Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: A domestic distribution deal is finally near for Biutiful, the Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu-directed Spanish language drama that fell into radio silence after premiering in competition at the Cannes Film Festival and winning Best Actor for Javier Bardem. I’m told that a complicated deal is being ironed  that will see the film acquired by producer Mickey Liddell and get its domestic release through Roadside Attractions.

CAA, which is repping domestic rights on the film, is working out details that include a P&A commitment. The agency declined comment. There is pressure to get the film’s distribution plans ready. Biutiful kicks off its awards season push with a berth at the Toronto International Film Festival next month.

The deal will give Roadside Attractions two films worth talking about in the Best Actor and Best Actress categories. The former is for Bardem, the latter for Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone, the gritty drama that Roadside Attractions acquired at Sundance.

In Biutiful, Bardem plays a family man in Barcelona whose tender relationship with his children is offset by his unsympathetic job. He’s a criminal who traffics in human suffering with businesses that range from drug dealing to slave labor sweatshops. Focus Features International has offshore territories. Gonzalez Inarritu wrote the script with Armando Bo and Nicolás Giacobone, and the director produced with Jon Kilik and Fernando Bovaira. David Linde is executive producer and Alfonso Cuarón and Guillermo Del Toro are associate producers.

I expect the deal to be sealed shortly and will reveal more details as I find them.