Park City, here we come! This week, several members of Team InStyle are grabbing their parkas, packing their warmest boots, and hopping a plane to snowy Utah to set up our pop-up portrait studio in the heart of the Sundance Film Festival. We’re going to be hitting the biggest screenings and premieres and will be stationing ourselves on Main Street (the center of it all!) to interview the stars about their buzzy new projects. Scroll down to see a few things we’re looking forward to heating up this winter wonderland.
1. Our Fave Ladies Show Off a Different Side
This festival is indie central, and often a way for actors to break out of their typical how-you-know-and-love-them roles. Some highlights: The Big Bang Theory’s Melissa Rauch (aka Dr. Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz) gets out of geekland to play an Olympic gymnast jealous of a new, younger gymnast who just moved to her town in the dark comedy The Bronze. Good girl Alison Brie (of Community and Mad Men) goes raunchy, playing a sex addict alongside Jason Sudeikis in Sleeping with Other People. And comedienne extraordinaire Sarah Silverman takes a dramatic turn in I Smile Back, playing a self-destructive wife.
Viola Davis, Anna Kendrick, Nicole Kidman, Zoe Kravitz, Brie Larson, Jennifer Lopez, Sienna Miller, Emma Roberts, Winona Ryder, Cecily Strong, Colbie Smulders, and Kristen Wiig.
2. There Is a Circle of Cool Guys Going
New Girl’s Jake Johnson (Nick!), who star in the comedy Digging for Fire; Alexander Skarsgard, who raises eyebrows as the guy who sleeps with his girlfriend’s teenage daughter in The Diary of a Teenage Girl; James Franco and Zachary Quinto, who star as a gay couple until things turn out unexpected in I Am Michael; James Marsden, who plays the a popular guy coming back to a high school reunion in The D Train; and Ryan Reynolds, who is a gambler in Mississippi Grind. So many more, too, including our favorite E's: Ethan Hawke, Emile Hirsch, and Ewan McGregor!
3. The Best Part Is the Buzz
Last year’s Sundance was the first time audiences saw Boyhood and Whiplash, two movies that delivered in awards season this year—all the way to Oscar nods. While we wait for this year’s award-worthy discussions, chatter has already begun about what’s going to be buzziest. One for sure is Mistress America starring Greta Gerwig and Lola Kirke (sister to Girls star Jemima Kirke and the trailer park thief in Gone Girl), which already got acquired earlier this month by Fox Searchlight (read: big deal). The comedy is co-written by Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, who also directs it (he also directed Gerwig in the beloved Frances Ha) and marks the first major deal of the festival—before the fest even started.
Margot Robbie and Chris Pine in Z for Zachariah, the adaptation of the popular post-apocalyptic sci-fi 1974 novel. The Theory of Everything’s Felicity Jones is in True Story with Jonah Hill and James Franco about a twisted criminal/journalist relationship that’s—you guessed it—a true story. And Orange Is the New Black star/Golden Globe nominee Taylor Schilling takes a turn in The Overnight with Parks and Recreation’s Adam Scott, as a couple who moves to L.A. and meets another couple and then whatever happens next…
4. Don't Worry, Some of These Movies Are Already Coming to TV
The documentary portion of the event often delivers films that are either eye-opening or entertaining or both. This year, a handful of the docs showing at Sundance are already slated for an on-air release date. HBO is planning to air Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, an account of the Nirvana frontman this spring. The station will also show Larry Kramer in Love & Anger about the LGBT rights activist who also penned the award-winning play The Normal Heart (makes sense, given HBO showed the filmed version with Matt Bomer and Mark Ruffalo last year.) Meanwhile, Showtime has Listen to Me Marlon, which is about the famous Marlon Brando. Interestingly, it is all told through his own words, through the use of old recordings.
5. The Gear
Many warm-weather brands are setting up shop for the festival so stars don’t have to spend a moment freezing—including Eddie Bauer, Sorel, and more. We’re also pumped for the services: Fresh is in our own studio, there is a pop-up Purre Barre for some zen, and a Keratin Complex is having a blowdry and braid bar. The Sundance Film Festival itself also releases its own products, and this year they have 23 items up for grabs that were designed by artists. Our fave: Funny girl Jenny Slate (of last year’s buzzy Sundance flick Obvious Child) designed a porcelain snack set that includes a ceramic cup and saucer that features a dog watching a dog on TV steering a ship. Because, why not?
Bonus: Robert Redford Has a Movie There!
Oooh! Aaaah! The man who started the Sundance Film Festival over 30 years ago is starring in one of the movies being featured there this time around. A Walk in the Woods is an adaptation of Bill Bryson’s 1998 memoir, A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, which was all about how he hiked the Appalachian Trail with his friend, played by Nick Nolte. Emma Thompson, Kristen Schaal, Nick Offerman, and Mary Steenburgen co-star.
Double Bonus: The Parties!!!
OK, we have to mention the parties. Because it’s pretty much “a scene” there. All the regulars are returning, including Tao with its hard-to-get-on-the-list nightclub in a parking garage weird scenario. We’re excited for a few small cast soirees and premiere after-parties, like Knock Knock and The Strongest Man. We are also excited to test out one of the five ChefDance dinners. Each night, a guest celebrity chef from Bravo’s America’s Best New Restaurant is in charge of the kitchen. Can’t wait!