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We’ve been relishing the chance to be in Park City again this year for Sundance, despite the fact that for the first time in the festival’s history no movies are being screened on 35mm. That said, some already incredible movies have received awards and much deserved buzz. Most notable among them is Don Hertzfeld’s animated World of Tomorrow, which won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Short Film.
But we’ve also been watching the buyers, because for those of us who couldn’t make it out to Utah this year, we have an invested interest in actually seeing these movies some day. Here’s a list of some of the more notable deals that were struck. Indiewire has a full list of films and buyers.
- Brian Welk
The Weinstein Company secures sale of drama starring Helen Mirren, set to world premiere at Berlinale.
German distributor SquareOne Entertainment has acquired all German-speaking European rights, excluding Switzerland, to historical drama Woman In Gold from The Weinstein Company (TWC).
The deal was negotiated by Al Munteanu and Ingrid Pittana for SquareOne Entertainment with TWC.
Directed by Simon Curtis‘ (My Week With Marilyn), the film stars Oscar-winner Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds and Daniel Brühl. Co-stars include Charles Dance, Elizabeth McGovern, Katie Holmes and Max Irons.
The film will have its world premiere at the upcoming Berlin Film Festival (Feb 5-15) where the film debuts as a Berlinale Special Gala.
Playwright Alexi Kaye Campbell wrote Woman In Gold, which is produced by David M. Thompson for Origin Pictures and Kris Thykier, executive produced by Harvey and Bob Weinstein for TWC, and BBC Films’ Christine Langan.
It tells the true story of Maria Altmann (Mirren), an octogenarian Jewish refugee, who takes »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
London — German distributor SquareOne Entertainment has acquired all German-speaking European rights, excluding Switzerland, to Simon Curtis’ historical drama “Woman in Gold” from The Weinstein Company. The film will have its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, where it debuts as a Berlinale Special Gala.
Playwright Alexi Kaye Campbell wrote the screenplay. Pic is produced by David M. Thompson for Origin Pictures and Kris Thykier. It is executive produced by Harvey and Bob Weinstein for The Weinstein Company, and BBC Films’ Christine Langan.
“Woman in Gold” is the true story of a woman’s fight to reclaim her heritage and seek justice for what happened to her family. Sixty years after she fled Vienna during World War II, an elderly Jewish woman, Maria Altmann (Mirren), starts her »
- Leo Barraclough
"With Mistress America, Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig have created a precise portrait of a woman who embodies the ephemeral essence of a do-it-all, self-entitled millennial without dispensing any blanket, generational theses," writes Sarah Salovaara at Filmmaker. "This character, however, is not the film’s purported protagonist—that would be 18-year-old aspiring writer Tracy, played by a nicely understated Lola Kirke—but her careening would-be step-sister Brooke, whom Gerwig relishes as a go-for-broke exercise in deluded megalomania." And we're collecting more reviews. » - David Hudson »
Fox Searchlight came to Sundance with Jonah Hill / James Franco thriller "True Story" in hand, picked up director Noah Baumbach's latest collaboration with Greta Gerwig, "Mistress America," before the festival began, and partnered with producer Indian Paintbrush to snag "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" earlier this week. The distributor's acquisitions spree continues with the period melodrama "Brooklyn" -- to the tune of $9 million, according to Variety, the price tag fueled by a bidding war that included The Weinstein Company, Focus Features, and Roadside. Based on Colm Tóibín's 2009 novel, adapted by the ever-popular Nick Hornby and directed by John Crowley, the film stars Saoirse Ronan ("Atonement") as a young woman who emigrates from Ireland to the titular New York borough in 1952. As Entertainment Weekly notes, it's a homecoming of sorts for the 20-year-old Irish actress, who also appears in this year's Sundance »
- Matt Brennan
It's a bit of a light bulletin this week with new MPAA ratings for movies such as Judd Apatow's latest comedy starring Amy Schumer and, surprise, it's rated R and the same goes for Noah Baumbach's While We're Young, which I saw in Toronto last year and you can read my review here. Finally it's a PG-rating for Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, which is fine considering I assume it will mainly be kids and their parents buying tickets for that one... Well, that and high schoolers high on weed. You can check out the complete bulletin below. 40 Weeks Rated PG-13 For brief strong language and some pregnancy issues. The 7th Dwarf Rated PG For thematic elements and some suggestive material. The Barber Rated R For violence, language and some sexual material. Extinction Rated R For horror violence, terror and language. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 Rated PG For some violence. »
- Brad Brevet
Something happened to Noah Baumbach. The writer-director behind Greenberg, Margot at the Wedding, and The Squid in the Whale never once pulled a punch as a storyteller, telling honest and emotional stories. What’s great about his more cringe-inducing work is that, underneath all the pain, there’s still a sense of optimism; Baumbach truly roots for his characters to pull their lives […] »
- Jack Giroux
Many of this year’s early standouts have come from strong female and minority voices
As the first weekend of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival closed with a concert featuring the music of Nina Simone and a Main Street toga party to celebrate the National Lampoon documentary “Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead,” it’s safe to say that the buzzword diversity fits this year’s festival in more ways than one.
The festival’s hefty contingent of female and minority filmmakers has allowed Sundance to take a victory lap at the same time that the Motion Picture Academy has been reeling from »
- Steve Pond
What’s it like to be too smart for friends? Noah Baumbach‘s films have often addressed that question in one way or another — though Greenberg stands as perhaps the best example of such a query, both Kicking and Screaming and Margot At the Wedding wonder about it, too — but his most recent outing, the thoroughly charming Mistress America does so with a worthy, sweet leading lady (Lola Kirke) who comes to terms with her apparent unfriendability just as the audience also realizes what’s really keeping people at bay. The film is prime Baumbach, a funny and conversational outing about acerbic and intelligent people who are somehow deficient (although relatably so) in one way or another. Starring Kirke and Baumbach’s own muse (and now screenwriting partner) Greta Gerwig, Mistress America amusingly addresses big questions about relationships, passion, and goals with sly wit and an amiable touch of sweetness. It »
- Kate Erbland
Plot: A lonely college freshman (Lola Kirke) is befriended by her older, soon-to-be step-sister (Greta Gerwig) and becomes enamored with her bohemian lifestyle. Review: Noah Baumbach has a gift in that he can somehow make characters that on the surface are selfish and often insufferable, somehow compelling and more-often-than-not lovable. He's done this over and over, with maybe only Francis Ha being the exception, as that character wasn't selfish at all, just naive. Re-teaming with his »
- Chris Bumbray
Film strikes a rare and welcome balance between screwball comedy and touching emotion
Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig have been a match made in indie-film heaven since “Greenberg” in 2010, and the Sundance Film Festival premiere of “Mistress America” this weekend showed the two fully in sync once more.
By turns wacky, amusing and touching, the new film isn’t as focused as “Frances Ha,” the last film directed by Baumbach, starring Gerwig and co-written by both. But the Fox Searchlight project is one of the delights of this year’s festival, and one of the most satisfying, sure-handed and touching »
- Steve Pond
Modern media has a perverse fascination with pinpointing the motivations of the millennial. When not publishing extensive reports on “hookup culture,” many publications are transfixed by the generation’s ostensible desire to simultaneously better themselves and the world, while still being unable to get it together and move out of their mom’s basement. With Mistress America, Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig have created a precise portrait of a woman who embodies the ephemeral essence of a do-it-all, self-entitled millennial without dispensing any blanket, generational theses. This character, however, is not the film’s purported protagonist — that would be 18-year-old aspiring writer Tracy, played by a nicely understated […] »
- Sarah Salovaara
Noah Baumbach’s movies have never been easy to describe. Each one blends so many different tones, sensibilities and genres that simply describing his movies as one thing doesn’t work. Calling The Squid and the Whale a family drama doesn’t seem right. Frances Ha isn’t just a coming of age story and Greenberg isn’t just a […]
- Germain Lussier
I am at my second Sundance Film Festival.
These are my reviews.
Sundance Film Festival 2015 Reviews
Director: Noah Baumbach
U.S.A., 2014, 84 min., color
Plot (courtesy of Sundance): Tracy, a lonely college freshman in New York, is rescued from her solitude by her soon-to-be stepsister Brooke, an adventurous gal about town who entangles her in alluringly mad
schemes. Mistress America is a comedy about dream-chasing, score-settling, makeshift families, and cat-stealing.
Review: Noah Baumbach is happier. You can see it all over his face. In this case his face is Mistress America. I like to think it’s because he found his creative partner in life, Greta Gerwig. Actually, I don’t even know if he’s happier, but I am. Mistress America is my second-favorite Baumbach film. In all likelihood, no Baumbach film can ever replace »
- Jeff Bayer
Ambition and authenticity can be at great odds with one another, especially as one tries to get a foothold of their identity in the disorienting velocity and volume of New York. And in Noah Baumbach’s latest effort, the dizzying screwball farce “Mistress America,” these disparate intentions collide with emotional force. A distant cousin of “Frances Ha,” also co-written by Baumbach and co-star Greta Gerwig, “Mistress America” may also have a female protagonist as its focal point, but ultimately it’s a picture with fairly different concerns, certainly delivered in a vastly dissimilar form. Nevertheless, Baumbach’s breezy hot streak continues with another contemporary classic New York tale. Doing his best Peter Bogdanovich impression filtered through John Hughes and ‘80s touchstones like the wackier elements of “Something Wild,” Baumbach’s latest is like a millennial riff on “His Girl Friday,” with a rapid-fire delivery minus the traditional romance. However, ‘America’ certainly has. »
- Rodrigo Perez
Park City — No one needs to worry about Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig experiencing a sophomore slump. After collaborating behind the camera for 2012's "Frances Ha," the duo have reunited for "Mistress America," a hilarious new comedy that premiered Saturday evening at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. And yes, for those who care, this one is in color. While Gerwig also plays a main character on screen, the movie is actually told from the point of view of Tracy (Lola Kirke from "Gone Girl" and "Mozart in the Jungle"), a freshman writing major at Bard College who is having those familiar first semester problems of fitting in and making friends. She does find one ally in Tony (Matthew Shear) after they both fail to make it into the prestigious Mobius Literary Society. That joy is short-lived once Tony surprises her by finding a jealous girlfriend in the form of Nicolette (Jasmine »
- Gregory Ellwood
Midway through Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig’s “Mistress America,” the movie arrives at a long, zany setpiece so inspired and brilliantly sustained that it alone would be worth the price of admission (or the wait in a long Sundance queue). But there’s much else to admire in “Mistress,” which finds the crown prince of New York intellectual self-loathing and his ebullient co-writer/muse returning to the terrain of their 2012 “Frances Ha” — intense female friendships and eager young people trying to find their places in the world — while pushing even closer to full-tilt screwball farce. One of Baumbach’s warmest and purely funniest films, this Fox Searchlight pickup may lack the name cast of the filmmaker’s other 2015 release, “While We’re Young,” but positioned properly it could reach Baumbach’s broadest audience since 2005’s “The Squid and the Whale.”
If nothing else, “Mistress America” confirms Gerwig as one of the great, »
- Scott Foundas
With "Frances Ha," Noah Baumbach's directing career entered a new stage emboldened by his work with co-writer and partner Greta Gerwig, though the scrappy nature of that narrative and Gerwig's vibrant performance led to the impression that it was more her voice than his driving the proceedings. Their second shared writing credit, "Mistress America," shows the mark of a more integrated collaboration. As with "Frances Ha," the movie adopts the tone of a screwball comedy to explore the frustrations and aspirations of young women — one of whom played, once again, by an endearingly wacky Gerwig — but it has a more conventional structure and cynical attitude that synthesizes the two authors' distinct voices. That's ultimately a mixed blessing: "Mistress America" may not fully realize the strengths of either Baumbach or Gerwig, but it showcases their talents just enough to deliver on their appeal. Nevertheless, the driving force of "Mistress »
- Eric Kohn
Having only just starting in the Us, it seems that some of the line-up at this year’s Sundance Film Festival is too good to turn down.
In what would be the fourth sale already before the festival gets into full swing, distributors A24 are considering picking up the rights to The End of the Tour, the new drama from James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now) starring Jason Segal (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and Jesse Eisenberg (The Double).
Receiving its premiere tonight at the festival, the film is loose adaptation of David Lipsky’s Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace, in which the Rolling Stone reporter (played by Eisenberg) spent five days on the road with the late writer David Foster Wallace (Segel) conducting interviews for the book, which was released a year and a half after Wallace’s death.
A24 has worked »
- Scott J. Davis
Before a single film had officially been shown at Sundance, the market was already heating up with five high-profile titles already off the table or in a position to sell.
Variety has confirmed that A24 is in pursuit of “End of The Tour,” starring Jason Segel as David Foster Wallace and Jesse Eisenberg as a Rolling Stone journalist interviewing him. Two weeks ago, Fox Searchlight picked up Noah Baumbach’s “Mistress America.” Magnolia landed “Results,” a comedy starring Guy Pearce as a personal trainer. Lionsgate bought “Don Verdean,” a comedy that mixes archaeology and religion from the creators of “Napoleon Dynamite,” and Relativity Sports scooped the documentary “In Football We Trust” which focuses on football in Salt Lake’s Polynesian community.
Sundance doesn’t officially start until Thursday evening, when three films start to screen. But an already robust market could grow even stronger on opening night if “The Bronze, »
- Ramin Setoodeh and Brent Lang
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