SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL 2014

BATD ON Jan 20, 2014 AT 5:50 pm

The 2014 Sundance Film Festival is underway in Sundance, Utah, and the eyes of Hollywood are on the veteran stars and fresh talent being debuted in this year’s films.

Over 100 feature-length films are being screened during the festival, so we’ve narrowed it down to the 8 movies that are generating the most buzz:

Whiplash – The festival opener, Whiplash, has achieved notable success. Sony has already snatched up the international rights to the movie. Miles Teller and JK Simmons star as an aspiring drummer and his abusive teacher, respectively.
Wish I Was Here – Zach Braff made this project a reality with the help of 46,000 contributions from Kickstarter. Braff co-wrote, directed and starred in this follow-up to Garden State, which also features Kate Hudson and Mandy Patinkin. The film premiered successfully, with several critics saying that it is Braff’s comeback.
A Most Wanted Man – An adaptation of the book by John Le Carré, this film follows German intelligence agents as they work to determine whether their target is an Islamist terrorist. Philip Seymour Hoffman has been applauded for his work in the film, which apparently requires careful attention in order to follow the plot.
Life Itself – This documentary is based on the memoir of the late Roger Ebert, one of Hollywood’s most legendary critics. Audience members at the premiere were put on an emotional roller coaster, laughing and crying as the film chronicled the last five months of Ebert’s life.
The Skeleton Twins – Comedians Kristen Wiig and Fred Armisen earned rave reviews for their portrayal of a troubled sibling duo in this drama (with a few bits of comedy), directed and co-written by Craig Johnson.
Camp X-Ray – Kristen Stewart, the stoic star of the Twilight movies, takes on a controversial role as a prisonguard at Guantanamo Bay who becomes close friends with an inmate. Critics have not been very impressed by Camp X-Ray, with many saying it felt a bit unbelievable.
Boyhood – A last-minute addition to the lineup, this film has gotten a lot of attention because of the way it was shot. Director Richard Linklater filmed Boyhood over 12 years, so the actors aged without makeup or recasting.
Happy ChristmasPitch Perfect’s Anna Kendrick portrays a woman who is living with her brother’s family after a breakup. Girls’s Lena Dunham also lends her talents to this film as a costar. Critics have said that the biggest star is young Jude Swanberg, son of the film’s director, Joe Swanberg, who was 2 years old during filming!

Of course, Sundance draws celebrities from across the globe to its film premieres and screenings. Here’s a quick guide to star spottings at the festival so far:

One Direction’s Harry Styles stepped out to support his friend Zach Braff’s film, Wish I Was Here, on Sunday. Styles tweeted his thoughts about the movie later that day: “Today I watched ‪@WIWHFilm. I wasn’t crying, I had sweaty eyes. Loved it.”rs_300x300-140118122445-600.Harry-Styles-Zach-Braff-Sundance.jl.011814

Bradley Cooper and his model girlfriend, Suki Waterhouse, held hands on their way to the festival Sunday.

Bradley Cooper and Suki Waterhouse

Chloe Grace Moretz and Keira Knightly were on hand for the premiere of their film, Laggies, on Friday.rs_634x1024-140118090004-634.Keira-Knighley-Sundance-Chloe-Grace.jl.011814

Models Chanel Iman and Ireland Baldwin hit the slopes as part of an AOL event on Friday.463318367

Robert Redford, who founded the Sundance Film Festival 30 years ago, made an appearance at its kickoff.1390003904000-463075481

Former Massachusetts governor and U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney attended the premiere of Mitt with his wife, Ann.romney-2104

If you’re like us and didn’t make the trek to the festival in Utah, never fear! The Sundance Institute has made a selection of entries in the short films competition available to watch for free on YouTube. Watching one of the videos counts as a vote in the 2014 Sundance Film Festival Shorts Audience Award, and the winner will be announced on Jan. 25.

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