Monday, May 18, 2015

"Son of Saul" and "Our Little Sister and SPC/More from "Carol"/Early Palme Contenders/"Hologram" Has Distribution


"Son of Saul"

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired two Palme competition titles in the Cannes early-going.  SPC has snagged "Our Little Sister" and critical favorite "Son of Saul".  SPC entered Cannes with a relatively thin stable of films but these acquisitions instantly become fodder for Telluride speculation.

"Our Little Sister"

Going into the French fest, SPC only had a couple of titles that seemed possible for Telluride: "Elser" and the Han Williams biopic "I Saw the Light".  Most of the rest of their slate heading into Cannes was either launched at Sundance or has a pre-Telluride release date.

SPC is usually the largest distribution presence at the Telluride Film Festival.  SPC has averaged 4.8 films at Telluride over the last dozen years.  They had seven last year so you have to imagine that every acquisition announcement puts that film right in the middle of the Telluride conversation.

Here's the news about "Son of Saul" and "Our Little Sister" from Cannes:


Mara and Blanchett from "Carol"

Todd Haynes "Carol" has been rapturously received in Cannes.  The film stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.  Even the most cursory glance at reactions coming out of France seems overwhelming. I have linked an overview of responses from The Playlist plus a link to an Awards Daily post that includes a lengthy "Carol" clip:

Does this kind of response mean "Carol" is a cinch for Telluride?  Ummm....nope.  "Carol" is represented for U.S. distribution by The Weinstein Company.  TWC is usually at Telluride in some capacity.  Last year included "The Imitation Game" and, under their Radius-TWC banner, "Escobar: Paradise Lost".  The year before it was "Tracks","Salinger" and "Keep on Keepin' On" and "The Unknown Known" (again as Radius).  Over the past nine years TWC or its Radius arm have been in Telluride with 15 films.  Last year was the first time in that nine year that the TWC umbrella had four films in town.

The Weinstein playbook for Telluride seems to usually include one high profile project (Imitation, Artist, King's Speech) and then one or more "lesser" lights and that break any number of ways especially since TWC has "The Hateful Eight" floating around in the late 2015 release schedule.  So, though "Carol" seems like a very real Telluride possibility, I wouldn't bet the farm on it just yet.


Through the first third of the Cannes Film Fest there are two solid critical favorites: "Carol" and "Son of Saul" and one film that has been strafed which is Gus Van Sant's "The Sea of Trees":  Check these links to the latest critic composites from around the world:


Tom Hanks in "A Hologram for the King"

Tom Tykwer's "A Hologram for the King" which stars Tom Hanks and is based on a Dave Eggers novel has been picked up for U.S. distribution at Cannes by Roadside Attractions/Saban/Lionsgate. The Eggers connection, his presence as a Telluride fixture the last few years combined with Roadside's increased profile at TFF the past couple of years (combined with the above reported critical dogpile on Roadside's other big Cannes acquisition this week: Gus Van Sant's "The Sea of Trees") moves "Hologram" onto the T-ride #42 watch list in a semi-serious way.

The link to the acquisition story is here:

More to come on Thursday....

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