The Spectrum section of the festival, is 24 selections of "the latest work from established American and international directors and world premieres of highly anticipated films". Films included in the 2008 section of the festival are below, with more reviews coming once the festival begins in Park City.
What Just Happened? and The Merry Gentleman
Assassination Of A High School President
(Country: USA; Year: 2008; Director: Brett Simon; Writer: Kevin Jakubowski; Stars: Reece Thompson, Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton, Michael Rapaport, Kathryn Morris, Josh Pais)
A rookie journalist for the school paper unravels a mysterious plot involving the class president, drugs, and a ring of stolen test scores in this noir caper set at a quirky Catholic High School.
Be Kind Rewind
(Country: US; Year: 2008; Director: Michel Gondry; Writer: Michel Gondry; Stars: Jack Black, Mos Def, Danny Glover, Mia Farrow, Melonie Diaz, Sigourney Weaver, Irv Gooch, Chandler Parker, Arjay Smith, Quinton Aaron, Gio Perez, Basia Rosas,Tomasz Soltys), Official Site
After accidentally wiping all the tapes in the video store where they work, two enterprising clerks decide to re-shoot the films themselves.
CSNY Déjà Vu
(Country: US; Year: 2008; Director: Neil Young; Writer: Neil Young, Mike Cerre; Stars: David Crosby, Graham Nash, Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Mike Cerre), Official Site
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young go back on the road to protest against the continuing loss of life in the war in Iraq.
(Country: Canada; Year: 2008; Director: Steven Schachter; Writer: William H Macy, Steven Schachter; Stars: William H Macy, Meg Ryan, LL Cool J)
A long-time Hollywood producer on the verge of suicide cons a major studio into financing a $100-million film based on a non-existent script, starring a black action star who has converted to Judaism.
Death In Love
(Country: USA; Year: 2008; Director: Boaz Yakin; Writer: Boaz Yakin; Stars: Josh Lucas, Jacqueline Bisset, Adam Brody, Lukas Haas)
A self-assured but neurotic 40-year-old bachelor attempts to make sense of his complicated life as he negotiates his sexual relationships in the shadow of his mother’s concentration camp experience.
Transsiberian and The Escapist
(Country: USA; Director: Terry Kinney; Writer: Sherwood Kiraly; Stars: Matthew Broderick, Alan Alda, Virginia Madsen, Dylan Baker)
Learning that his senile uncle harbors a priceless baseball card, Cooper embarks on a road trip intent on selling it to save money for his uncle's later years. He and his friends become entangled in the oddball world of baseball memorabilia and love.
(Country: UK; Year: 2008; Director: Rupert Wyatt; Writer: Rupert Wyatt, Daniel Hardy; Stars: Brian Cox, Joseph Fiennes, Damian Lewis, Dominic Cooper, Seu Jorge, Steve Macintosh, Liam Cunningham)
A prison inmate must break out to make amends with his dying daughter.
The Great Buck Howard
(Country: USA; Director: Sean McGinly; Writer: Sean McGinly; Stars: Colin Hanks, John Malkovich, Emily Blunt, Tom Hanks, Steve Zahn)
When a law school dropout answers an advertisement to be a personal assistant he unknowingly signs on to work for a belligerent has-been magician struggling to resurrect his career. This leads to a journey across the country staging the comeback of a lifetime.
(Country: USA; Director: Amy Redford; Writer: Amos Poe; Stars: Saffron Burrows, Isaach De Bankole, Paz De La Huerta)
The life of a woman is transformed after she is diagnosed with a terminal disease, fired from her job and abandoned by her boyfriend. Given two months to live, she throws caution to the wind to pursue her dreams.
(Country: USA; Year: 2008; Director: Andrew Fleming; Writer: Pam Brady, Andrew Fleming; Stars: Steve Coogan, Catherine Keener, Joseph Julian Soria, Skylar Astin, Phoebe Strole, Melonie Diaz, Arnie Pantoja, Michael Esparza, Natalie Amenula, Marshall Bell)
In this rambunctious comedy, a high school drama teacher injects love and passion for theatre into his students by creating a musical sequel to Shakespeare's Hamlet.
The Visitor and Smart People
Henry Poole Is Here
(Country: USA; Director: Mark Pellington; Writer: Albert Torres; Stars: Luke Wilson, Radha Mitchell, Cheryl Hines, Adriana Barraza)
Henry Poole abandons his fiancée and family business to spend what he believes are his remaining days alone. The discovery of a "miracle" by a nosy neighbor ruptures his solitude and restores his faith in life.
(Country: UK; Year: 2008; Director: Sharon Maguire; Writer: Sharon Maguire, based on the novel by Chris Cleave; Stars: Michelle Williams, Ewan McGregor, Matthew Macfadyen, Sidney Johnston, Jonathan Andrews, Ehti Aslam, Sasha Behar, Robin Berry, Gavin Brocker, Nicholas Courtney, Natalie Dormer), Trailer
A London mum tries to cope with the grief of the loss of her family in a terror attack.
(Country: UK, Belgium; Year: 2008; Director: Martin McDonagh; Writer: Martin McDonagh; Stars: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Jordan Prentice, Clémence Poésy, Eric Godon, Ciaran Hinds, Zeljko Ivanek)
No country for hitmen.
The Merry Gentleman
(Country: US; Year: 2008; Director: Michael Keaton; Writer: Ron Lazzeretti; Stars: Michael Keaton, Kelly Macdonald, Tom Bastounes, Mike Bradecich, Debbi Burns, Maritza Cabrera, Bobby Cannavale, William Dick, Jay Disney, Sean Fortunato, Shaun Gayle), Official Site
A woman who has fled her past strikes up a relationship with another loner - not realising he works as a hitman.
A Raisin In The Sun
(Country: USA; Director: Kenny Leon; Writer: Paris Qualles; Stars: Sean Combs, Phylicia Rashad, Audra McDonald, Sean Patrick Thomas)
Will is the eldest son in a family with a strict moral and religious view and has never been allowed to mix with other people, listen to music or watch TV. That is until he finds himself caught up in the extraordinary world of Lee Carter, the school terror and maker of bizarre home movies.
U2 3D and In Bruges
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Tom Kalin; Writer: Howard A Rodman; Stars: Julianne Moore, Stephen Dillane, Eddie Redmayne, Elana Anaya, Simon Andreu, Anne Reid), Official Site
Accomplished telling of a real life upper class family's disturbing meltdown.
(Country: USA/Canada; Year: 2008; Director: Bill Maher; Writer: Zac Stanford; Stars: Nick Stahl, AnnaSophia Robb, Charlize Theron, Dennis Hopper, Woody Harrelson, Deborrah-Lee Furness)
A young man ill-equipped to raise his abandoned niece is forced to take responsibility when faced with the prospect of losing her to a foster home.
(Country: US; Year: 2008; Director: Noam Murro; Writer: Mark Jude Poirier; Stars: Dennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker, Thomas Haden Church, Ellen Page, Ashton Holmes), Official Site
Can a little romance and a bit of brotherly bonding help a self-absorbed professor confront his life?
Towelhead (Nothing Is Private)
(Country: USA; Year: 2008; Director: Alan Ball; Writer: Alan Ball; Stars: Aaron Eckhart, Maria Bello, Toni Collette, Summer Bishil))
The life of a 13-year-old Arab-American girl is illuminated as she navigates the confusing and frightening path of adolescence and sexual awakening.
(Country: UK/Germany/Spain; Year: 2008; Director: Brad Anderson; Writer: Brad Anderson, Will Conroy; Stars: Woody Harrelson, Eduardo Noriega, Ben Kingsley, Emily Mortimer, Kate Mara, Thomas Kretschmann)
Mystery on the Tran Siberian Express.
CSNY Déjà Vu and Be Kind Rewind
(Country: US; Year: 2008; Director: Catherine Owens, Mark Pellington; Stars: Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr), Official Site
The Irish mega-band take it to the Imax.
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Thomas McCarthy; Writer: Thomas McCarthy; Stars: Richard Jenkins, Hiam Abbas, Haaz Sleiman, Danai Gurira), Official Site
An ageing, lonely man rediscovers his love of life when he visits New York and shares his home with two strangers.
What Just Happened?
(Country: US; Year: 2008; Director: Barry Levinson; Writer: Art Linson; Stars: Robert De Niro, Robin Wright Penn, Sean Penn, Catherine Keener, Bruce Willis, Michael Wincott, Stanley Tucci, John Turturro), Official Site
A desperate film producer tries to stop his latest project (and himself) from going into meltdown.
The Year Of Getting To Know Us
(Country: USA; Director: Patrick Sisam; Writer: Patrick Sisam, Rick Velleu, Ethan Canin; Stars: Jimmy Fallon, Chase Ellison, Sharon Stone, Lucy Liu, Tom Arnold, Illeana Douglas, Armando Acevedo, Christian Andreas, Karl Anthony, Eugenie Bondurant, Connor Boyle)
A commitment-phobic man reunites with his estranged, ailing father and comes to terms with his own childhood.
The Yellow Handkerchief
(Country: USA; Director: Udayan Prasad; Writer: Erin Dignam; Stars: Maria Bello, William Hurt, Eddie Redmayne, Veronica Russell)
A recently released convict and a pair of disillusioned young people, three strangers of two generations, bound by loneliness, reach out to one another, embarking on a road trip through Louisiana.