Film studios have brought their wallets to the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, and movies are being bought! In the literal sense--not in a shady, conspiracy theory-type way (Let's save that sort of story line for an actual film).
But all this buying is good, you see: because the quicker these movies get picked up, the sooner they'll arrive in your local cineplex or art house theater, hot and ready for you to enjoy. Below we've rounded-up the latest acquisition moves made at the festival. Here come the movies!
Focus Features will take us to The Place Beyond the Pines - After reading what can only be described as a glowing review from Hollywood.com's own Matt Patches, it's no surprise that Focus Features quickly nabbed up Ryan Gosling's newest film with his Blue Valentine helmer Derek Cianfrance. With a cast that also touts Eva Mendes and Bradley Cooper among its leads, we're sure Focus won't have to put in the hard sell for people to show up.
Michel Gondry's Newest Acquired for North American Distribution - Distribution partners 108 Media and Paladin acquired the rights to The We and The I, Gondry's newest film about a group of Bronx high school kids. The film previously opened the Cannes Directors Fortnight before heading over to TIFF.
Outsource Media Group has Great Expectation - Mike Newell's adaptation (one of many) of the canon-worthy Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations has found a home for its US distribution in Outsource Media Group--a brand new print and advertising finance group. Not that you need a refresher on what the film is about, but it features Helena Bonham Carter as a far less terrifying (but still pretty creepy, at least in the trailer) version of Miss Havisham, a woman who messes with poor little Pip's heart by way of her ward, Estella.
Roadside Attractions Buys Sarah Polley Documentary - In Stories We Tell, the newest documentary from Polley, the repercussions of long-held family secrets finally coming to light are told. The film received much acclaim both at TIFF and Venice, so it seems like a no-brainer for Roadside, who largely deal in independent fare.
Other Notables - Additional films that got picked up today include Dimension nabbing not one but two Eli Roth films: Aftershock and Clown, where he is the writer and producer, respectively. Anchor Bay Films scored Billy Bob Thornton’s Jayne Mansfield’s Car, Film Movement picked up Catherine Corsini’s Three Worlds, and Well Go USA now has Jin-ho Hur’s Dangerous Liaisons.
[Photo Credit: TIFF]
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The dark family comedy centres on three World War II veteran brothers and their struggle to connect with their cold and cruel parent, Jim Caldwell.
Thornton directs and stars in the project he wrote, as one of the siblings, and the Bad Santa star admits he based Duvall's character on his own emotionless dad, William Raymond.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference following the movie's premiere at the Berlin Film Festival on Monday (13Feb12), he said, "My father was a very violent Irishman and so there was abuse both verbal and physical in our household. He was a Korean war veteran in the navy and he was a very intense guy who I don't think I ever had a conversation with."
And scriptwriter Thornton reveals scenes in the film, in which Duvall takes his grandson to car crashes to survey the wreckage, are also based on truth.
He adds, "He (my father) would take my brother and I... to car wrecks and he would stand there and smoke Lucky Strikes (cigarettes) and stare at the car wreck for two hours while my brother and I were like, 'Why are we here?' That was how he connected with us.
"Through all of that, through beatings and no communication or anything when I grew up, I realised that I understood my father and I loved my father."
The movie star insists there will be no awkward moments if the two former lovers come face to face as they promote their directorial efforts In the Land of Blood & Honey and Jayne Mansfield's Car at the festival, which opens on Thursday (09Feb12).
He tells The Hollywood Reporter, "I'm hoping we get to see each other. The uproar will be that she's there. I'll be the guy in the corner having a smoke (cigarette), and people will go, 'Hey, isn't that that guy?'"
The rumours started circulating on Wednesday (13Jul11) but Bacon's rep Jennifer Allen has assured fans the actor is alive and well and at work on new Billy Bob Thornton movie Jayne Mansfield's Car.
She tells Entertainment Tonight, "Kevin is on set in Atlanta and is just fine."
The actress has flown in from her home in Switzerland for a sold out tribute staged by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and hosted by one of her biggest fans, Billy Crystal.
Loren tells the Los Angeles Times newspaper the gala came as a surprise: "I didn't expect it, really. It's wonderful, because I belong to Italian movies and, generally, we Italians, we don't get these wonderful, great, great honours, even though we deserve it sometimes!
"But America has always accepted me, even in the beginning when I came here for the first time. I was very young and they gave me a wonderful cocktail party. Louella Parsons and Elsa Maxwell and Jayne Mansfield were there. I will never forget those days.
"For me, Hollywood was a fairytale, coming from where I came from, a little town. It was something that I never expected."
Veteran comedian and late-night pioneer Steve Allen died Monday evening at his son Bill's Encino, Calif., home of an apparent heart attack. Allen was 78. The comedian was at his son's home to visit his grandchildren when he passed away in his sleep soon after having dinner.
"He said he was a little tired after dinner,'' Bill Allen said. "He went to relax, peacefully, and never reawakened."
Allen is best known for creating and hosting the first incarnation of "The Tonight Show" in 1953 as well as starring in "The Steve Allen Show" in 1956 on NBC.
As the first host for "Tonight," Allen would typically start the show by playing the piano, usually his own compositions, then walk over to the desk and interview some of Hollywood's biggest stars of the day. He also took part in the show's many skits, including his "Man on the Street Interview" featuring new comics Don Knotts, Tom Poston, Bill Dana and Pat Harrington.
Allen left the show he created in 1956, and after a failed change in format by the network, "Tonight" resumed with Jack Paar, then later with Johnny Carson in 1962.
"Steve Allen's death saddens me greatly," Carson said in a statement released to the press. "All of us who have hosted 'The Tonight Show' format owe a debt of gratitude to Steve Allen. He was a most creative innovator and brilliant entertainer."
Allen's quick wit and musical talent opened many doors for him in Hollywood. There was virtually no area of entertainment left untouched by Allen. He composed thousands of songs, recorded 40 albums and wrote 40 books. Allen also starred in Broadway shows, soap operas, sat in as a commentator for wrestling match broadcasts and wrote for plays and TV series.
His years of hard work in TV paid off on a professionally level when he was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1986. He also won a Grammy for "Gravy Waltz" and wrote the score for the 1968 film "A Man Called Dagger."
Comedy came easy to Allen. His parents, Billy Allen and Belle Montrose, were vaudeville comedians and toured with Allen when he was young. His father died when Allen was 18 months old, but his mother continued her touring scheduled as a single act with Allen in tow.
Allen later studied journalism in college but dropped out to work as a disc jockey and entertainer at a Phoenix radio station. He was drafted into the Army in 1943 but later discharged because of asthma. He returned to his Phoenix radio station and married his college sweetheart, Dorothy Goodman. Together they had three sons, Steve Jr., David and Brian. The couple divorced, however, in 1952.
Allen made the move to Los Angeles when he was offered to host a midnight radio show on KNX. The show won Allen the attention of CBS execs, whom expanded the show nationally. When the networks were moving into television, Allen was then invited to New York for ``The Steve Allen Show,'' which appeared five evenings a week on CBS.
Allen was married to actress Jayne Meadows for 46 years. They had one son, Bill. Allen's former publicist and close family friend of 40 years, Dale C. Olson, described the comedian as "the quintessential man."
"He never said no to any charitable cause I or anyone was ever involved with," Olson said. "I can think of no other public figure who best holds the mantle of the quintessential man and no other public figure who has given of himself more for the betterment of mankind. Steve Allen was always the first one to volunteer his services for a human cause. He will be sorely missed."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.