Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sundance Film Festival: Sympathy for Delicious

Friday was the highlight of the trip. We drove to the Sundance Institute--about 45 minutes from Park City--to see a private screening of Mark Ruffalo's directorial debut: Sympathy for Delicious.

The Sundance Institute is a beautiful place, nestled in the mountains; a serene, rustic, inspiring retreat.

Sympathy for Delicious is a remarkable film, and just about impossible to sum up properly.

If I told you it was about a DJ struggling to survive living on the streets of Los Angeles, you might be disinterested.

If I then said that this DJ turned to faith healing in frustration with his paralyzed body, perhaps you would be skeptical.

If you heard that he then hooked up with an unstable rock band hoping for money and fame, you may be ready to start talking about a different movie.

But that would be a mistake.

Despite the fact that Sympathy For Delicious may not be "believable" as far as the facts go, despite the fact that it's not really about what it's about, and even despite the fact that it's a film combining faith healing, homeless people, Catholic priests, and some really dark scenes, it is a film that ultimately heals and restores hope. It somehow erases any delineation or classification of how we all might be different, and shows instead how we all might be healed.

Our AmEx group got to enjoy lunch with Mark Ruffalo, Christopher Thornton, and two others who worked on the film (forgive me for forgetting names) after our screening and found out that initial reviews of the film were quite poor (there was even a brief article in the LA Times about it's unpopularity--see We were shocked, as it had deeply touched us. I am thinking, however, that perhaps the issue is that it is a deeply felt film and as that it demands that you take the time to connect with it, because at the awards ceremony at the end of the Sundance Film Festival, Sympathy For Delicious was awarded a Special Grand Jury Prize for a dramatic film.

I, personally, couldn't be more pleased. I look forward to this piece of art being viewed by more people. No doubt it will receive more criticism, but there is also no doubt that more people will be touched by it. Not for everyone, perhaps, but quite beautiful to me. Bravo.

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I was actually watching a program on Korean television (BBC) last night that mentioned the movie in much the same way you did. That it doesn't sound like it would be good but that it was good. Thanks Mel!