My plane from New York (by way of Minneapolis) landed in Salt Lake City around 1 p.m. yesterday -- and by 3:30, I was sitting in a press screening at the Sundance Film Festival of Austenland.
And by 4, I had given up on the film and moved on to something else, a film from New Zealand called Shopping.
It was a long day of travel, so I called it good after one more film -- a dark British comedy called Sightseers -- to rest up for what should be a full day today, Sunday.
Since the festival started on Thursday night, my Facebook page and Twitter feed were full of messages from people about different films and, as to be expected, they were all over the place. One post, on the Hollywood Elsewhere website, proclaimed that, as of Saturday, there had yet to be a breakout hit -- even as others were proclaiming things like Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Don Jon's Addiction or the documentary Twenty Feet from Stardom as big winners so far.
I sat down and went through various lists last weekend to put my schedule together -- then promptly forgot about it. I figure: When I'm here, I'm here and I'll see what I see. Even as I was choosing films, I tried not to read too much about them. I wrote down the salient information on my legal-pad schedule -- time, venue, running time -- and then put it out of my mind.
So, yes, I want to see Lovelace and a couple of others. But when people said, "What are you looking forward to?", my response is a dull, "I don't know."
Still, I'll admit I was kind of anticipating Austenland, based on the brief plot description in the online listings: a comedy about a woman totally enamored of Jane Austen, who spends her life savings on a trip to England to visit Austenland, a week-long immersive experience living in Jane Austen's world.
Just one problem: The film was written and directed by Jerusha Hess who, yes, wrote Napoleon Dynamite, which was directed by her husband, Jared Hess. The couple then went on to write and direct the virtually unwatchable Nacho Libre and Gentleman Broncos.
This commentary contnues on my website.