Read on for some short reviews of films playing at Sundance: "Fido," starring Carrie-Anne Moss and Billy Connolly, is a surprisingly effective of 1950s satire/zombie film, and "Interview," starring Steve Buscemi and Sienna Miller, is too affected to ultimately work.
"Fido," your typical boy-and-his-zombie movie, is a film with plenty of campy yucks — with emphasis on the yuck. Loaded with ultra-1950s décor, "Fido" is set in an alternate reality in which zombies have been domesticated after a protracted battle. Where they once terrorized the public, the living dead now serve humanity as milkmen, paperboys, and domestics. In order to keep up with the neighbors, Helen (Carrie-Anne Moss) gets a zombie (Billy Connolly) to help around the household — to the delight of Timmy (K’Sun Ray), who has a new friend with whom to play catch and ward off bullies. Unfortunately, the undead can’t fully relinquish their flesh-eating ways, something Timmy discovers the hard way. Director Andrew Currie wrings all he can out of an admittedly thin premise, and the results are funny, grotesque, and occasionally touching. In addition, the film features the sweetest pseudo-romance between a woman and a non-human since "King Kong." "Fido" is currently at 100 percent on the Tomatometer; critics say the film is a funny, refreshing revison of familiar genre elements.
Despite the best efforts of Steve Buscemi and Sienna Miller, "Interview" is more of a meaty actors’ exercise than a compelling drama. Buscemi plays a political journalist assigned to interview a well-known actress, about whom he knows little and cares less. After getting off on the wrong foot, the pair end up in the actress’ apartment, where they play mind games and exchange dark secrets. Nothing is necessarily wrong with "Interview" beyond the fact that the material is profoundly uncinematic; the action feels stagebound, and despite some sharp zingers, the dialogue feels more written than organic. (Which is strange, given that "Interview" is a remake of a film by the late Theo Van Gogh.) Ultimately, "Interview" starts with a promising idea, but can’t quite shake its air of theatricality.