Plus: 'Young Ones,' 'Infinitely Polar Bear' and the terrible 'Low Down'
« Previous galleryZoe Saldana, Anna Kendrick and Dane DeHaan walk Sundance red carpet
Best: A sense of fun returns to the festival
This year was the festival's 30th anniversary (depending on when you count the "start date"), but it was also Festival Director John Cooper's 25th with the organization. It was somewhat appropriate then that a little bit of fun sneaked its way back into the festival. Granted, the lack of bad weather, a less dour dramatic competition and a surprising lack of controversies might have had something to do with it. However, it just might be that after four years of recovering from the economic crash of late 2008, and four years after the departure of Geoffrey Gilmore the festival finally has Cooper's full stamp on it. From the out of the box -- and largely lauded -- "Fee Fail" day including a Rockettes kick line class to the most inspiring film bumpers in at least a decade (watch it), there was just something about Sundance that seemed more positive this year. Maybe it was the bright light blue vests on the volunteers or the annual volunteer "thank you" film set to Lady Gaga's "Just Dance" (Toronto did something similar to Katrina and the Waves "Walking on Sunshine." Guess Sundance has better music rights connections). In fact, when Cooper introduced the last film at the massive Eccles theater the volunteers in the theater all went up and danced to the cheers of the crowd while the thank you film broadcast behind them. You won't see that at the Palais de Festivals de Cannes anytime soon, that's for sure.
- Gregory Ellwood