Think the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, is all about snooty celebs sipping wine in hot tubs at snooty ski resorts while screening snooty art flicks? Well, it's a little bit about that. But Sundance also is the fest that premiered buzz-worthy 2011 movies such as "Another Earth," "Like Crazy," "Martha Marcy May Marlene" and Chicago's own "The Interrupters." We've got five reasons to keep an eye on this year's fest, which runs through Sunday.
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1 -- Everybody who's anybody is there
Seriously, it's like winter break for famous people. More stars than we care to list have movies premiering at the fest ... fine, OK, here's some of them: Chris Rock, Spike Lee, Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg, Elijah Wood, Emma Roberts, Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bradley Cooper, Olivia Wilde, Zoe Saldana. And we could go on.
2 -- Plenty of people who aren't anybody yet are there, too
Be honest -- at this time last year, had you heard of Elizabeth Olsen? How about Felicity Jones? Now the stars of "Martha Marcy May Marlene" and "Like Crazy," respectively, are breaking out in a major way, with at least two big movies each out in 2012. Who's next?
3 -- The movies might predict the Oscars -- or summer box office
We're already readying our popcorn buckets for "Bachelorette," starring Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher and Lizzy Caplan (read: Janis Ian from "Mean Girls") as NYC ladies out for an eventful/catty night. And "West of Memphis," a doc about three men who recently were released after a horrific murder conviction, should get really buzzy come awards season.
4 -- You can have your own mini-Sundance without leaving Chicago
It might even be better than going to Utah. Lakeview's Music Box Theatre hosts a screening of "2 Days in New York" on Thursday night in conjunction with the festival. Star and co-writer Alexia Landeau will be on hand for a post-screening chat, but we're not sure if she'll be able to tell you how to break into showbiz.
5 -- The festival isn't immune to antics
This is not all about class, people. Slipknot (remember them?) attended to promote their new production company, and made a short video involving burlap sacks and thorns. Aziz Ansari got booed during his stand-up act. (To be fair, it was Drake's fault.) Tracy Morgan was hospitalized after collapsing, blaming it on "the altitude." The lesson: If you're at Sundance, get ready to partayyyy.