Top 100 Most Anticipated Films of 2013: #76. James Ponsoldt’s The Spectacular Now

James Ponsoldt The Spectacular Now

The Spectacular Now

Director: James Ponsoldt
Writer(s): Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber
Producer(s): Michelle Krumm, Andrew Lauren, Shawn Levy, Tom McNulty
U.S. Distributor: Rights Available
Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Miles Teller

James Ponsoldt picked up some major accolades exactly one year to the date with the type of sobering drama that landed with a thud and deftly displayed his bravura. Directly following Smashed, Ponsoldt signed up for The Spectacular Now – it’ll be interesting to see how he works from other folks’ material – he appears to be in good hands as the book adaptation was penned by 500 Days of Summer scribes Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter, and on screen Mary Elizabeth Winstead re-teams with Ponsoldt, leading an ensemble that includes Shailene Woodley, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Brie Larson and Miles Teller.

Gist: Based on Tim Tharp’s novel, Sutter Keely (Miles Teller) lives in the now. It’s a good place for him. A high school senior, charming and self-possessed, he’s the life of the party, loves his job at a men’s clothing store, and has no plans for the future. A budding alcoholic, he’s never far from his supersized, whisky-fortified thirst-master cup. But after being dumped by his girlfriend, Sutter gets drunk and wakes up on a lawn with Aimee Finicky (Shailene Woodley) hovering over him. She’s different: the “nice girl” who reads science fiction and doesn’t have a boyfriend. While Amy has dreams of a future, Sutter lives in the impressive delusion of a spectacular now, yet somehow, they’re drawn together.

Release Date: U.S. Dramatic Competition selection at this year’s Sundance Film Festival – this should find a buyer before the fest’s end with a definite release in ’13.

 

Eric Lavallée is the founder, editor-in-chief and film critic at IONCINEMA.com (founded in 2000). Eric splits his time between his home base in Montreal, NYC, and is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. Top Films From Contemporary Film Auteurs: Almodóvar (Talk to Her), Coen Bros. (Fargo), Dardennes (La Promesse), Haneke (Caché), Hsiao-Hsien (Three Times), Kar-wai (In the Mood for Love), Kiarostami (Taste of Cherry), Lynch (Mulholland Dr.), Tarantino (Pulp Fiction), Van Sant (My Own Private Idaho), von Trier (Breaking the Waves)