Films featuring Winona Ryder, Nick Nolte, Anjelica Huston and Paul Giamatti will be among those competing for top honors at the Sundance Film Festival.
The lineup announced Tuesday for Sundance, the nation’s main showcase for independent film, also included documentaries on writer Hunter S. Thompson, musician Patti Smith and filmmakers Roman Polanski and Derek Jarman.
Taking place Jan. 17-27 in Park City, Utah, Sundance has chosen 16 films in its dramatic competition for American fictional films, including director Geoff Haley’s “The Last Word,” starring Ryder, Wes Bentley and Ray Romano in a romance about a reclusive writer who crafts suicide notes for other people.
Also competing in a lineup heavy on tales of families at odds: Rawson Thurber’s “The Mysteries of Pittsburgh” with Nolte, Sienna Miller, Peter Sarsgaard and Jon Foster in the story of a young man with a gangster father who embarks on a soul-searching summer after college; Clark Gregg’s “Choke” with Huston and Sam Rockwell in a mother-and-son tale; and Paul Schneider’s “Pretty Bird” with Giamatti and Billy Crudup in a dark comic narrative of entrepreneurs trying to invent a rocket belt.
Another entry in the U.S. dramatic competition: Christine Jeffs’ “Sunshine Cleaning,” the story of an enterprising mother and her reluctant sister who try their hand at the crime-scene cleanup business. It stars Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Alan Arkin and Amy Redford, daughter of Sundance Institute founder Robert Redford.
The world-documentary competition for films from outside the United States includes Isaac Julien’s “Derek Jarman,” a look at the work of the British experimental filmmaker.
Other Sundance documentaries include Edet Belzberg’s “An American Soldier,” which examines U.S. Army recruitment tactics; Patrick Creadon’s “I.O.U.S.A.,” an exploration of America’s fiscal straits; and Jackie Reem Salloum’s “Slingshot Hip Hop,” a chronicle of Palestinians using protest rap in the struggle with Israel.