Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins Ranked From Best To Worst: Every Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Winner Ranked From Best To Worst: Every Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Winner Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck Check Out These Minimalist, Old School Paperback-Style Posters For The Films Of Wes Anderson Check Out These Minimalist, Old School Paperback-Style Posters For The Films Of Wes Anderson First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' The 30 Most Anticipated Movies Of The 2015 Sundance Film Festival The 30 Most Anticipated Movies Of The 2015 Sundance Film Festival The 10 Best Films Of 2001 The 10 Best Films Of 2001 2015 Oscar Nominees Get The Honest Poster Treatment 2015 Oscar Nominees Get The Honest Poster Treatment Watch: Full 90-Minute Documentary 'Great Directors' With David Lynch, Richard Linklater, Todd Haynes And More Watch: Full 90-Minute Documentary 'Great Directors' With David Lynch, Richard Linklater, Todd Haynes And More Exclusive: Matthew Gray Gubler Has Flashbacks In Clip From 'Suburban Gothic' Exclusive: Matthew Gray Gubler Has Flashbacks In Clip From 'Suburban Gothic' The 10 Best Films Of 2000 The 10 Best Films Of 2000 "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice The 20 Most Anticipated Foreign Films Of 2015 The 20 Most Anticipated Foreign Films Of 2015 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki 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