Apparently, the new Enron documentary is knocking 'em dead at Sundance.
With moonlight drenching the ski slopes outside the theater Saturday night, a collection of about 150 viewers, many with connections to the film, watched the premiere of the nearly two-hour distillation of the people-driven saga of the Houston company.
While paparazzi scoured Main Street for a look at Elijah Wood, Lisa Kudrow, Michael Keaton and Sidney Poitier, the stars of the documentary Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, are ex-Chairman Ken Lay and ex-CEO Jeff Skilling. That's the way director/producer/writer Alex Gibney wanted it. "Jeff Skilling plays Jeff Skilling," Gibney said.
The picture, with multiple screenings that sold out quickly here, is by no means all fun. It soberly deals with mark-to-market accounting, rank-and-yank management style and the heartbreak of an Oregon electrical lineman whose company Enron swallowed and whose $348,000 retirement stockpile collapsed into a $1,200 shadow of itself.
It'll be at least late April before the movie opens in theaters.
Then a national audience will get to see this overview of the scandal made more amusing with a clip of Homer Simpson on a roller coaster called Enron's Ride of Broken Dreams, Marilyn Manson music backing footage of wild motorcycle rides like those Enron's executives used to take, and the by-now-obligatory topless-club footage thanks to the ex-exec who married a stripper.