Scripps Howard News Service
By Robert Denerstein

It's Almost Sundance Time

On Thursday the focus of the film world shifts to Utah, where the Sundance Film Festival opens with Gurinder Chadha's comedy What's Cooking?

For the past few years, Sundance -- the nation's most intensely watched film festival -- has been marked by an increased and sometimes stimulating lack of clarity, a blurring of lines between commercial and artistic fare in the world of independent film.

Chadha's movie should provide an appropriate keynote. A British woman of Indian descent, Chadha takes a look at the American holiday of Thanksgiving by focusing on four families: black, Jewish, Hispanic and Vietnamese. The movie boasts the kind of ensemble cast that has come to mark much independent film work: Joan Chen, Dennis Haysbert, Lainie Kazan, Mercedes Ruehl, Kyra Sedgwick, Julianna Margulies and Alfre Woodard.


January 18, 2000