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Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Revenge’s Henry Czerny Joins Atom Egoyan’s ‘Remember’; Michelle Gomez Heads To ‘Doctor Who’; More

Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Revenge’s Henry Czerny Joins Atom Egoyan’s ‘Remember’; Michelle Gomez Heads To ‘Doctor Who’; MoreHenry Czerny Cast In Atom Egoyan’s ‘Remember’
Revenge actor Henry Czerny has joined the cast of Atom Egoyan’s Remember. Christopher Plummer stars in the thriller in which the darkest chapter of modern history collides with a contemporary mission of … revenge. Czerny most recently was seen playing Conrad Grayson on the ABC primetime soap in which the character met his demise during the Season 3 finale – or did he? Either way, he’ll play Plummer’s son in the film on which IM Global’s specialty label Acclaim is handling world sales. Producers are Robert Lantos and Ari Lantos. Mark Musselman and Anant Singh are the executive producers. Czerny is repped by Domain and manager Perry Zimel.

Michelle Gomez Joins ‘Doctor Who’ Cast
Michelle Gomez (Bad Education, Green Wing) is joining the cast of Doctor Who. She will play the Gatekeeper of the Nethersphere when the series returns on August 23 with Peter Capaldi as the latest idoctor whoncarnation of the Time Lord. Lead writer and executive producer, Steven Moffat says: “I’ve known Michelle for years, and I’m thrilled to welcome her to Doctor Who. She’s everything we need — brilliant, Scottish, and a tiny bit satanic.” Filming is well underway for Series 8 of Doctor Who. Confirmed guest stars include Frank Skinner, Ben Miller, Tom Riley, Keeley Hawes and Hermione Norris. Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: Roman Polanski’s ‘Venus In Fur’ Tops Slow Weekend

By | Sunday June 22, 2014 @ 10:15am PDT

Specialty Box Office: Roman Polanski’s ‘Venus In Fur’ Tops Slow WeekendDefinitely not a weekend to remember, with newcomers and recent holdovers coming in mostly flat. Roman Polanski was the weekend’s star addition, though that wasn’t hard: Sundance Selects’ Venus In Fur grossed over $26K, averaging $13,100 per screen. The Cannes 2013 pic is kicking off a platform release, rolling out to the top 15 markets throughout July. Elsewhere in the specialty world, gastronomy die-hards can take some solace in Cohen Media Group’s Le Chef, which sliced off a morsel of attention in New York. The Berlinale 2012 comedy opened in one theater, grossing $10,894.

Image (1) boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150-1__140530221134.jpg for post 738358Sony Pictures Classics bowed Paul Haggis‘ Toronto feature Third Person in five locations. It grossed just over $42K, averaging $8,419. Haggis said at the pic’s NYC theatrical premiere at the Sunshine that the 2-hour-plus feature demands attention with its parallel stories set in three cities. He joked with the crowd to use the restroom before it began and to “watch carefully.” His previous film, The Next Three Days, was a completely different game back in November 2010 when it bowed stateside. The action-thriller opened in more than 2,500 theaters, grossing over $6.5 million and ranking No. 5 that week with a $2,552 PTA. It went on to gross $21.1M domestically. The weekend wasn’t that busy for the bigger releases either, as two Sony sequels topped the domestic box office at what’s looking like less than $30 million each, while indie-seeming Clint Eastwood-directed musical adaptation Jersey Boys hit a false note, opening in fourth. Read More »

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César Awards: ‘Les Garçons Et Guillaume, A Table!’ Wins Best Film, Actor & Other Key Prizes; ‘Blue Is The Warmest Color’ Nearly Shut Out In Surprising Ceremony

Cesar Award WinnersUPDATE, 3:00 PM PT: This was a big night for Guillaume Gallienne’s Les Garçons Et Guillaume, A Table! The Gaumont-backed comedy led the night with 10 nominations coming in and picked up five key prizes: Best Film, Best Debut Feature, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Editing. It was heavily favored, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t a bunch of surprises in the mix. Blue Is The Warmest Color walked away nearly empty-handed, taking only the Best Female Newcomer prize for Adèle Exarchopoulos. On accepting, she thanked director Abdellatif Kechiche, who was not present at the ceremony. She also called co-star Léa Seydoux, “My most beautiful love story… on film.” Seydoux ultimately lost out on the Best Actress trophy to 9 Mois Ferme‘s Sandrine Kiberlain. That film won one other prize, for director and co-star Albert Dupontel’s original screenplay. Also notable is Roman Polanski‘s win as Best Director for Venus In Fur. The helmer was visibly surprised, “I really, really didn’t expect this,” he said in his very concise thank yous.

les-garcons-et-guillaume-a-table-guillaume-gallienneGallienne’s Les Garçons is a virtual one-man show that also stars and is written by the director. In the autobiographical coming-of-age tale, he plays the two lead roles — himself and his mother, a woman for whom his love is boundless and by whom he has always … Read More »

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Sundance Selects Acquires Roman Polanski’s ‘Venus In Fur’

Mike Fleming

Sundance Selects grabbed U.S. rights to the Roman Polanski-directed Venus In Fur. Polanski and David Ives wrote it based on the Tony-winning stage play by Ives. Emmanuelle Seigner and Mathieu Amalric star and Robert Benmussa and Alain Sarde produced it. The film made its world premiere in Competition at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

Set in modern-day Paris, Venus In Fur follows a writer-director (Amalric) and a pushy, foul-mouthed actress named Vanda (Seigner) who bursts into auditions in a whirlwind of erratic energy. Vanda’s emotionally charged audition for the gifted but demanding playwright becomes an electrifying game of cat and mouse that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality, seduction and power, and ultimately, attraction and obsession. Arianna Bocco made the deal with Jeff Berg. Amalric and Seigner starred together in the Julian Schnabel-directed Diving Bell And The Butterfly.

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Cannes: Roman Polanski’s ‘Weekend Of A Champion’ – Poster

Mike Fleming

Roman Polanski‘s 1971 feature documentary Weekend Of A Champion is being sold at Cannes this week after Brett Ratner’s Rat Documentary Films acquired the docu in February as part of a 12-picture deal with Netflix to produce and acquire feature-length documentaries. Never shown in the U.S., Weekend offered up a portrait of legendary Formula 1 champ Jackie Stewart during his victory at the Monte Carlo Grand Prix — it also shows a pair of icons (Polanski and Stewart) at the height of their powers. Pathe is handling international and Submarine is handling all other U.S. rights beside Netflx. Polanski, meanwhile, has just completed filming Venus In Fur, which is here in competition. Here’s the exclusive first look at the poster:

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Hot Trailer: ‘Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out’

By | Friday March 15, 2013 @ 4:54pm PDT

Marina Zenovich found more fodder for her docu lens when the subject of her 2008 film Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired landed in hot water with Swiss authorities in September 2009. Her feature-length follow-up Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out covers the ensuing media circus surrounding Roman Polanski‘s 10-month house arrest. The pic premiered at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival and will be available On Demand on March 26. Here’s the trailer:

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Brett Ratner Revs Roman Polanski Racing Docu ‘Weekend Of A Champion’ For Netflix

By | Thursday February 28, 2013 @ 4:11pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Movies periodically get fixated on auto racing, like the great documentary Senna and the upcoming Ron Howard-directed Rush. Now we’ll find out how a barely seen documentary shot by Roman Polanski can do, one shot back when he and his cameras were granted the kind of access to the track in Monaco that you just couldn’t buy today. And the way Polanski shot it, you can tell in just a few seconds that if the average person tried driving that course, you’d need to call your insurance agent by the first hairpin turn.

Rat Documentary Films, Brett Ratner‘s documentary film arm, has acquired the North American rights to Weekend Of A Champion, Polanski’s 1971 portrait of the legendary Formula 1 race car driving Champion Jackie Stewart on the weekend of his victory at the Monte Carlo Grand Prix. This is a film that was shot while Polanski was at his peak, and it has never been released in the United States. This becomes the first in a 12-picture deal that Rat Documentary Films has with Netflix; his objective is to produce or acquire cool feature documentaries. Here, Ratner and Polanski began talking about this deal and Polanski recalled with fondness the experience of shooting with Stewart. I’ve seen footage and it is pretty compelling stuff. Read More »

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Mathieu Amalric Joins Roman Polanski’s ‘Venus In Fur’

By | Friday January 18, 2013 @ 3:48am PST

Diving Bell And The Butterfly star, and erstwhile Bond villain, Mathieu Amalric has boarded Roman Polanski‘s Venus In Fur. The actor, perhaps best known to U.S. audiences as baddie Dominic Greene in Quantum Of Solace, is currently shooting in Paris, his French rep Zelig Films confirms. Amalric is reteaming with Polanski’s wife Emmanuelle Seigner for the film; they worked together on Julian Schnabel’s Diving Bell in 2008 which brought Amalric a Best Actor César. Louis Garrel had previously been tipped for the lead in Venus, the French-language screen adaptation of David Ives’ erotic and blackly comic Broadway and off-Broadway play. Polanski wrote the script with Ives, and the director’s longtime collaborators Robert Benmussa and Alain Sarde are producing. Lionsgate/Summit International are repping foreign sales and ICM will handle North American rights. Hyphenate Amalric won a Best Director Palme d’Or for his 2010 comedy On Tour and also has a role in Wes Anderson’s upcoming The Grand Budapest Hotel.

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Roman Polanski To Helm Screen Version Of ‘Venus In Fur’

By | Thursday September 20, 2012 @ 7:16am PDT
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Roman Polanski is set to direct a film adaptation of the David Ives play Venus in Fur. He’ll film in French and has set Emmanuelle Seigner and Louis Garrel in the lead roles. The show played Broadway and off-Broadway, and Nina Arianda won a Tony for Best Actress. Polanski will work on the erotic black comedy while awaiting completion of the screenplay for D., based on the historic Dreyfus scandal, which Polanski will direct as well. Seigner is Polanski’s wife.

“I’ve been looking for a chance to make a film in French with Emmanuelle for a long time,” said Polanski, who previously directed Seigner in Frantic and Bitter Moon. “Reading Venus in Fur I realized the moment had arrived. I got so fired up to put this brilliant black comedy on film that I decided to fit it in before D., whose screenplay and pre-production will demand a few more months. Louis Garrel and Emmanuelle Seigner will make for a stunning duo.”

Polanski will write the script with Ives and the filmmaker’s longtime collaborators Robert Benmussa and Alain Sarde, will produce. It will be independently financed and will begin filming in Paris this November. Lionsgate/Summit International will represent the film’s international sales and ICM will represent North American rights.

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Roman Polanski To Helm ‘D,’ Based On The Dreyfus Affair Political Scandal

By | Wednesday May 9, 2012 @ 11:38am PDT
Mike Fleming

Roman Polanski DPARIS, FRANCE / LOS ANGELES, CA – May 9 , 2012 — Roman Polanski announced today that his next feature film project will be the political thriller “D,” based on the Dreyfus affair, one of the most sensational political scandals and miscarriages of justice in history.

“D” reunites the team behind Polanski’s 2010 award-winning movie The Ghost Writer. Polanski will direct from a screenplay written by Robert Harris, with long-time Polanski collaborators Robert Benmussa and Alain Sarde serving as producers. The independently financed film will begin casting shortly and currently plans to be in production in Paris by the end of this year. Lionsgate/Summit International will represent the film’s international sales. ICM will represent North American rights.

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Slated Announces Inaugural Polanski & ‘Seagull’ Projects

By | Tuesday May 8, 2012 @ 11:57am PDT

Roman Polanski Marina ZenovichOnline film investment site Slated announced today that they have helped raise financing for a modern retelling of Anton Chekov’s The Seagull and a follow-up to the Emmy-winning documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted And Desired. First announced at the Sundance Film Festival this year, Slated seeks to link up experienced and vetted filmmakers with investors to help indie movies secure financing. Read More »

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HAMMOND: Oscar Race For Best Director In The Year Of The Master

Pete Hammond

The Oscar race for best director is chock-full of major names and past winners who are back with some of their most acclaimed and anticipated films in years. Consider this: Woody Allen, a past winner in the category for Annie Hall (1977), is back this year with Midnight In Paris, not only his most acclaimed film in years but his most successful at the box office ($131 million worldwide). Martin Scorsese, a winner in 2006 for The Departed, has in Hugo a film that many are calling a masterpiece and one that is perhaps his most personal. Steven Spielberg, a two-time winner in the category for 1993’s Schindler’s List and 1998’s Saving Private Ryan, is having a banner year not only with a possible nomination for best animated feature for his first-ever ’toon The Adventures of Tintin, but he is also expected to be a major player as director of the film adaptation of this year’s big Tony-winning play War Horse. Roman Polanski, 2002 winner for The Pianist, also has a pony in the race with Carnage, the film version of the Broadway smash and Tony winner God Of Carnage. Two-time winner Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby) is competing with J. Edgar, his biopic of controversial FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. Past nominees Alexander Payne, Terrence Malick, Stephen Daldry, Bennett Miller, David Fincher, Jason Reitman and George Clooney are also in the hunt in what promises to be one of the most competitive races in years. But could the big prize actually go to a first-time nominee who made a black-and-white silent film?
Here’s the rundown on who are the hot helmers in the race for Oscar this year:
FRONTRUNNERS

STEVEN SPIELBERG, WAR HORSE
Hollywood’s most famous and powerful director is going for his seventh nomination in the category and first since Munich in 2005 . Previously nominated for Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, Raiders Of The Lost Ark and E.T. The Extra Terrestrial and a winner for Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan, this is his best chance to make it a three-peat with his screen adaptation of the beloved book and play War Horse. The epic look at the adventures of a brave horse in World War I has all the elements of a winner: strong emotion, big action scenes and a major pedigree. With his well-reviewed first animated foray Tintin also being released at the same time, Spielberg is a force to be reckoned with this year. Read More »

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HAMMOND: Composer Alexandre Desplat Is Music To Oscar’s Ears Again This Season

Pete Hammond

Is Alexandre Desplat the new hardest working man in show business? The prolific French composer  who has had four Oscar nominations in the last five years  is just coming off his busiest year since gaining international notoriety in 2003 with Girl With A Pearl Earring. Since then he has been one of, if not  the most in-demand composers in the business with a remarkable output that made me tired just reading all the titles. Those Oscar-nominated scores, The King’s Speech, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Queen are just a tiny sample of the nearly 60 scores he has written in the last 10 years, a decade of major achievement for the now-50 year old Desplat who can probably safely say life really does start at 40.  He has actually been actively composing for films for a quarter century but has only become an international household name in movie music circles since 2003. When I sat down with him at a small dinner last week he was in town just for 36 hours and between back-to-back Q&As with his The Ides of March director George Clooney. That morning he had just completed the score for Stephen Daldry’s Christmas release, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. It was a rush job to be sure as he was brought in as a last minute replacement for the film’s first composer, Nico Muhly ( who despite having composed Daldry’s The Reader as well as serving as a music coordinator … Read More »

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‘Walking Dead’s Jon Bernthal Joins ‘Snitch’

Mike Fleming

Jon Bernthal, whose Shane character on AMC’s The Walking Dead is on one twisted journey in the show’s second season, will join Dwayne Johnson and Susan Sarandon in Snitch. That’s the Ric Roman Waugh-directed action drama for Summit Entertainment that begins filming early next month in Louisiana. Johnson plays a construction company owner who becomes a DEA snitch to reduce his son’s prison sentence. Bernthal plays an ex-con laborer for the construction company who is forced by his boss to help connect him to an underground drug dealer. Bernthal, who was part of the cast of HBO’s The Pacific and the Roman Polanski-directed The Ghost Writer, is repped by WME and the Burstein Company. The film’s being co-financed by Exclusive Media, Participant Media and Imagenation Abu Dhabi.

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Toronto: Sony Pictures Landing ‘Hysteria’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: I’m told that Sony Pictures Classics is near a deal to distribute Hysteria, the Tanya Wexler-directed romantic comedy based on the surprising truth of how Mortimer Granville came up with the world’s first electro-mechanical vibrator as an advance in medical science. The film created a — wait for it — buzz when it premiered September 15 at Roy Thomson Hall. Hugh Dancy, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jonathan Pryce, Rupert Everett and Felicity Jones star in the film. Samuel Goldwyn Films and Millennium also chased the title. Sony Pictures Classics partners Michael Barker and Tom Bernard have this evening’s opening-night film of the New York Film Festival with the premiere of Carnage, the Roman Polanski-directed feature adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s Tony-winning play. Polanski shot the film in Paris, with Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly starring. Hysteria was repped by Cassian Elwes and Elle Driver.

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‘Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir’ Is Surprise Addition To Zurich Film Festival

By | Tuesday September 27, 2011 @ 1:30pm PDT

Roman Polanski Attending Zurich Film Festival

There’s another reason Roman Polanski has returned to the Zurich Film Festival, where he was arrested two years ago by authorities who tried unsuccessfully to bring him back to the U.S. to face a 1977 statutory rape charge. After the festival bestowed its lifetime achievement award on the Oscar-winning director Tuesday night, it offered up the surprise world premiere of the documentary Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir, in which Polanski talks to friend and producer Andrew Braunsberg about his career, the murder of his wife Sharon Tate and his recent arrest. Laurent Bouzereau directed the feature-length docu. It was at the 2009 Swiss festival, where Polanski was originally to to receive the lifetime honor, that he was arrested — he never made it to the fest, getting stopped at the airport. He served time in jail and was under house arrest until he successfully fought off extradition to the U.S., making today’s return trip possible. (UPDATE: Polanski thanked the crowd after accepting his award Tuesday night: “Better late than never,” he said in his speech, according to Reuters. “It’s a strange anniversary for me, two years, day for day. … Certain parts of it I’d rather forget, but I’m happy to be here. It is a very moving moment for me so do not expect any speeches.”)

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Roman Polanski Attending Zurich Film Festival

By | Thursday September 15, 2011 @ 3:09am PDT
Mike Fleming

Roman Polanski, who was placed under house arrest by Switzerland when he came to attend the Zurich Film Festival in 2009, is returning to the festival this year to accept a lifetime achievement award. According to an announcement, Polanski will not be doing interviews during the festival but will be going. Festival organizers also will not speak about the legal case. Last time, Polanski never made it to the festival, arrested at the airport and taken into provisional custody. Swiss authorities eventually freed him and declined an extradition request from the United States, where Polanski skipped out on a conviction for engaging in a sex act with an underage girl in 1978. Polanski’s latest film, Carnage, was accepted as the opening-night film of the New York Film Festival. He most certainly is not expected to attend that gathering. Here’s the announcement: Read More »

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Toronto: Sellers Rush To Get Into Oscar Race But Buyers Want Them To Slow Down

Pete Hammond

The 9/11 anniversary was a strong memory in Toronto because it happened right in the middle of 2001′s film festiva – even though it was business as usual today. In fact the pace of this place just seems to be quickening. Deals, as Deadline’s Mike Fleming reports, were slow to percolate but may be picking up. Most buyers I talk to are irritated by some sellers’ insistence that their film be released this year in time for Oscar consideration. That’s a tall order and leaves little time for creating a marketing campaign, much less an awards strategy. Nevertheless, that was one of the demands made by the sellers of the controversial Shame during negotiations. Fox Searchlight agreed, others didn’t. In fact I was told that Sony Pictures Classics, which wanted the picture, came up with a smart strategy they compared to The Weinstein Company’s for Colin Firth. That consisted of Firth doing a lot of campaigning and earning a nomination for A Single Man in 2010, thus laying the groundwork for his The King’s Speech win the next year. SPC was going to put Michael Fassbender out there and get him recognition for their November release of David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method and then release Shame later in 2012 for a one-two punch that the Academy would notice. No go. The sales people behind Shame insisted it be released this year, thereby throwing the Venice Film Festival’s Best Actor winner into an already overcrowded awards race that among others includes George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Gary Oldman, and Leonardo DiCaprio who are better known — at least at this point.

One former studio head-turned-producer complained loudly to me today that this kind of strategy is not necessarily what’s good for the movie and asked, “Isn’t that what we should be concerned with over anything else?” For example, Open Road’s Tom Ortenberg is here with his first release Killer Elite but is not rushing into a year-end release if it might end up hurting the bottom line. “Isn’t the 2012 Oscar race just as good as this year’s?” he asked. He might consider putting the Liam Neeson film The Grey into a year-end qualifying run since Neeson’s performance is said to be so strong. But only if it was in the best interest of the film. When he was at Lionsgate, Ortenberg acquired Crash at Toronto but held it for a May release. Then he did a now-legendary and successful Oscar campaign almost 1 1/2 years after the Toronto buy. The same strategy worked for The Hurt Locker two years ago. Both went on to win Best Picture.

Nevertheless, several films for sale in Toronto are said to be eyeing a 2011 release in order to get into the Oscar race. These include Luc Besson’s The Lady, which premieres Monday night and which I have already seen. It contains two powerhouse performances from Michelle Yeoh who could jump into the lead actress race. There’s also David Thewlis for Supporting Actor. The Lady will certainly be part of any sales discussion, but I know of at least one mini-major who would like the film but just not for this year. As I mentioned yesterday, Barrymore with its sensational title performance from Christopher Plummer also wants to make a deal that includes a 2011 year-end release. Also director Zhang Yimou’s epic The Flowers of War (formerly Nanking) starring Oscar-winner Christian Bale had a 20-minute footage presentation here and hopes to get a domestic deal in place in time for a possible year-end run at Oscar. I am told it could certainly be ready what with its debut in Beijing in December. Read More »

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HAMMOND: Can Indies Steal Oscars Again?

Pete Hammond

Previously in Pete Hammond’s 3-part series:
Woody Allen, Brad Pitt, ‘The Help’ Among Early 2011 Oscar Contenders
Clooney, Clint, And Spielberg Put Major Studios Back Into Oscar Race

After looking last week at the potential awards landscape for the first eight months of 2011, and then at what Oscar-pedigreed films the major studios have in store for fall and holiday slots, it’s time to turn to the independent world, which has become such a key force in the season. For the majors, Oscars are nice but not vital. For the indies, award strategies are key and could mean the difference between a hit film or a miss. With little-pictures-that-could Best Picture triumphs in recent years like Crash, The Hurt Locker and last year’s The King’s Speech, indies have proven that with less money to spend, a savvy campaign and a little luck, the right film at the right time can grab the gold. Ever since the advent of screeners evened the playing field to some extent, it’s been a different ballgame. And the indies use the fall festival circuit (starting next week at Venice, followed by Telluride and Toronto) to start up the awards buzz. Already this year, indies like Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris and Terrence Malick’s Cannes Film Festival winner The Tree of Life are seriously in the hunt for those prized Best Picture slots and, as detailed by the soon-to-be-released contenders from the companies below, they might not be alone among upstart pictures this year.

Here’s a look at what possible award contenders from the indie sector will be coming our way in the last four — and most crucial — months of the year.

The Weinstein Company

With The King’s Speech last year, the Weinsteins scored their first Best Picture triumph since the heady days of Miramax. Can they do it two years in a row with another British bio, The Iron Lady? Just about everyone agrees Meryl Streep’s still-unseen portrait of Margaret Thatcher in this Dec. 16 release will put her in strong contention to finally win that third Oscar, but can the movie score, too? Time will tell, although it would seem to be a better shot in the Actress category.

Harvey Weinstein had a big Cannes triumph with the crowd-pleasing black-and-white French-produced silent picture The Artist (Nov. 23), and it could have the same effect on the Academy audience that it did with the French, thereby leading to one of those Best Picture slots, even though the movie might not have enough “gravitas” to sneak in. The Weinsteins will get a good idea when the film launches in the English-speaking world next week on the fest circuit. Certainly Cannes Best Actor Jean Dujardin is a great bet for a nomination no matter what.

With a busy fall, the company is hoping Michelle Williams and Kenneth Branagh — who play Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier in My Week With Marilyn (Nov. 4) — will land acting kudos along with Ralph Fiennes (who also directed) in the title role of the contemporary Shakespeare adaptation Coriolanus (Dec. 2). As his mother, Vanessa Redgrave is extraordinary in a beefy supporting turn. She should start getting the gowns for the awards circuit ready now.

Awards prospects are anybody’s guess for Madonna’s latest directorial stab, W.E. (Dec. 9), which with its storyline involving Wallis Simpson is certainly different for the pop star. And I hear there is the possibility of a late-season qualifying run for the Jennifer Garner film Butter that has been described as a Capra-esque comedy/drama set in the cutthroat world of competitive butter carving. Fest auds will see this first, and their reaction will probably weigh heavily in Weinstein’s decision to enter that other cutthroat competition. Read More »

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