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Cannes Update: Oscilloscope Buys We Need to Talk About Kevin, Swinton Gets Oscar Push

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood May 23, 2011 at 9:18AM

One of my favorite Cannes' competition films, Lynne Ramsay's We Need to Talk About Kevin, was deemed too tricky to handle by the bigger specialty distributors, who worried about the cost of an Oscar campaign for Tilda Swinton--a prerequisite for Luc Roeg's Independent Film Company.
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Thompson on Hollywood

One of my favorite Cannes' competition films, Lynne Ramsay's We Need to Talk About Kevin, was deemed too tricky to handle by the bigger specialty distributors, who worried about the cost of an Oscar campaign for Tilda Swinton--a prerequisite for Luc Roeg's Independent Film Company.

Oscilloscope Laboratories is a good match for We Need to Talk About Kevin, which Adam Rauch and David Fenkel plan to open this winter, with an awards campaign--likely to be handled by 42 West Oscar maven Cynthia Swartz, who helped to push Michelle Williams for Oscilliscope's Wendy and Lucy and landed nominations for The Messenger for screenplay and Woody Harrelson. The trick with this challenging psychological thriller (adapted by Ramsay & Rory Stewart Kinnear from the Lionel Shriver novel), is to grab enough attention and critical acclaim to make the movie a must-see for Swinton's performance as a not-very-loving mother of a disturbed son (Ezra Miller) who does terrible things. But it has to be handled with finesse, without spending too much money for a little movie that will play best on the smart-house circuit.

"We are honored to be working with Lynne, Tilda, John, and Ezra to release this masterpiece-- the most intense thriller I've seen since Polanski's ROSEMARY¹S BABY," said Adam Yauch, head of Oscilloscope Laboratories. "I was on the edge of my seat throughout and it was clear I was in the capable hands of a master filmmaker, who I'm now proud to see join all our other great filmmakers as a member of the O-Scope family."

The film also stars John C. Reilly as Eva¹s husband. Swinton won an Oscar as supporting actress for Michael Clayton and critical raves for her roles in Julia and I Am Love. She could be due.

This article is related to: Awards, Box Office, Festivals, Genres, Independents, Marketing, Oscars, Winter, Cannes, Thriller, Drama


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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.