The story of a determined woman with breast cancer and a pioneering geneticist comes to the big screen with a pretty impressive cast. Samantha Morton and Helen Hunt star as patient and doctor, respectively, in Decoding Annie Parker, which also features a long-haired Aaron Paul, Bradley Whitford, Rashida Jones, Richard Schiff, Alice Eve, Maggie Grace, Marley Shelton, Chris Mulkey and Corey Stoll. Veteran cinematographer Steven Bernstein is making his featuring helming debut on the film, which he co-wrote with Adam Bernstein and Michael Moss based on a true story. It’s getting a day-and-date release in theaters and VOD this summer via eOne. Here’s the trailer:
The cancer-science drama boasts a heavyweight cast led by Samantha Morton and Helen Hunt. Entertainment One Films has set Decoding Annie Parker for a summer day-and-date release in theaters and VOD. Veteran cinematographer Steven Bernstein is making his featuring directing debut on the film, which is based loosely on the life of Annie Parker (Morton), a cancer survivor who must deal with the deaths of her father and sister, a cheating husband (Aaron Paul) and her own mortality, and the career of geneticist Mary-Claire King (Hunt), who discovers a gene mutation that revolutionizes understanding and treatment of certain types of breast cancer. Bradley Whitford, Rashida Jones, Richard Schiff, Alice Eve, Maggie Grace, Marley Shelton, Chris Mulkey and Corey Stoll also star in the film, which Bernstein co-wrote with Adam Bernstein and Michael Moss. Steven Bernstein also produced Annie Parker with Keith Kjarval, Clark Peterson and Stuart W. Ross.
EXCLUSIVE: Some two years after she first put the film together, Helen Hunt has locked financing and cast for Ride, her directing followup to her 2007 debut Then She Found Me. Hunt, who’s coming off an Oscar-nominated performance in The Sessions, wrote the film, produces and stars as well. Ride begins production in Los Angeles on August 5, and Hunt stars with Luke Wilson Dexter‘s David Zayas, Mike White, Richard Kind, Leonor Varela, Elizabeth Jayne and Brenton Thwaites.
The latter plays a 20-year old NYU student who moves from New York to California for the summer. He leaves behind his strong-willed magazine editor mother (Hunt) and when she hears he’s chucking school for surfing, she follows him. There, he pursues his dream and she pursues him. Along the way she meets a surf teacher (Wilson) who brings her to life in every way. Both mother and son find their own version of love, sex and an unexpected state of grace in a most unlikely place. Hunt is producing with Lizzie Friedman, Gregg Little’s Sandbar Productions, and Moon Blauner. Matthew Carnahan is exec producer. The production will move to New York in October. CAA and Kevin Iwashina will broker domestic distribution for Ride. As for Hunt, she will next be seen opposite Samantha Morton in the Steven Bernstein-directed Decoding Annie Parker, based on a true story of the discovery of the breast cancer gene.
Cari Lynn is an AwardsLine contributor.
Academy Award winner Helen Hunt might have another shot at Oscar in what’s certainly her most “revealing” role to date — playing the real-life sex surrogate Cheryl Cohen-Greene hired by quadriplegic Mark O’Brien (John Hawkes) in the Sundance darling, The Sessions. Hunt discusses playing a real person, self-acceptance, and what it’s like to be that naked.
AwardsLine: I’m taking a stab here that prior to this script you hadn’t ever heard of sex surrogacy?
Helen Hunt: No, I knew nothing about it. I thought there couldn’t be much difference between prostitution and that, no matter how you dress it up. But then I spoke to the real Cheryl — which, often, as an actress, isn’t as helpful as people would think because when you’re using your own imagination and experiences to build a character, speaking to the real person can be disorienting. But in this case, I didn’t have any idea, and I needed to get one really quickly. The real Cheryl is louder, more frank, and has a more enthusiastic quality than I have. So I got excited about the idea of at least starting like that and with a certain amount of bluster walking into the room: This is what it is to be naked, this is what it is to talk about parts of the body, and let (John Hawkes, playing Mark O’Brien) catch up a little bit. Read More »
Fox Searchlight brought its Sundance pickup and Oscar hopeful, The Sessions, to the Toronto International Film Festival today to kick-start the film’s October launch. (Now set for October 26 but very possibly moving up a week to the 19th). Last January, the film debuted under the title The Surrogate and immediately sparked early 2012 awards talk, particularly for the performances of John Hawkes and Helen Hunt. It’s a small but surprisingly funny and ultimately quite touching film that drew so many big laughs at today’s Elgin Theatre screening the dialogue was drowned out during some scenes, usually those between Hawkes and William H. Macy. There were three standing ovations for the director and principal stars, a very enthusiastic response to be sure.
Fox Searchlight Co-Presidents Steve Gilula and Nancy Utley were there and said after the Sundance sale no cuts were made to the film and none requested by the MPAA in order to get the ‘R’ rating (for some explicit but tastefully shot sexual content).
Gilula notes that with so many movies competing for attention at TIFF it’s tough for a movie that debuted at Sundance or Cannes. Media, he says, just want to spotlight the newest movies even though this one doesn’t even open until next month. At this point it is the mini-major’s only fall/holiday release, and it’s hoping to build strong word of mouth and awards attention. The studio is still trying to determine whether to push Hunt for lead or supporting. (The Oscar winning star of As Good As It Gets could probably slip comfortably into either slot.) Fox Searchlight also have summer releases Beasts Of The Southern Wild and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel on their potential awards plate. And there still is the possibility of a last-minute contender coming in December if they decide to rush Hitchcock. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Larry Moss has set Helen Hunt, David Duchovny, Maggie Grace, Joan Chen and John Robinson to star in Relative Insanity, a contemporary Hampons-set adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull. Pier 3 Pictures’ Michael Din and Juri Henley-Cohn wrote the script and will produce with their partner Janine Giaime. Moss is an acting coach whose students have included Hunt and Duchovny, as well as Hilary Swank, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Jim Carrey, Michael Clark Duncan, Tea Leoni and Justin Timberlake. After teaching acting for 35 years, Moss is making his feature directorial debut on an adaptation of his favorite play. They’ll start shooting next year and Pier 3 is putting together the funding.
After making her directorial debut on Then She Found Me, Helen Hunt will direct Ride, a romantic comedy she’ll also star in later this year. Michael Roiff and his Night & Day Pictures will produce with Hunt, Matthew Carnahan and Moon Blauner. Intandem Films will pre-sell foreign rights at Cannes.
Hunt will play the mother of a 20-year-old NYU student, and when he leaves for a summer in California, this strong-willed magazine-editor mother is alarmed. When he reveals he’s abandoning school for the surfing life, she follows him to L.A. There, each finds their own version of love, sex and self discovery. Hunt just starred in Soul Surfer and, as director, just shot an episode of Showtime’s Californication. CAA will broker a domestic distribution deal for the film.
EXCLUSIVE: While most buyers at Toronto are paying close attention to the World Premiere midnight screening of Ambush Entertainment’s Super, the producer/financier has just closed a U.S. distribution deal on another title. Image Entertainment has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Every Day, the Richard Levine-directed drama that stars Helen Hunt, Liev Schreiber, Brian Dennehy and Carla Gugino. The film, which made its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival followed by a stop in Deauville, will be released theatrically in January by Image Entertainment, which will also handle DVD and digital in the spring. The deal was made by Image acquisitions chief Bill Bromley, who said, “The film has an award-winning cast and Richard Levine delivers a smart and Read More »