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Cannes Update: Sony Pictures Classics Buys Israeli Footnote, Wettest County in Play

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood May 13, 2011 at 3:16AM

My inside-tipster on the Cannes competition told me to check out the Israeli entry from Oscar-nominated Beaufort director Joseph Cedar, Footnote (Hearat Shulayim), for which Sony Pictures Classics acquired North American and Latin rights before it screened Friday night. The comedic family drama, about rival father-son academics, aroused slight applause from the media. Cedar studied at the University of Jerusalem and NYU Film School. (Trailer is below.)
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Thompson on Hollywood


My inside-tipster on the Cannes competition told me to check out the Israeli entry from Oscar-nominated Beaufort director Joseph Cedar, Footnote (Hearat Shulayim), for which Sony Pictures Classics acquired North American and Latin rights before it screened Friday night. The comedic family drama, about rival father-son academics, aroused slight applause from the media. Cedar studied at the University of Jerusalem and NYU Film School. (Trailer is below.)

Distribs are also checking out John Hillcoat project Wettest County in the World, based on Matt Bondurant's novel about Prohibition-era Virginia bootleggers, starring Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, Gary Oldman and current it-girls Mia Wasikowska and Jessica Chastain. Wasikowska scored high praise in Gus Van Sant's Un Certain Regard opener Restless, which has otherwise met with mixed response here. SPC will release, along with Chastain-starrer Take Shelter, which is playing in Critics Week, but deny any interest in Wettest County, which Glen Basner's FilmNation showed to Focus, UPDATE along with Relativity and Summit. With so many buyers hungry for product, the price for U.S. rights could go north of $6 million.

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LaBeouf, Hardy and Jason Clark play three brothers who run alcohol for a gangster (Oldman) and are ardently chased by a deputy (Pearce). Wasikowska is LaBeouf's Mennonite love interest. Boardwalk Empire anyone?

This article is related to: Festivals, Genres, Headliners, Studios, Video, Cannes, Independents, Universal/Focus Features, Sony/Screen Gems/Sony Pictures Classics


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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.