Austenland” stars Keri Russell (in my Top 5 favorite actresses ever) as a woman who heads to a role playing resort where the occupants act as if they are in a Jane Austen novel. It sounds super weird, yet enticing! (Side note, if you have not seen Keri’s brilliant work in “Waitress,” it is a MUST-SEE!)

“The Spectacular Now” stars the amazing Shailene Woodley (she is having the time of her life right now! A role in Divergent, The Fault in our Stars AND the new Spiderman movie!) and is the story of an outgoing and shy high schooler. When I first read this, I thought “BORING!” but apparently this was a fantastic film with Oscar-worthy performances. Hopefully Shailene can get an Oscar nod from this (as she deserved one for “The Descendants”…she cried underwater! COME ON!).


“Twenty Feet From Stardom” was the most interesting documentary of the bunch, taking a look at the lives of back-up singers and their paths they have taken in the show-biz industry. This is near the top of my “Most Anticipated” list.

“In A World…” is written/directed/starring Lake Bell as the daughter of the voice over businesses most famous artist and her trials and tribulations in the business. I love Lake Bell to death (check out her on Rove LA. The best talk show you will ever watch EVER!) and I have heard great things about this, so I can’t wait for its summer release date.


“The Lifeguard” is the most recent pick-up and stars Kristen Bell as a reporter who leaves everything in NYC and moves back home to her hometown in CT. She gets back her high school job as a lifeguard and begins a relationship with a troubled teen. As a huge Kristen Bell fan (Case and point, the amount of Veronica Mars articles on this site…), I can’t wait to see her up on the big screen in something other than a rom-com.

Are you interested in seeing any of these? Which film are you most looking forward to? Did you Shailene cry underwater in “The Descendants,” because it was INCREDIBLE! Let me know in the comments below! Until next time…pass the popcorn!