Cannes Deal UPDATE: Sony Pictures Classics Gobbles Up 'The Lunch Box,' Critics Week Audience Winner
Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
Thompson on HollywoodMay 24, 2013 at 12:58PM
Sony Pictures Classics has picked up all North American distribution rights to Ritesh Batra's "The Lunchbox," starring Irrfhan Khan ("The Life of Pi"). The film centers on a mistaken delivery in Mumbai's famously efficient lunchbox delivery system, and the budding relationship between a young housewife and an older stranger that this mix-up brings. The film won the Viewers Choice Award, the Rail d'Or, at Cannes Critics Week.
-Kino Lorber has snapped up all US rights to Chinese helmer Jia Zhangke's competition entry "A Touch of Sin," a four-part tale inspired by real-life, unsettlingly violent Chinese news stories. TOH! loved it, as did the New York Times' Manohla Dargis, who said it's Zhangke's best film since 2006's "Still Life." Watch the trailer for "A Touch of Sin" below.
'Inside Llewyn Davis'
-Mongrel Media has nabbed all Canadian rights to Paolo Sorrentino's "La Grande Bellezza" ("The Great Beauty"), which premieres in competition on May 21. The film stars Tony Servillo ("Il Divo," also helmed by Sorrentino) as an aging writer in Rome reflecting back on his lost youth. This is the fifth film by Sorrentino to compete for the Palme d'Or, including 2011's Sean Penn-starrer "This Must Be the Place."
-Mongrel has also picked up Canuck rights to the Coen brothers' well-received "Inside Llewyn Davis," which is being distributed stateside by CBS Films, as well as Abdellatif Kechiche's "Blue Is the Warmest Color" (see above).
-The Weinstein Co.'s boutique label Radius (repping Nicolas Winding Refn's competition title "Only God Forgives") has snapped up North American rights to buzz title "Blue Ruin," one of the select few films playing in the Directors' Fortnight section. The backwoods gothic noir is written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier ("Murder Party") and follows a man who, after receiving unsettling news, sets off to his childhood home to exact revenge and defend his estranged family. Radius will release the film this fall.
Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.