Since the Sundance Film Festival started two days ago, three films have already drawn extra media attention. "Chicago 10," Brett Morgen‘s highly anticipated follow-up to "The Kid Stays in the Picture," disappointed critics; "Hounddog," starring Dakota Fanning, might face a child pornography violation; and "Crazy Love," with its wild and disturbing love story, generated a bidding war between indie distributors. What will the rest of the week bring?
This year’s opening film "Chicago 10," Brett Morgen’s film about the Chicago Seven trial during the turbulent late 60’s, disappointed critics. Following his previous critically acclaimed hit "The Kid Stays in the Picture," which scored 91% on the Tomatometer, critics came to Morgen’s film with high expectations. Although the film’s Tomatometer is currently at 80% based on only five reviews, it is expected to drop as more critics pitch in their opinions. RT’s editor Tim Ryan enjoyed the film’s "smooth and vibrantly colorful" animation and archival footage, but thought, "it ultimately feels a bit more like a history lesson." So far, that seemed to be the consensus among critics at the festival.
Another film drawing criticism is the Dakota Fanning film, "Hounddog." Catholic League president Bill Donohue wanted a federal investigation of the film to see if child pornography laws were being violated during shooting. The film contains a graphic rape scene with Fanning, who was twelve at the time of filming. Donohue said he would request First Lady Laura Bush, who just days ago met with first ladies from other countries to discuss a fight against child pornography and pedophilia, to assist him in this matter. "Hounddog" will debut to the public at Sundance on Monday, January 22nd.
One movie did manage to earn more than just good press coverage. According to Hollywood Reporter columnist, Anne Thompson, a bidding war was brewing between ThinkFilm, Netflix, and Magnolia Pictures for "Crazy Love," a documentary about the disturbing love story between Linda Riss and Burt Pugach. In the end, Magnolia Pictures won the domestic theatrical distribution rights.
More to come, live, from Sundance.