By Simon Dang | The Playlist December 20, 2010 at 2:20AM
After being surprisingly pulled from a planned January 28th release late last month, it sounds like there's already movement happening behind the scenes of Gus Van Sant's quirky teenage romancer "Restless" which stars Henry Hopper, son of Dennis, and Mia Wasikowska.
Anne Thompson is reporting that the film "will likely wind up at Sony Pictures Classics" after parent company, Columbia Pictures, left it waiting in the wings in favor of campaigns for David Fincher's "The Social Network" and releases for James Brooks' "How Do You Know" and Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's "The Tourist" this year. On top of that Thompson suggests the film may be headed to the Cannes Film Festival, where its helmer has a rich history including a 2003 Palme d'Or win for "Elephant." It certainly seems as if a better home is being made for the odd teenage drama and the move to SPC definitely sounds like a step in the right direction.
"Restless" centers on a 16-year-old girl (Wasikowska) who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and falls in love with an off-beat boy (Hopper) who likes to attend funerals and is suffering from the death of his family — which somehow produces the ghost of a young, Japanese kamikaze pilot from WWII (Ryo Kase). As odd as that sounds though, our script review noted that it is "nowhere as "emo" or black-lipsticky as some have suggested," is actually "warm, truthful and pretty emotionally reeling near the end," and is "different from anything we've read in a long time and does an extraordinary job of mixing dramatic, comedic and just strange tones all together."
In fact, we described it as a "Terms Of Endearment"-like love story with a cancer twist, that's part "Romeo & Juliet" part dark comedy ala, "Harold & Maude" and part emo-teen romance ("Twilight" if you must). The film is based on a play and was scribed by Jason Lew, who eventually teamed with film-school mate Bryce Dallas Howard who produced the film and subsequently brought Ron Howard and Brian Grazer on board in similar roles and Van Sant as helmer.
No word yet on when the film could see a theatrical release but it may very well hold off until next fall nearing TIFF.