Sundance Diary: Opening night with Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Holofcener

143534__sundance_lThis is the first of our daily updates from EW reporters attending the Sundance Film Festival.

The opening night of Sundance is always a zoo. Most people have barely dusted themselves off from the flight into Salt Lake (followed by a 40-minute van ride into Park City) before rushing off to Eccles Center Theater to brave a sea of North Face jackets and woolen hats and scarves, all elbowing their way inside to score that elusive good seat. Dawdle just a second too long and you, my friend, will be stuck in the nose-bleed section.

This year’s crowd braved the cold — and at 22 degrees with a fresh coat of powdery snow, it was nippy — to attend the premiere of Nicole Holofcener’s Friends With Money, a witty, affectionate meditation on four Los Angeles women (from left to right, Joan Cusack, Jennifer Aniston, Catherine Keener, and Frances McDormand [not pictured]) figuring out what the hell life’s about. Sundance vet Holofcener (she’s shown almost all of her movies here, including 1996’s fantastic Walking and Talking, also with Keener) was clearly tickled to be honored with opening night, grinning as she hopped up on stage after the credits rolled to field questions from the audience.

As the director worked the microphoned podium, eight members of the cast, including all four female leads, sat in a row at the edge of the stage, enduring an endless stream of pop-pop-popping! flashbulbs. When one moviegoer asked Aniston (who was seated next to Keener, with whom she whispered and giggled, and on whose knee she rested a sisterly hand) why she chose this project, the actress replied: "You saw the movie. Plus," she added, gesturing to her costars and Holofcener, "all these people." (Awwww.) Save for a lighthearted disagreement between Cusack and Keener about the meaning of money in the film — it’s a metaphor for centered-ness! said Cusack; it’s no metaphor, it’s just money! countered Keener — as well as one clueless man’s inquiry into Holofcener’s hostile attitudes toward men (um, dude? wake up!), the premiere was pretty ho-hum: No celebrity feathers were ruffled, no lines were crossed.

Because here at Sundance, serious film lovers don’t give a hoot about the whole Brangelina pregnancy thing.

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  • Steve S

    I resent that popwatch does not tell you that your required email address will show up on the weblog. I have had an email account for over 10 years and got maybe 1 spam a year. Since I made a comment on a popwatch blog about a month ago, I now get about 75 spams an hour because my email address shows up as a link on the blog.
    I strongly recommend not using legitimate email addresses here.

  • Msally

    I’m looking forward to seeing Friends With Money. The four leads, especially Keener, are all gems (though I wish Anniston would lay low for a while as I find her a bit over-exposed these days).

  • lilu

    I love jennifer aniston and I cannot wait to see her in this film. The poor dear has had such a difficult year and it is about time her luck changes.

  • david

    Jennifer Aniston says she wants to find her soulmate, why not have her on as the next bachelorette? That way she might find her soulmate. She has 100 guys to choose from. I think it would be good for the audience and it would get high ratings. Brad Pitt might even get jealous because of all the guys after Jennifer. All the while Angelina Jolie is getting fat and having hormones running wild with mood swings. Jennifer would be at top shape and having the time of her life.

  • Jon

    Steve, hie thee hence to and get yourself a dump eddress. (And check it an hour later to see how much spam it attracts! Make a game of it.)
    Missy, if you see “Wordplay,” please be kind. I’m the piano player.

  • Nicky

    Yeo, Jennifer Aniston is SO overexposed! Go away, lay low for a couple of years and make the public forget about her and reinvent herself. The recent article on her in EW is bang-on about many things. She is a TV actress, VERY known for her public life (and her hair!). Unfortunately no matter what movie she’s in, she may make it tank, hard to not think of her personal life. She is and always will be Rachel on Friends (it’s on 24/7!!!). She’s not a good enough actress to shake that, better at sitcoms. Love Catherine Keener and Frances McD though, should have cast someone else besides the overhyped JA.

  • Kaos

    Ditto to the post about the overexposure of Aniston. She should go away for a long, long time. She is a very limited actress whose so-called movie career came about because she was married to a huge movie star. otherwise she would just be another of those “Friends” star trying to kickstart a film career. Honestly, she has been riding on the coattail of Pitt celebrity-wise and now filmwise she is riding on the coattails of real actors like Keener and McDormand. EW article about her kept referring to her so-called wise film choices. Heavens. This the best she could do as an actor with wise choices?! One can only imagine how much worst it would be were it not for her wise film choices. Fact is, she can make all the wise film choices all she wants but she is just not a good actress, has no screen presence, and is as bland and boring as stale bread. All she has were the famous ex-husband and hardworking publicists constantly spinning tabloid stories in her favor. I expected better from EW.

  • Nicky

    Yes, like stale bread. So true. Bland on screen and too much blah, blah, personal stuff we now know about her. She should have taken a page out of the Nicole Kidman book, keep quiet. Even if the reviews for this film end up good for Jennifer’s part, hard to shake the Rachel/Friends aspect of this one dimentional actress. I see Rachel. Even her peers who are MUCH better actors than Jennifer (Lisa Kudrow in Happy Endings)can’t be finding that easy. And Jennifer has that whole Brad thing, forever following her around, forever to be mentioned in any article about her, until the end of time (He did make her more interesting).
    As for the “wise choices” EW alluding to, seems to me ANY screen success she’s had was due to the popularity of the actors (Jim Carrey, Ben Stiller, ect.), than her. Any sitcomy type actress could have played those roles. I don’t dislike her (although more suited to TV I find), but she needs to take a break, give the public a break from her. A long one, I’m talking a few years.

  • Rob

    I think Jen Aniston never over-exposed herself. It is you people who want to read about her ex-husband, her hair, her whatever – and buying People and Hello tabloid magazines. She is just out there doing a movie -i.e. working. If people do not want to watch her movies, they have the right not to go to the cinema but cannot ask Aniston to take a break and come back when everybody forgets about her??? What kind of advice is that any way? :) I think Aniston will appreciate your concern though. The thing is, to her big screen movies back then when was still married to Mr. Pitt, nobody said she is still ‘Rachel Green.’ Now that she is divorced, do we think she sort of deserves a ‘Rachel Green’ sort of review to her movies? Seems some people relate her talent directly to her marriage – and I say this is bullshit. Sorry about the ‘french’ but I just fail to understand some comments given just for the sake of it.

  • Man

    I read so many disrespectful people here commenting on a single actress who is just making movies. Her personal life is her personal life – none of our business. One should not talk like that of a respected woman who is a film star. It is a sad because this is all in the name of democracy I think. I will pass. Really shows how to be disrespectful to one another. I feel sorry for the kids growing up watching these sort of careless comments against a woman – this is a man’s world where a woman is bad-mouthed for doing her job properly and for not caring in the world about what everyone is saying.

  • david

    Jennifer Aniston says she wants to find her soulmate, why not have her on as the next bachelorette? That way she might find her soulmate. She has 100 guys to choose from. I think it would be good for the audience and it would get high ratings. Brad Pitt might even get jealous because of all the guys after Jennifer. All the while Angelina Jolie is getting fat and having hormones running wild with mood swings. Jennifer would be at top shape and having the time of her life.

  • sherry

    why don’t all of you idiots get a life of your own and you then wouldn’t have to worry about others.

  • Heather

    I think Brad great wanted kids now going have them , Jen didn’t so she with out him.But she had a chance the good thing of all this is there a child or twins coming into world and there are very loved thats what matters,Jen got her what she wanted now making movies, I don’t think there great but she trying but there divorced , So be happy for Brad,poor guy gets his wish and ever ones feeling mad and sad because poor jen , well she had her chance ,and didn’t and they called it off and been divorced so let it go and let him be happy,He’s only human.If it were jen doing this to brad you would here half stuff because she a girl you here all this bad stuff on Brad but he’s never done nothing to feel bad about he found love having children thats a god blesssing so be happy for them .Be honest I think people that are on here to much need to take a look at them selve and dont throw stone are you all perfect?no one is. just be happy for him and her and the kids and Jen will move on or be lonely thats her own fault but from what i see she having sex with vince thats ok .why? that because she a female .let go its a time for people to be happy for Brad who has’nt check the grass on the other side once or twice and she gave him his dream kids . so it all good.If Angie cheats on him later he be ok , hes a big boy and not like there not a lot girl out there that wouldn’t want him . but he’s happy right now who knows babys sometime bring people closer and maybe they will be together for ever if they are thats great sometimes babys change people to push them apart but the thing is I hope that they stay together and stay happy let them be happy for the kids .And for them they did’nt hurt no one if jen got hurt it her own fault.I think everything happends for a reason and they just weren’t meant to be . if they were jen would be with him carring his child but its not so everyone must move on its not good to hate so much hate.Its over!!!!!!!!

  • jess

    He may not look happy because , he’s tired he’s had a hell of a year , but just because he gained weight and his hair looks wierd don’t mean hes not happy , mag.make look like what you want to see, they can take pictures to make him look like hell but he is Brad pitt and I thinking he just might be happy if he was’nt he would left . He left Jen easy because he was’nt happy well they left each other. But thats like old now its the kids people got to focus on and time to say its to bad but wasn’t ment to be and your right ,maybe Angie and him won’t last either but due the kids and if they are happy i wish them luck . he’s human to gain wait have time in your life were you can just be you plus he getting older ,and being busy take way from working out kids are a full time job.But be happy now maybe he’s not perfect but who really is?Could done things different maybe but then again his dream now coming true can’t always plan it ,He wanted kids now hes got his wish , so they were married,but its clear it was over for him , so let it go .Jen will be ok she got a lot going for her she will find her true love but needs to move on time to stop crying and move on , he just wasn’t her soulmate .It happends to most the world now days people cheatting not right but its not going change it .It just the way people are and so many divorces but hey you dont here you picking on everyone just because he famouse you need to pick him out.well she was sleep with vince she not perfect just didnt get pregant, thats all , we are all gods chidren rich or poor we all make mistakes but if hes truely happy , I am happy for him.And he might be happy to if the media wasn’t bashing him how bad he is and they take the bades pic, hey to keep it going so people think wow he might not be sell a dollar thats the way of the world most the stuff we read not even true.lets let it go time to find someone new to pick on?dont you think theres kids involded you want them to look back someday say wow everyone hated my dad because me?think people there just a gift from god never did nothing to you.

  • George Arthur

    This email/blog is to Jennifer Aniston: Your Soulmate has just glimpsed you in a movie. His birthday is 02/11/06 too. He has seen in your face what Brad Pitt saw in your face and you need to know what that was. Please contact him at to share birthday enlightenment and the possibility of much more.

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