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A taste of the cinematic highlights of this year’s fest.
Cheerful Weather for the Wedding
Felicity Jones and Elizabeth McGovern star in Donald Rice’s British period piece, which could enjoy a halo effect from Downton Abbey, in which McGovern also appears, and other recent Brit-centered successes like The King’s Speech. (Sales: UTA, Goldcrest Films International)
As election season heats up, The West Wing co-stars Rob Lowe and Richard Schiff reteam for Bill Guttentag’s satire, developed with Democratic consultant Chris Lehane, about a political strategist struggling to protect scandal-ridden clients in a 24/7 news cycle. (Sales: WME, Myriad Pictures)
Deadwood co-stars John Hawkes and Molly Parker play husband and wife in this voyeuristic look at a 1970s-set cocktail party that devolves into drunken conflict. Directed by Julia Dyer and written by her late sister, Gretchen, the drama aims for the dramatic heft of The Ice Storm. (Sales: Billy Goat Productions)
Revenge for Jolly!
Director Chadd Harbold and writer-star Brian Petsos’ dark comedy boasts a secondary cast that includes Elijah Wood, Kristen Wiig and Adam Brody in a story that sees Petsos and Oscar Isaac go on a rampage to avenge the murder of a beloved dog.
Struck by Lightning
Glee’s Chris Colfer wrote and stars in this story about a high school senior and budding journalist in the weeks leading to his death by lightning. Allison Janney, Dermot Mulroney and Christina Hendricks up the star factor in a comedy directed by Saved! helmer Brian Dannelly. (Sales: ICM, Traction Media)
This project enlisted Rescue Me co- creator Denis Leary as an executive producer. Filmmakers Tom Putnam and Brenna Sanchez look at a year in the arson-ravaged life of Detroit. Its up-to-the-moment exposure of recession-era neglect makes for harrowing but fascinating viewing. (Sales: WME, Goldcrest Films Int’l)
Tribeca veterans Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg (Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work) return with a light doc about baseball players Tim Wakefield and R.A. Dickey, practitioners of the titular pitch. Part of Tribeca’s long-running ESPN section, the outdoor world-premiere screening will include appearances by Wakefield, Dickey and former New York Yankee Jim Bouton.
Morgan Spurlock interviews actors such as Jason Bateman, Zach Galifianakis and Paul Rudd about changing standards of manliness in this jokey Spotlight doc that analyzes the new-millennium male obsession with spa treatments and manscaping.
Directors Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher look at the unsanctioned use of prescription drugs in this competition doc that focuses on the fringes of a drug-addled America. (Sales: Filmscience)
Former news photographer Scott Thurman, making his directorial debut, focuses his camera on the culture war that unfolds once a decade when members of the Texas State Board of Education meet to debate textbook standards related to science and evolution. (Sales: Naked Edge Films)
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