Monday, June 17, 2024

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…

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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