Sundance Festival Director Geoff Gilmore introduced Downloading Nancy as "the most intense film of the festival." Not only is he absolutely right, but it's also powerful, emotional, overwhelming and, most importantly, extremely uncomfortable. God bless whoever takes a chance on this film and attempts to market it, honestly, to a mass audience, because Downloading Nancy is a sick and twisted rollercoaster ride that climbs fast and drops slowly ... leaving you plenty of time to absorb its raw insanity along the way.
Should this film get picked up and play in theaters at some point during the year, then I'd be completely shocked if Maria Bello doesn't wind up with an Oscar nod for best actress in 2009. Sure, it's a little early to be saying that, but this woman gives the performance of the festival -- and of her career -- as a lonely, emotionless wife on the brink of complete self destruction. There aren't many actresses who can successfully pull off what Bello does here; hers is the sort of role that comes up every once in a blue moon and completely paralyzes you for two hours as you sit and try to comprehend how in the world a person could convincingly become this tragic character just from reading a script.