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2015 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: John Krasinski’s The Hollars

About a half-dozen years have passed since John Krasinski broke out behind the camera with his 80-minuter raining men oddity. The adaptation of David Foster Wallace’s Brief Interviews with Hideous Men actually landed at Sundance’s Dramatic Competition and was followed by an uneventful theatrical run. Working from Sundance alumni James C. Strouse’s screenplay, Krasinski’s sophomore film, which was shot Mississippi in mid-July and wrapped in August, sees the actor fill the titular protagonist’s shoes. What the film has going for it is that it is supported by the likes Anna Kendrick (last year’s Park City queen was showcased in a trio of films: The Voices, Life After Beth, Happy Christmas), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (brilliant in Sundance preemed The Spectacular Now) and Richard Jenkins. Cock-eyed optimists would say that Sundance still has room for Garden State types or sentimental explorations of self where 30-something men who left for the big city types who rekindle/find old flames and are stuck in what if? predicaments. The Hollars might just fit.

Gist: Written by two-time Sundance director James C. Strouse, Krasinski stars as John Hollar, an aspiring NYC artist who takes his girlfriend (Kendrick) back to his Middle America hometown on the eve of his mother’s (Martindale) brain surgery. There he’s forced to navigate the crazy life he left behind as his dysfunctional family, high school pals, his father (Jenkins), and his over-eager ex flood back into his life ahead of the operation.

Production Co./Producers: Sycamore Pictures’ Tom Rice and Ben Nearn (The Way Way Back), Groundswell Productions’ Michael London (Win Win) and Krasinski’s Sunday Night prod house (Promised Land). Executive producing are Sunday Night’s Allyson Seeger, Strouse and Groundswell’s Janice Williams.

Prediction: Seeing that this is a weighty ensemble and is being called a mix between Steel Magnolias and Garden State, this would be a prime acquisitions title for the Premieres category.

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available – WME (domestic), Annapurna International (international).

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric 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. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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