I've always wanted to go and so I did! I wanted Archie to come with too and so I had him weigh in on the movie selection. Sundance usually carries some pretty dramatic fare so when we came upon Austenland for a selection, we jumped on it!
Jerusha Hess directed it. Her husband, Jared, was the director behind the excellent movies of Napolean Dynamite and Nacho Libre, and I know she had a lot of input on both of those movies. I figured it would have a lot of comedic quirkiness to it. I also read the book a few years ago and knew that a truly comedic approach would spice it up, since the book was only so-so.
It was a big date! My mom came up to watch Gabe and we ate a fun bar n grill for lunch and then up onto Ogden. Not a prime spot for premieres and celebrities, but I didn't care about that. It was fun to see Ogden like this. We walked around downtown for a bit and found a coffee shop, warmed our feet by the fire, and sipped our hot drinks. Then we made it back in time to get in line for a couple of hours. I didn't mind, though. Archie is a talker when he's feeling good. And he was feeling good. He was friendly with everyone in line and we talked with a few regular volunteers for the Festival. We learned some history about Ogden.
The theater is beautiful. It's Egyptian-themed and has been renovated a few times over the last 100 years. It holds about 800 people and it was packed. They even have an organ! The organist played some awesome tunes for us before the movie started. The director came on stage and introduced the movie and we sat back and laughed out arses off! It was hilarious!!! It was so funny, I was crying. My sides hurt. The energy of the place was tangible. I loved every aspect of it.
After the movie, both the director and the author, Shannon Hale, got on stage for a Q&A. They were open, funny, and friendly. They shared a lot of fun tidbits about how the movie was made, funny tidbits with the actors and crew, etc.
They even had a little reception afterward with free appetizers and live music!
It was a great time and I'll probably attend again in Ogden. Great atmosphere and great people.