Final Toronto Bits: 'Beginners' & 'Rare Exports' Sell + Awards
Sunday was officially the very last day of the Toronto Film Festival and although we still have quite a bit of good content (wrap-ups, interviews, etc) on the way, news from the fest is starting to die down, but there are a few more sales to report on. Additionally, the winners of the various awards at TIFF were announced, including an important win for Tom Hooper's The King's Speech, which took home the coveted Audience Award (the same that Slumdog Millionaire won before it went on to nab Best Picture at the Oscars). Other recent fest sales include Beginners, Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale and the heavily disliked Passion Play.
First up, Deadline reports that Mike Mills' (Thumbsucker) new drama Beginners, with Ewan McGregor, Mélanie Laurent and Christopher Plummer as McGregor's cancer-stricken father, sold to Focus Features with a strong $2 million marketing commitment. I didn't see the film, but a few of my colleagues did, and all of them enjoyed it, so keep your eye on this. The photo above is from the set of Beginners, but I like the shot of McGregor & Laurent. Additionally, Deadline reports that Mitch Glazer's Passion Play, one of the films everyone was initially talking about because it stars Mickey Rourke and Megan Fox, just sold to Image Ent. Alas, I've heard the film is very bad (no one liked it), and you can read a review on RopeofSilicon to see why.
I must also mention that indie distrib Oscilloscope Laboratories (who acquired Meek's Cutoff earlier) has acquired the Finnish film Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale, that crazy Santa Claus horror-ish tale that we featured a trailer for a few weeks ago. I actually saw this while in Toronto and enjoyed the visuals and story, but it let me down quite a bit, and I cannot explain why without spoiling it and ruining the film. Suffice it to say, it's a solid film that I'm glad was picked up and is getting a release, because if anything this might mean we'll get a sequel (or two) and that is what I'm looking forward to a lot more. Oscilloscope will be releasing the film sometime later this year, so keep on the lookout for it if you're interested in seeing it.
Finally, on to the awards (via indieWIRE). TIFF doesn't go overboard with awards, but because it is a public festival in the middle of a big city, the Audience Award is one of the most important awards they give out because it not only indicates which film is truly spectacular, but it means it also plays very well with general audiences. I'm very glad to see The King's Speech win because I got to see it at today's screening and my very glowing review is forthcoming. Below is a full list of the Toronto International Film Festival 2010 winners:
Best Canadian Feature Film:
Incendies (Directed by Denis Villeneuve)
Best Canadian First Feature Film:
The High Cost of Living (Directed by Deborah Chow)
FIPRESCI Prize in Special Presentations:
L'Amour Fou (Directed by Pierre Thoretton)
FIPRESCI Prize in Discovery:
Beautiful Boy (Directed by Shawn Ku)
That's all the news we've got for now from the Toronto Film Festival, but stay tuned for some extra coverage throughout the week, as we've got a bit more coming soon to wrap-up another fantastic year up in Canada.
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