R.J. Cutler (who made the Clinton '92 campaign The War Room and executive produces FX reality show 30 Days with Morgan Spurlock) followed Wintour and her staff as they prepared the September 2007 issue. The first two screenings of the film on Friday, however, weren't in the ski resort town of Park City that serves as the hub of Sundance, but rather 35 miles west in the Mormon redoubt of Salt Lake City where the festival runs a sort of satellite festival.
Anna, understandably, didn't bother to attend until the movie played Sundance proper, yesterday. It sounds like she was pretty grumpy. During the Q&A afterwards — in which she declined to take questions from the audience and just get pre-selected ones instead — she was asked whether she thought the film was any good. Wintour artfully dodged:
“It’s quite hard to look up at yourself in such an intense way,” Wintour answered. “And I’m just very, very happy to have a record of everything that we do… I feel very honored to work at Vogue and its a tribute to Vogue’s hertiage. So I’m very grateful for that.”
Oh, and she added, “There wasn’t much in there I didn’t know before."
Her assessment doesn't sound much better than the early review from Screen Daily, which wrote, "The result is neither a valentine nor an expose. Given the economy's effect on magazines now, the Vogue staff may view the film with nostalgia." And Variety's Michael Jones said, "In the doc, Wintour's seemingly frozen emotional responses puts the drama at the feet of her staff, who panic with her every move. But buyers leaving the screening felt the film needed more of it."
Which brings us to our tipster who says they were on the same flight back to New York as Wintour:
I was flying back from Salt Lake City to JFK last night and I'm sitting waiting for my plane and who is sitting next to me but Anna Wintour. First I thought, no way is she flying commercial but then I saw her boarding pass. Omg! Times are tough if she's flying with the common.
There's no word when The September Issue will play American theaters, although on Saturday the foreign sales agents Elle Driver (no relationship to Elle magazine) picked up the international sales rights. Backed by cable company A&E, it will eventually land on TV, though.