Shipwrecked in Sundance, Part II

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Published January 21, 2009

Gabby Sidibe of Push, at Sundance.

 

Monday morning began with breakfast at the Yarrow, where I spotted Harvey Weinstein dining with Shana Feste, director of The Greatest. Do we have a buyer perhaps?

The best line of the day came at the brief interviews from the Hideous Men premiere. It was Jon Krasinski’s directing debut, and he said that the filmmakers, cast and crew “put down the bumpers so he couldn’t get a gutter ball” and made a great film. The film around 80 minutes of pretty good material, which sounds tough from a 350-page book by David Foster Wallace—although I didn’t read it. Julianne Nicholson did a great job. Max Minghella, sundance star Lou Taylor Pucci, Dominic Cooper were all great to look at.

 

It was a quiet day in town on Tuesday—maybe the crowds had moved onto Washington, D.C.; maybe they’re in Milan, en route to Paris. But inside the celebrities were put to good use. I saw the best movie of the festival—Push, starring Mo’Nique and Paula Patton. Risking movie-music disaster, Mariah Carey was fabulous and Lenny Kravitz gave a role to rival his daughter. One culture magazine, our very own Interview, even made a cameo. It was lying on a desk and, while I couldn’t make out who was on the cover, I swear it was there.

 

In spite of that, Push features a serious story, with a serious star, newby Garourey Sidibe as Precious, who grows up in Harlem in the late 90s. Her mother abuses her, her father rapes her (twice) giving her two babies and an HIV diagnosis.  The casting was brilliant, the direction was spot on, and the audience screemed, cried, and jumped their way through it. The only question now is what studio will snag this for next Oscar season—I’m betting this one will have quite a few noms. Now to fill out the rest of the ballot…