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Lawrence Kasdan's Darling Companion to Open Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood December 19, 2011 at 12:27AM

Lawrence Kasdan's return to director's chair after eight years, "Darling Companion," starring Diane Keaton and Kevin Kline, will open the Santa Barbara Film Festival on January 26.
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Diane Keaton in Lawrence Kasdan's "Darling Companion"
Sony Pictures Classics Diane Keaton in Lawrence Kasdan's "Darling Companion"

Lawrence Kasdan's return to director's chair after eight years, "Darling Companion," starring Diane Keaton and Kevin Kline, will open the Santa Barbara Film Festival on January 26. (Unhappily, many of us will still be at Sundance.) Sony Pictures Classics will release the marital comedy --which also stars Dianne Wiest, Richard Jenkins, Sam Shepard, Mark Duplass, Elisabeth Moss, and Ayelet Zurer--in 2012. Werc Werk Works, Likely Story and Kasdan Pictures produced the $5 million indie.

In "Darling Companion," written by Lawrence and Meg Kasdan, Keaton plays a Denver woman struggling with an empty nest who bonds with a lost dog she saves from the side of the road. When her distracted husband (Kline) loses the dog after a wedding at their vacation cottage in the Rockies, Beth and some stragglers conduct a search. Kasdan has admitted that the cast got "paid nothing." (More of my interview with him here.)

SBIFF is also mounting a Kasdan retrospective including "Body Heat" (1981), "The Big Chill" (1983), and "Grand Canyon" (1991)--all are must-sees.


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Thompson on Hollywood

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.