It's been just over six months since we said goodbye to 2012 and hello to 2013, and already we've seen a slew of promising indie talent breakthrough in big ways thanks to the Sundance, SXSW and Tribeca film festivals (among many others), and theatrical releases that caught on with the movie-going public. Yesterday we published the first part of our picks for this year's biggest indie breakthroughs so far (we still have half a year to go), with our reasons for why they made the cut and info on what they're up to next. Below, find part two.
Breakout Film: "A Teacher"
Why They're On Here: In Hannah Fidell's breakout Sundance entry "A Teacher," picked up by Oscilloscope out of the fest, Lindsay Burdge appears in pretty much every frame as an attractive suburban Texas high school teacher engaged in a heated affair with a male student. The subject matter alone attracted a lot of attention in Park City prior to the film's premiere, and after it screened, Burdge emerged as one of the breakouts of the festival with a performance The Hollywood Reporter praised as "commandingly internalized."
What's Up Next: Burdge recently shot the indie "The Sideways Light," a movie she refers to as "another female-driven enterprise." "A Teacher" opens September 6.
Breakout Film: "Frances Ha"
Why They're On Here: Noah Baumbach's "Frances Ha" is full of big surprises. When it premiered at Telluride last September it seemed to materialize out of nowhere, having been shot in secret quite successfully the previous year. Another welcome surprise of the film is the unheralded arrival of young British actress Mickey Sumner, who earned praise in her completely believable and often heartbreaking portrayal of the title character's (co-writer Greta Gerwig) best friend. Sumner fits so seamlessly into Baumbach's world that it seems incredible that the film is only her second substantial role in a feature.
What's Up Next: The New York-based actress portrays punk icon Patti Smith in Randall Miller's upcoming "CBGB" and appears this summer opposite Kristen Wiig and Annette Bening in "Girl Most Likely."
Breakout Film: "Cutie and the Boxer"
Why They're On Here: Zachary Heinzerling came to this year's Sundance Film Festival as a newbie filmmaker with his debut "Cutie and the Boxer." He left Park City as a doc filmmaker to reckon with after landing distribution with RADiUS-TWC and the festival's Documentary Directing Award. The intimate and artful doc profiles Ushio and Noriko Shinohara, married Japanese artists living in New York who have been together for 40-plus years. At the film's outset, the couple is in the midst of preparing a joint exhibit. Using the event as a springboard, Heinzerling delves into their surprising back-story to reveal a piercing look at the sacrifices Noriko made in order to further Ushio's career. It opens August 16.
What's Up Next: "I really want to work on a narrative film," Heinzerling told Indiewire. “I've worked on documentaries pretty much solely up to now. I'd really like to try my hand at it. With this film I was trying to basically make a narrative film, but instead of using actors I used real people.”
Breakout Film: "Short Term 12"
Why They're On Here: She's been slowly building a name for herself with a bunch of small parts in films like "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" and "Greenberg" and a role on "The United States of Tara," but she took everyone by surprise as the center of the indie drama "Short Term 12," which took SXSW by storm earlier this year by winning both the Audience and Grand Jury awards. She took on a heavy role as a worker in a youth foster care facility trying to balance supervising underprivileged kids with her own problems as the past comes back to haunt her. She led the film with such heartbreaking gravity that we're waiting for her next role with bated breath. "Short Term 12" opens August 23.
What's Up Next: She can be seen in anticipated upcoming indies "The Spectacular Now" and "Don Jon," which ought to hold us until her next starring role. She is currently billed for upcoming comedy "Relanxious," about a woman who suffers from anxiety (Olivia Wilde) who falls in love with an agoraphobic guy (Jason Sudeikis). Larson will play Wilde's best friend. She'll also star in "Squirrels to the Nuts," as a prostitute turned actress who gets a career boost from a smitten but married Broadway producer (Owen Wilson). And lastly, it looks like she'll be starring in a Bollywood musical called "Basmati Blues." Not many details are available, but her former career as a pop singer surely prepared her for a musical role.
Breakout Film: "King Kelly," "Bluebird"
Why They're On Here: Louisa Krause may have earned her first major recognition for her role in the 2012 SXSW entry "King Kelly," but she truly proved herself in this year's Tribeca Film Festival entry, "Bluebird." Though the film's main focus is on Amy Morton's character, Lesley, Krause steals her fair share of scenes as Marla, a boozing, pot-smoking small town waitress who gets tangled up in the film's central tragedy. Critic Rodrigo Perez of The Playlist said, "Krause, [as] the damaged and dysfunctional mother, is outstanding and one to watch," when he saw the film in April. We have to agree.
What's Up Next: Krause is slated to appear in a number of smaller films already in post-production. She has roles in "You Can't Win" and "Gabriel," starring Michael Pitt and Rory Culkin, respectively. Both films are expected in 2013. "The First" is a slightly more high profile film for the young actress. Starring Julia Stiles and David Strathairn, the biopic of silent film star Mary Pickford has yet to set a release date.