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Sundance: Is “Beasts of the Southern Wild” the film to beat?

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: The Sundance Film Festival officially is underway, with a full slate of press and public screenings opening the doors to a flood of fresh news spilling out of Park City. Let’s do what we can to keep up with the latest happenings in the cold and snowy film capital:

– Bold statements already are being made about “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” a surreal father-daughter drama that premiered Friday. Matt Patches, movie editor at Hollywood.com, claims on Twitter that although it’s only day two, “Beasts” is the film to beat.

– eFilmCritic’s Erik Childress wasn’t nearly as impressed with the opening night film, “Wish You Were Here.” While the film, which stars Joel Edgerton, picked up a few supporters, Childress zinged, “WISH YOU WERE HERE? Wish I had left. Another film sucks on the festival circuit. Big surprise.”

– Audiences got a look at “The Raid,” the action hit that took the Toronto International Film Festival by storm. Devin Faraci seemed to capture the mood when he tweeted, “The Raid is an action masterpiece. Believe the hype.”

– And finally, the documentary “Searching for Sugar Man,” which tells the story of musician Sixto Rodriquez, is getting a lot of positive buzz. Many referred to it as a frontrunner to win the fest’s audience prize, while Sharon Waxman of The Wrap simply stated, “Someone buy this fast.”

UPDATE: Sony Pictures Classics listened. They picked up the rights to “Sugar Man,” according to THR.

Keep it locked here for Sundance updates through the weekend.

Hollywood News on Twitter for up-to-date news information.

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