The thermometer may read 0 degrees Fahrenheit in Park City, Utah, but things are about to start heating up. The countdown to the 2013 Sundance Film Festival has begun and my dance card is filling up fast. I’m packing my warmest clothes and ploughing through synopses, cast-lists, and an onslaught of press invitations currently clogging my email inbox. As with every year, there are far more films I want to see than films I will have time to see, but here are the 5 Films and performances I’m most looking forward to:

5. Austenland – Director Jerusha Hess

I cannot wait to see what  Bret McKenzie (Flight of the Concords)Jennifer Coolidge (American Pie), and Keri Russell (Running Wilde), bring to this comedy. McKenzie and Coolidge are masters of gut-tickling timing, so I know I’m in for some fun. I’ll be watching Russell, whom I don’t necessarily associate with this kind of humor (though I did enjoy the short-lived Running Wilde with Will Arnett), to see if she can keep up with her champion cast-mates.  Based on the novel, the film follows an Jane Austen-obsessed, hopeless romantic (Russell) on a quest to find her Mr. Darcy at an Austen-themed retreat.

Showtimes:

  • 1/18/2013 12:15 pm Eccles Theatre, Park City
  • 1/19/2013 8:30 am Egyptian Theatre, Park City
  • 1/21/2013 6:30 pm Peery’s Egyptian Theatre, Ogden
  • 1/22/2013 8:30 pm The MARC, Park City
  • 1/24/2013 12 noon Egyptian Theatre, Park City
  • 1/26/2013 3:30 pm Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, Salt Lake City

More Film and Ticket Info (Sundance website)

 4. C.O.G – Director Kyle Patrick Alvarez

David Sedaris‘ short story, C.O.G., will be his first piece to make it to the silver screen, and hopefully not his last. Jonathan Groff, known to many as Jesse St. James from Glee, portrays Sedaris as a naive young man working on an apple orchard for a summer. I’m looking forward to seeing how Groff, well-known for his musical performances on Broadway and off, tackles Sedaris’ sarcasm and moxie. Can he nail this part without breaking into song?

Showtimes:

  • 1/20/2013 8:30 pm Library Center Theatre, Park City
  • 1/22/2013 11:30 am Library Center Theatre, Park City
  • 1/23/2013 9:00 pm Salt Lake City Library Theatre, Salt Lake City
  • 1/25/2013 12 noon Eccles Theatre, Park City
  • 1/26/2013 9:00 am Temple Theatre, Park City

More Film and Ticket Info (Sundance website)

3. Touchy Feely – Director Lynn Shelton

Rosemarie DeWitt (United States of Tara) portrays a free-spirited masseuse having an identity crisis. The synopsis hints of some ethereal transformation that shifts her family’s roles in a more sophisticated “Freaky Friday” type scenario. The cast also includes the delights of Ellen Page, Ron Livingston, Allison Janney, Scoot McNairy, and Josh Pais. What I am hoping for is a quirky, meaningful film with DeWitt bringing to it a nice balance of humor and genuine pathos.

Showtimes:

  • 1/19/2013 12:00 noon Eccles Theatre, Park City
  • 1/19/2013 9:30 pm Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, Salt Lake City
  • 1/20/2013 6:00 pm Sundance Resort Screening Room, Sundance Resort
  • 1/21/2013 9:00 am Egyptian Theatre, Park City
  • 1/23/2013 5:30 pm The MARC, Park City
  • 1/24/2013 8:45 pm Library Center Theatre, Park City

More Film and Ticket Info (Sundance website)

2. Before Midnight – Director Richard Linklater

Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and now Before Midnight, we get to witness the delicious chemistry of Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy as their characters, Celine and Jess, meet up again after almost a decade. I fell in love with Delpy as a writer and director when I saw 2 Days in Paris, so I’m thrilled to see her back in this third installment of Linklater’s story. Will she be as enchanting as ever?

Showtimes:

  • 1/20/2013 9:45 pm Eccles Theater, Park City
  • 1/21/2013 8:30 am The MARC, Park City
  • 1/23/2013 6:30 pm Peery’s Egyptian Theater, Ogden
  • 1/24/2013 9:00 pm Salt Lake City Library Theatre, Salt Lake City
  • 1/25/2013 12 noon Sundance Resort Screening Room, Sundance Resort
  • 1/26/2013 8:30 am The MARC, Park City

More Film and Ticket Info (Sundance website)

1. Stoker – Director Chan-wook Park

It may seem odd to have this film in the same list as Austenland, but I’m a lady of many parts.  As a big fan of Park’s Vengeance Trilogy, Stoker is the film I am most excited to see this year for a number of reasons, not least Nicole Kidman. Kidman, I know, is equally adept as both terrified and terrifying, and I can’t wait to see her slam this suspense/thriller out of the Park (pun-intended).

Showtimes:

  • 1/20/2013 6:30 pm Eccles Theatre, Park City
  • 1/21/2013 9:00 am Eccles Theatre, Park City
  • 1/23/2013 9:00 pm Sundance Resort Screening Room, Sundance Resort
  • 1/25/2013 6:30 pm Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, Salt Lake City
  • 1/26/2013 6:30 pm Peery’s Egyptian Theater, Ogden

More Film and Ticket Info (Sundance website)

What performances are you most looking forward to at Sundance this year?