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Sundance Spotlight: The Mysteries of Pittsburgh

I am so thrilled to go to Sundance this year, and I simply can't wait to see as many movies as I possibly can while I'm out there! For the next few days I'll be highlighting some of the films I'm most curious to see. Today's spotlight: The Mysteries of Pittsburgh.

One of the few Sundance films to have an official website, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh is a film adaptation of the novel by author Michael Chabon (Wonder Boys, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay). Chabon's work seems to lend itself to the movie format (I loved Wonder Boys) so I'm anxious to see how this one turns out. To see who's in it and what the story's about,


The plot description reads, "Set in Pittsburgh in the early eighties, the story chronicles the last true summer of Art Bechstein's (Jon Foster) youth. Stuck in a dead-end job working for his eccentric sometime girlfriend Phlox (Mena Suvari), and forced into an endless series of airless dinners with his mobster father (Nick Nolte), Art begins to believe that perhaps he doesn't even exist at all. What begins as a mundane summer is quickly interrupted when he encounters a beautiful debutante (Sienna Miller) and her lusty, no good hoodlum of a boyfriend Cleveland (Peter Sarsgaard). Together they reveal a side of Art and Pittsburgh that he has never known."

So that's where Mena Suvari's been. Huh. This is also the project that earned Miller some bad press a while back when she badmouthed Pittsburgh in Rolling Stone and then backpedaled. I guess we'll see if she managed to cover up her disdain long enough to make the movie.


Join The Conversation
littlemissme littlemissme 9 years
Yay! Didn't know Peter was in this! :D
franQ franQ 9 years
As the moderator of the Official MYSTERIES OF PITTSBURGH Film Boycott, I'm here to tell you: Do not waste your time and $$ on seeing this film! Don't get me wrong, I LOVED the book and I love Pittsburgh because of it. (I also spent 2 years there getting my MFA at Carnegie Mellon and it's a wonderful town!) But this so-called adaptation is NOTHING like the original novel, except for the title and names of the characters. I've also read the screenplay, and it's just not MOP. Anyone knows you can't tell this story without gay Arthur and Phlox as a central character. Who wants to see a story about Art, Cleveland, and Jane? They are peripheral characters. And Cleveland isn't the least bit bisexual! The fact that the writer/director of DODGEBALL has taken so many liberties is appalling to MOP fans everywhere! Did he think we really would not care? We've been waiting almost 20 years for this film! (How can he even consider himself a fan? No "fan" would ever want to see this story CHANGED!) The fact that Michael Chabon signed off on it is even MORE appalling... I will never read his work again. Check out the Boycott at: For a copy of the script, email: bechstein[at]yahoo[dot]com
raieven raieven 9 years
She has aged so much in the past few years.
SussLW SussLW 9 years
I wonder how true to the plot of the novel it will be. If it were mainstream, I'm guessing they will remove some of Art's love life. Perhaps because it's debuting at Sundance they have kept that part.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 9 years
Even though I CANNOT stand Sienna Miller, I grew up in Pittsburgh and am moving back in a couple months, so I'll probably go see it anyway.
yiddidea yiddidea 9 years
Everything about this film is appealing to me, except Sienna. Do I really want to see another film with her as a "beautiful debutante"? Ugh. I really like Peter Sarsgaard and Jon Foster though.
thedeannamarie thedeannamarie 9 years
I live in Southwestern PA, and vaguely remember hearing about some bratty rich girl badmouthing the city. Too bad I don't even care about her enough to care what she thinks. Maybe I'll read the book before seeing the movie. It's always fun when things are filmed in places you know.
arianell arianell 9 years
I'm a big fan of the book and they totally changed the plot for the movie adaptation. I'll probably still see it, though.
Fab_Kitty Fab_Kitty 9 years
Count me in with those who are wary of Sienna (She came off so smug at the 2007 Golden Globes!), but like Chabon. Like you, Buzz, I love Wonderboys (both book and film), I also liked Mysteries, and really enjoyed Cavalier & Clay (although the last 1/3 of the book was noticably weaker than the previous 2/3rds). Perhaps this is one of the cases of holding off to hear what others' think before shelling out to see it in theaters.
jadenirvana jadenirvana 9 years
I am reading Chabon's "The Yiddish Policemen's Union" right now and it is brilliant Kinda reminds me of Zadie Smith in a weird way-same dry humor and strong ethnic flavor. Anyway, I try to avoid Sienna usually but might just go for the story.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 9 years
vickibug is so right: Sienna isn't a favorite with any of us in southwestern PA. But, Michael Chabon is. I'm looking forward to seeing this; Pittsburgh really is a great city!
vickibug vickibug 9 years
Yeah, I live in Pittsburgh and Sienna isn't too popular around here (although I'm sure she cares...) But I would like to see the movie though. Yay Pittsburgh!
splayer splayer 9 years
Yay Pittsburgh! Boo to Sienna for dissing it!
Liz7757 Liz7757 9 years
I read the book over the summer and have since forgotten their names, but they combined two characters that are completely different into one. Just seems like a bad idea to me.
d9rlcb d9rlcb 9 years
This looks really good
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
I can't stand Sienna Miller so I probably won't see this. I do love Peter though, he's great
TinkerbellSF TinkerbellSF 9 years
Also, Michael Chabon is hot ;)
hotstuff hotstuff 9 years
Oh yea, this is the movie Sienna was making when she insulted Pittsburgh and called it something like Shitsburg.
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