updated 01/15/2009 AT 12:40 PM ET
•originally published 01/16/2009 AT 5:55 AM ET
This year’s Sundance Film Festival kicked off Thursday night, with cinema’s annual rite of winter celebrating its silver 25th anniversary. In the next few days ahead, more excitement is anticipated in the snows of Park City, Utah.
The weekend will also see Jim Carrey with significant other Jenny McCarthy, as he and costars Ewan McGregor and Rodrigo Santoro promote I Love You Philip Morris.
Another film, La Mission, described as a dark tale of healing and transformation, will be accompanied by its real-life husband and wife actors, Bejamin Bratt and Talisa Soto Bratt.
As for the films generating buzz this year, they include:
Adventureland: Superbad director Greg Mottola directs Twilight’s Kristen Stewart, Knocked Up’s Kristen Wiig and Jesse Eisneberg in a tale of a recent college grad’s dream trip to Europe – which ultimately turns into the title of film.
The Greatest: Susan Sarandon and Pierce Brosnan pair as parents coping with a child’s death.
In the Loop: James Gandolfini, a grown-up Anna Chlumsky and Steve Coogan star in an office comedy about British and American mid-level employees who bungle their way with the top brass of their governments as they plan a “secret” war.
Brief Interviews With Hideous Men: The Office’s John Krasinski wrote, directed and stars in this dark comedy about men and their complex relationships with women.
Lymelife: Described as a funny, loving and heartbreaking tribute to the American family (showing the dark side of 1970s suburbia), this stars brothers Rory Culkin and Kieran Culkin, Alec Baldwin, Emma Roberts and Cynthia Nixon.
Films from Ben Affleck, Chris Rock
Reporter: A feature documentary executive produced by Ben Affleck about Nicholas Kristof, the two-time Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for The New York Times. Kristof put the crisis in Darfur on the international radar, and now wants to do the same for Congo.
The Informers: With an all-star cast of Billy Bob Thornton, Kim Basinger, Mickey Rourke, Winona Ryder, Jon Foster and Amber Heard, this multi-strand narrative balances a vast array of characters who represented both the top of the heap and the bottom of the barrel.
Mary and Max: Toni Collette plays a lonely 8-year-old living in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman plays a severely obese, 44-year-old Jewish man with Asperger’s Syndrome in New York City in this story of pen pals.
Good Hair: A look at the complex world of African Americans and their hair from comedian (and the film’s writer), Chris Rock – who traveled to beauty salons and barbershops from Harlem to Dallas to Beverly Hills.
2008: Stars hit the slopes & the parties at the Sundance Film Festival