Coming out of Cafe Terigo on Main Street on Saturday at lunchtime, we caught Nick Nolte standing on the steps at the front of a restaurant; as anyone who's spent more than five minutes on Main can tell you, the sudden appearance of an individual with any level of fame instantly causes a mob of onlookers to form on the sidewalk. (A couple of hours later, about a hundred people clogged the sidewalk in front of the Premiere Lounge, gawky deer frozen in the headlights of a TV camera, just on the promise that they might be witnessing Somebody Important being interviewed. We heard seemingly dozens of people asking each other who they were watching, and once guy was visibly deflated when we explained it was Blow Out's Jonathan Antin. His hair, we should note, was magnificent, something between a pompadour and a shark fin.) So Nolte's brief stop at the top of the steps gave the rubberneckers a chance to see him clutching a cane and generally looking like a very frail version of Judge Doom from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
I caught the premiere screening of Off the Black, a good little movie that would never play for a second outside of this snow-filled moce paradise known as Sundance, except for one thing: Nick Nolte. He gives the performance of his career, and yes, I'm counting The Hulk. Anyway, we sat up front and to the left at the Eccles Theater, which is the perfect place to witness what I call the Celebrity Scrum. You would have thought Brangelina AND the damn kids had dropped into the Eccles by the way people were nutso over Nolte, Timothy Hutton, and Sally Kirkland. This must constitute a trifecta in Sundance celebrity spotting, because flashbulbs were popping, people were gawking and pushing, and no noe took their damn seats so the film started 20 minutes late. The Q&A consisted of largely of Nick proving that the uber-gravelly voice he sports in the film is not an act.