Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Zach Galifianakis Takes On Brad Pitt In Latest 'Between Two Ferns' Plus Louis C.K. Stops By Watch: Zach Galifianakis Takes On Brad Pitt In Latest 'Between Two Ferns' Plus Louis C.K. Stops By Watch: First Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron,' Brings Mass Destruction Along With Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver Watch: First Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron,' Brings Mass Destruction Along With Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver Watch: 'Star Wars' Prequels Recut Into 2 Hour 40 Minute 'Turn to the Darkside: Episode 3.1' Watch: 'Star Wars' Prequels Recut Into 2 Hour 40 Minute 'Turn to the Darkside: Episode 3.1' Edward Norton Says He Didn't Return To Play Hulk Because He Wanted More "Diversity" In His Film Roles Edward Norton Says He Didn't Return To Play Hulk Because He Wanted More "Diversity" In His Film Roles Oscar Buzz: Who Could Be Set For Nods In The Supporting Actress Race? Oscar Buzz: Who Could Be Set For Nods In The Supporting Actress Race? Juliette Binoche Says Her Performance In 'Godzilla' Made Quentin Tarantino Cry Juliette Binoche Says Her Performance In 'Godzilla' Made Quentin Tarantino Cry Listen To Chvrches "Get Away" From The Rescored Version Of Nicolas Winding Refn's 'Drive' Plus Check Out The Trailer Listen To Chvrches "Get Away" From The Rescored Version Of Nicolas Winding Refn's 'Drive' Plus Check Out The Trailer The Essentials: The 10 Best Michael Keaton Performances The Essentials: The 10 Best Michael Keaton Performances George Lucas Says Studios "Don't Have Any Imagination And Don't Have Any Talent" George Lucas Says Studios "Don't Have Any Imagination And Don't Have Any Talent" Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 7 ‘Friendless Child’ Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 7 ‘Friendless Child’ Watch: Spoiler-ific Local News Report On 'Batman v. Superman' That Caused WB To Lauch A Lawsuit Watch: Spoiler-ific Local News Report On 'Batman v. Superman' That Caused WB To Lauch A Lawsuit Watch: Baz Luhrmann's Chanel No. 5 Short Film "The One That I Want" Starring Gisele Bündchen Watch: Baz Luhrmann's Chanel No. 5 Short Film "The One That I Want" Starring Gisele Bündchen WTF: Horror Hit 'Annabelle' Yanked From French Theaters Due To Rioting WTF: Horror Hit 'Annabelle' Yanked From French Theaters Due To Rioting Gone Girls And Gone Boys: 11 Films That Dissect Marriage Gone Girls And Gone Boys: 11 Films That Dissect Marriage Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Fox Searchlight Land Buzzworthy Sundance Drama 'The Surrogate' With John Hawkes & Helen Hunt

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist January 24, 2012 at 10:45AM

This year's Oscar nominations are something of an anomaly as for the first time in a while, there's no Sundance breakout among them. The expansion of the possible nominees two years back meant that the field had room for films like "Precious," "An Education," "The Kids Are All Right" and "Winter's Bone," movies that would have previously fallen by the wayside. Whereas the new system of a flexible number of nominees means that Sundance fare gets shut out of the big prize from now on (the only film anywhere near close was "Martha Marcy May Marlene," and that wouldn't have made even a field of ten this year) remains to be seen, but one film already seems to have emerged out of Park City as a potential 2013 awards hopeful.
1
The Surrogate

This year's Oscar nominations are something of an anomaly as for the first time in a while, there's no Sundance breakout among them. The expansion of the possible nominees two years back meant that the field had room for films like "Precious," "An Education," "The Kids Are All Right" and "Winter's Bone," movies that would have previously fallen by the wayside. Whereas the new system of a flexible number of nominees means that Sundance fare gets shut out of the big prize from now on (the only film anywhere near close was "Martha Marcy May Marlene," and that wouldn't have made even a field of ten this year) remains to be seen, but one film already seems to have emerged out of Park City as a potential 2013 awards hopeful.

Based-in-fact drama "The Surrogate," from veteran, but unheralded writer-director Ben Lewin, bowed yesterday at Sundance to enormous acclaim, particularly for the central performances, from festival favorite John Hawkes and long-absent Oscar-winner Helen Hunt. The film tells the story of Mark O'Brien (Hawkes), a writer and poet crippled by polio, who sets out at the age of 38 to lose his virginity, with the help of his priest (William H. Macy) and the surrogate of the title (Hunt). O'Brien's tale has already been the subject of the 1997 Oscar-winning doc "Breathing Difficulties," and plenty of people on the Utah slopes have been tipping the film for similar glory (guys, we're a year from the nominations being announced; give it a rest).

And Fox Searchlight have been paying attention. In the biggest deal yet to close at the festival, and after an allegedly fierce bidding war, they've picked up worldwide rights to the film for around the $6 million mark, according to Variety. The company have had awards success with Sundance pick ups like "Little Miss Sunshine," so it's pretty clear what their intentions are with this one. It's their first deal to officially close this year, although they're also close on a pick-up to Benh Zeitlin's wildly acclaimed "Beasts Of The Southern Wild." Now most of the big films have debuted, expect the speed of acquisitions to pick up as buyers are circling hot titles like "Arbitrage," "Celeste and Jesse Forever," "Smashed" and "Safety Not Guaranteed," and news should break on those films, and many others, in the next few days.

This article is related to: Sundance 2012 News, The Surrogate, John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy, Fox Searchlight


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates