Sundance 2003 Wrap-Up
by Stephen Garrett
As Park City wound down and packed another film festival away, the critical consensus on the street pegged this year's Sundance as a solid but not vintage year-boasting the thrilling biopic-doc blend "American Splendor," charming discoveries such as "Pieces of April" and "The Station Agent" and promising dramas like "thirteen," somewhat akin to 2002's "Secretary," "Tadpole," "Real Women Have Curves" and "Narc," but nothing like 2000's "Chuck and Buck," "Girlfight," "Our Song" and "You Can Count on Me" or 2001's motherlode of "In the Bedroom," The Deep End," "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," "The Business of Strangers," "L.I.E.," "Memento," and "Donnie Darko."
This year did have a surprisingly generous amount of fascinating misfires and cine-folies, among them Keith Gordon's truly misguided but engagingly acted "The Singing Detective," Thomas Vinterberg's half-baked but intriguing philosophical sci-fi romance "It's All About Love" (who thinks up stories about Polish figure skating clones?) and the crowning glory of nonsensical masturbatory hubris, Larry Charles' out-of-time hippie fugue "Masked and Anonymous," a Bob Dylan vehicle with one hell of a motley all-star cast (Jessica Lange, John Goodman, Jeff Bridges, Bruce Dern, Luke Wilson and Pen