Sundance has been over for a week, but a few films are still being picked up by distributors. One of the more acclaimed Sundance hits this year was a picture called Smashed, starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul as an alcoholic married couple. When Winstead’s character sobers up, she has to deal with a few lingering issues from her drunk life.

The film, directed by James Ponsoldt (Off The Black), is being showered with praise for the performance from Winstead, which Pete called “powerful, moving — a must see. It will bring you to verge of tears.” Sony Pictures Classics picked up the film over the weekend in a deal said to be worth about $1m. If that price seems low, consider that several of the big Sundance faves from 2010, such as Like Crazy, Take Shelter, Another Earth and Martha Marcy May Marlene, all scored relatively low box-office grosses. All those films will have a strong post-theatrical life, but none managed to break out as a mainstream crossover hit. We don’t yet have a release date for Smashed, but when SPC decides on a date and releases a trailer we’ll pass them along. [The Wrap]

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Filmmaker James Ponsoldt‘s feature debut Off The Black premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006. It was met with a lackluster response, but everyone seemed to praise the performances despite the troubled screenplay. After seeing last year’s heavily buzzed-about film Like Crazy, Mary Elizabeth Winstead contacted producer Jonathan Schwartz and Andrea Sperling because she wanted to be in a film like the one they produced. This year, Ponsoldt, Schwartz and Sperling returned to Park City Utah with Smashed, which features a must-see tour de force performance from Winstead.

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We write up casting stories several times a day here at /Film, but it’s not every day we come across an ensemble cast as intriguing as this one. Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aaron Paul, Nick Offerman, and Octavia Spencer are set to team up for the indie marriage dramedy Smashed, from director James Ponsoldt (Off the Black).

If you, like me and much of the Internet, are a fan of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Breaking Bad, and Parks & Recreation, I probably don’t have to explain to you what’s so exciting about that roster. Though I am torn between hoping that Smashed will allow them to stretch and demonstrate their range as actors, and wishing that I could just watch a movie about Ramona Flowers, Jesse Pinkman, Ron Swanson, and Minny Jackson from The Help hanging out. More details after the jump.

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