January 23, 2007

Sundance. Joshua.

Joshua "[A]n expertly crafted and creepy film about a strange little kid and his fractured family," blogs indieWIRE editor Eugene Hernandez. "Striking music and visuals heighten the tension in Joshua, with Vera Farmiga and Jacob Kogan. While I still have a number of films to see, Sam Rockwell shines as a troubled dad in the two strongest overall Sundance dramatic competition entries I've seen so far, Joshua and David Gordon Green's Snow Angels."

But in iW's virtual pages, Steve Ramos disagrees sharply. At Cannes, he assumes, "audiences would openly jeer a disastrous movie like director George Ratliff's unintentionally silly, bad seed horror drama Joshua. At Sundance, where the film made its premiere over the weekend, the audience I sat with was polite and only laughed at all the wrong places. The only person yelling back at the movie was I."

Updated through 1/29.

Rav raves at AICN.

"I can't say I disliked the film. But like so many films at Sundance this year, it lacks a clear focus," sighs David Poland.

Gregg Goldstein and Nicole Sperling report at the Risky Biz Blog that Fox Searchlight have picked up rights for the entire world - except Canada. No, really.

IndieWIRE and the Reeler interview Ratliff.

Update: "How much credit should a movie get for provoking an honest-to-goodness full-body shiver?" wonders Mike D'Angelo at ScreenGrab. "Like its similarly underrated cousin, Birth, Joshua makes up in potent atmosphere and formal mastery what it lacks in narrative logic; unlike Birth, however, it's further enhanced by two superlative adult performances (courtesy Sam Rockwell and Vera Farmiga) that invest a ludicrous premise with conviction and behavioral nuance."

Update, 1/25: Alison Willmore at the IFC Blog: "Joshua paints itself into a corner at the end, but that final sense of deflation fits in with the film's own tendency to cut dread with the everyday. It's still an impressively subversive tweaking of the horror genre, and a memorable one."

Update, 1/26: Acquired by Fox Searchlight for nearly $4 million. (Variety).

Updates, 1/29: "Will Fox Searchlight play the parental horror angle (most certainly) or will the coming out story at the heart of the film be recognized and promoted?" wonders Tom Hall.

Reid Rosefelt has a video interview with Blitz at Zoom In Online.

Coverage of the coverage: The Park City Index.

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Posted by dwhudson at January 23, 2007 2:04 AM


that indiewire review was spot on. easily the worst film i saw at sundance and i cannot imagine what searchlight was thinking.

Posted by: citizen dwayne at January 24, 2007 5:33 PM