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Sundance red carpet photos, review: ‘Happy Christmas’ with Anna Kendrick
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Anna Kendrick and “Happy Christmas,” director by Joe Swanberg holds his son Jude at the Sundance Film Festival premiere at the Library Center, in Park City, Sunday, Jan. 19 January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Melanie Lynskey at the Library Center, in Park City, for the premiere of “Happy Christmas,” at the Sundance Film Festival, Sunday, January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Melanie Lynskey at the Library Center, in Park City, for the premiere of “Happy Christmas,” at the Sundance Film Festival, Sunday, January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Melanie Lynskey and Anna Kendrick at the Library Center, in Park City, for the premiere of “Happy Christmas,” at the Sundance Film Festival, Sunday, January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Melanie Lynskey, Anna Kendrick and Joe Swanberg, at the Library Center, in Park City, for the premiere of “Happy Christmas,” at the Sundance Film Festival, Sunday, January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Anna Kendrick and “Happy Christmas,” director by Joe Swanberg with his three-year-old son Jude at the Sundance Film Festival premiere at the Library Center, in Park City, Sunday, Jan. 19 January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Melanie Lynskey , Anna Kendrick and “Happy Christmas,” director by Joe Swanberg with his three-year-old son Jude at the Sundance Film Festival premiere at the Library Center, in Park City, Sunday, Jan. 19 January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

 "Happy Christmas,” director by Joe Swanberg, at the Sundance Film Festival premiere at the Library Center, in Park City, Sunday, Jan. 19 January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Melanie Lynskey  and Anna Kendrick are interviewed at the Sundance Film Festival premiere at the Library Center, in Park City, Sunday, Jan. 19 January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Melanie Lynskey at the Library Center, in Park City, for the premiere of “Happy Christmas,” at the Sundance Film Festival, Sunday, January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Mark Webber at the Sundance Film Festival premiere at the Library Center, in Park City, Sunday, Jan. 19 January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Mark Webber at the Sundance Film Festival premiere at the Library Center, in Park City, Sunday, Jan. 19 January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Mark Webber at the Sundance Film Festival premiere at the Library Center, in Park City, Sunday, Jan. 19 January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Anna Kendrick takes time to pose for some photos with fans, before the screening of "Happy Christmas" at the Sundance Film Festival premiere at the Library Center, in Park City, Sunday, Jan. 19 January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Anna Kendrick takes time to pose for some photos with fans, before the screening of "Happy Christmas" at the Sundance Film Festival premiere at the Library Center, in Park City, Sunday, Jan. 19 January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Anna Kendrick pauses for a photo with Tatiana Mendez, Las Vegas,, before the screening of "Happy Christmas" at the Sundance Film Festival premiere at the Library Center, in Park City, Sunday, Jan. 19 January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Mark Webber and Teresa Palmer, at the Sundance Film Festival premiere of "Happy Christmas" at the Library Center, in Park City, Sunday, Jan. 19 January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Anna Kendrick before the screening of "Happy Christmas" at the Sundance Film Festival premiere at the Library Center, in Park City, Sunday, Jan. 19 January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Anna Kendrick before the screening of "Happy Christmas" at the Sundance Film Festival premiere at the Library Center, in Park City, Sunday, Jan. 19 January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Anna Kendrick at the Library Center, in Park City, for the premiere of “Happy Christmas,” at the Sundance Film Festival, Sunday, January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Melanie Lynskey at the Library Center, in Park City, for the premiere of “Happy Christmas,” at the Sundance Film Festival, Sunday, January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Anna Kendrick before the screening of "Happy Christmas" at the Sundance Film Festival premiere at the Library Center, in Park City, Sunday, Jan. 19 January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Anna Kendrick is interviewed before the screening of "Happy Christmas" at the Sundance Film Festival premiere at the Library Center, in Park City, Sunday, Jan. 19 January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Teresa Palmer, at the Sundance Film Festival premiere of "Happy Christmas" at the Library Center, in Park City, Sunday, Jan. 19 January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Mark Webber and Teresa Palmer, at the Sundance Film Festival premiere of "Happy Christmas" at the Library Center, in Park City, Sunday, Jan. 19 January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Melanie Lynskey, Anna Kendrick, director Joe Swanberg with his three-year-old son Jude  and Mark Webber, at premiere of “Happy Christmas,” at the Sundance Film Festival premiere at the Library Center, in Park City, Sunday, Jan. 19 January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Anna Kendrick at the Library Center, in Park City, for the premiere of “Happy Christmas,” at the Sundance Film Festival, Sunday, January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Director Joe Swanberg, at premiere of “Happy Christmas,” at the Sundance Film Festival premiere at the Library Center, in Park City, Sunday, Jan. 19 January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Teresa Palmer, at the Sundance Film Festival premiere of "Happy Christmas" at the Library Center, in Park City, Sunday, Jan. 19 January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Anna Kendrick is interviewed before the screening of "Happy Christmas" at the Sundance Film Festival premiere at the Library Center, in Park City, Sunday, Jan. 19 January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Director Joe Swanberg with his son Jude and his wife Kris, at premiere of “Happy Christmas,” at the Sundance Film Festival premiere at the Library Center, in Park City, Sunday, Jan. 19 January 19, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Leonard Maltin makes his way to the premiere of “Happy Christmas,” at the Sundance Film Festival premiere at the Library Center, in Park City, Sunday, Jan. 19 January 19, 2014.

“Happy Christmas” (U.S. Dramatic)

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The prolific director Joe Swanberg and his improv-ready cast conjure up an engaging comedy about women probing their identity in “Happy Christmas.”

Kelly (Melanie Lynskey) and Jeff (played by Swanberg), married with a two-year-old (Swanberg’s scene-stealing son Jude), welcome Jeff’s screw-up sister Jenny (Anna Kendrick) to their Chicago home for Christmas. Jenny’s a mess, prone to binge-drinking and just over a break-up, but she’s also a creative spark that Kelly, a novelist stuck in her stay-at-home mom status, needs to get going.

The byplay between Lynskey and Kendrick, with a boost from Lena Dunham as Jenny’s best friend, opens up funny and emotionally authentic conversations about the perils of women “having it all.”

Story continues below

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At a glance

Sundance premiere

“Happy Christmas,” directed by Joe Swanberg about a young woman who moves in with family after a breakup, made its premiere Sunday, Jan. 19, at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City. The cast includes Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber, Lena Dunham and Swanberg; part of the U.S. Dramatic Competition program.

“Happy Christmas” screens again: Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Redstone Cinema 2, Park City (Summit County residents have priority; pass holders and others need to wait list); Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at the Eccles Theatre, Park City; and Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at the Library Center Theatre, Park City.


 
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