The deal was announced at Cannes, where Cargo Entertainment is handling international sales.
“Free Ride” also stars Cam Gigandet, Drea de Matteo, Liana Liberato, Jeff Hephner, Brit Morgan and Ava Acres. Producers are Susan Dynner, Cerise Hallam Larkin, Chris Swinney and Paquin; exec producers are Mark Larkin and Stephen Moyer.
It’s the first film production from Paquin and husband Moyer’s production company, Casm. Phase 4 will release “Free Ride” later this year in theaters and on demand.
Betz directed from her own script and based “Free Ride” on her life story. Paquin portrays a single mother who moves to Florida with her daughters in search of a better life and gets pulled into the drug-trade business.
Phase 4′s Larry Greenberg
- If the following list of groups, bands and acts (The Adicts, Greg GraffinBad Religion
In filmic terms, the "brick" in this hard case is the MacGuffin, the key to our white knight's quest to find out why his ex-girlfriend died. The avenging "detective" in this instance is, according to form, a loner named Brendan ( Joseph Gordon-Levitt ). He's wiry, wears glasses and has no qualms about stepping on, and crushing, big toes.
In writer/director Rian Johnson's hard-charged scenario, Brendan tears through the strata of his California high school, dealing with all the usual generic suspects: thugs, potheads, vamps and authority figures. He gets tips from a fellow loner, The Brain ( Matt O'Leary) and all sorts of offers from the school vamp/tramps: the rich girl (Nora Zehetner) and the drama queen (Meagan Good). In this shrewdly calibrated piece, Johnson has served up a rich mix of red herrings, femme fatales, heat, dealings and death. When he's pieced it all together, all sewers lead to The Pin, a bat-like Beelzebub with a Kaiser Soyse mystique.
The well-selected cast is headed by Gordon-Levitt as a sinewy Sam Spade -- brash, obsessive and tough. Zehetner is fetchingly devious as the rich girl, and Good is "bad" as the floozy femme. Lukas Haas, with his big round eyes and protuberant ears, is downright eerie as the enigmatic druglord. Haas' open-eyed gaze, which is the same innocent look he gave in Witness, is iced here with a sinister glare. He's the Devil, with cape and cane, to boot.
Under Johnson's articulate command, technical contributions are superb, most prominently cinematographer Steve Yedlin's luminous, charged framings which should be a major contender for the fest's cinematography award. Adding wicked counterpoint to the sleaziness is Nathan Johnson's music. Deliciously oozy woodwinds wrap and coil around the plot -- more devious charm in this hard-formed Brick.
A Bergman Lustig Production
Producers: Ram Bergman, Mark G. Mathis
Screenwriter/director Rian Johnson
Executive producers: Johnson Communications, Norman Dreyfuss
Co-producers: Dana Lustig, Susan Dynner, Angela Roessel
Director of photography: Steve Yedlin
Production designer: Jodie Tillen
Music: Nathan Johnson
Costume designer: Michele Posch
Casting: Shannon Makhanian
Brendan: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Laura: Nora Zehetner
The Pin: Lukas Haas
Tugger: Noah Fleiss
The Brain: Matt O'Leary
Emily: Emilie de Ravin
Dode: Noah Segan
VP Trueman: Richard Roundtree
Kara: Meagan Good
Brad Bramish: Brian White
No MPAA rating
Running time -- 119 minutes
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