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Toronto Deals: Nicole Kidman, Ewan MacGregor

Deal news from the Toronto Film Festival: LionsGate is said to want “Rabbit Hole,” the very fine comedy-drama from John Cameron Mitchell. Nicole Kidman is sublime in the film, which could make the Oscar deadline if everything is worked out. I am told that New York entertainment financier Norton Herrick may put in the necessary funds to make this happen. Dianne Wiest would be up for her third Best Supporting nomination if this all goes to plan…

Sony Pictures Classics is circling Mike Mills’s “Beginners,” a quirky romantic comedy starring Ewan MacGregor as a man whose 75 year old father–played by Christopher Plummer–comes out of the closet right after his wife dies. Melanie Laurent plays MacGregor’s actress girlfriend. There’s also a remarkable dog named Cosmo, who plays Arthur the dog, who steals the movie. Mills directed the lovable indie “Thumbsucker” a couple of years ago. There aren’t enough nice things to say about “Beginners.” It’s wonderful. SPC also distributed “Thumbsucker,” so a deal is likely. Plummer would be a shoo in for a Supporting Actor nomination. The poor man is 80 and should have an Oscar already! Luckily the Screen Actors Guild is honoring him this year. But still. This is ridiculous…

“The Whistleblower” remains the outstanding thriller of Toronto. In the old days, a movie like this would have come from a studio and been a big, big hit. Certainly, Laryssa Kondacki’s film deserves a wide audience. I am told that everyone who’s seen it wants to wait for a 2011 release because there are so many lead actresses in films for the Oscars this year. But “The Whistleblower” is too timely to wait. Audiences must see and hear this story. And Rachel Weisz is strong enough to compete with Annette Bening, Helena Bonham Carter, Nicole Kidman, Michelle Williams, and whoever else is out there…