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TIFF DEAL WRAP: Focus Lands 'Place Beyond the Pines,' Strand Enters 'Paradise'

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood September 9, 2012 at 5:39PM

Focus Features has landed U.S. rights to one of TIFF's hot acquisition titles which played well at its world premiere: the hardboiled drama "The Place Beyond the Pines," which is dominated first by Ryan Gosling and then Bradley Cooper. It's writer-director Derek Cianfrance's follow-up to "Blue Valentine," which also starred Gosling (and Oscar-nominated Michelle Williams), and was also produced by Lynette Howell and Jamie Patricoff's Electric City Entertainment and Alex Orlovsky's Verisimilitude.
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Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling at TIFF
TIFF Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling at TIFF

Focus Features has landed U.S. rights to one of TIFF's hot acquisition titles which played well at its world premiere: the hardboiled drama "The Place Beyond the Pines," which is dominated first by Ryan Gosling and then Bradley Cooper. It's writer-director Derek Cianfrance's follow-up to "Blue Valentine," which also starred Gosling (and Oscar-nominated Michelle Williams), and was also produced by Lynette Howell and Jamie Patricoff's Electric City Entertainment and Alex Orlovsky's Verisimilitude.

'Place Beyond the Pines'
'Place Beyond the Pines'

Focus made the deal for a 2013 release. Focus is having a good festival, as Working Title's "Anna Karenina" was well-received here. (Roger Michell's FDR drama "Hyde Park on Hudson" debuts Monday). Focus paid between $2.5 and 3 million for the rights.

Written by Cianfrance, Ben Coccio, and Darius Marder, "Place Beyond the Pines" was financed by Sidney Kimmel Entertainment (SKE) and produced by SKE’s Sidney Kimmel; exec producers are Jim Tauber, Matt Berenson, and Bruce Toll. WME Global and Creative Artists Agency sold North American rights; Sierra/Affinity is handling international sales.

The film introduces a nomadic motorbike stunt performer (Gosling) who sees an old flame (Eva Mendes) and discovers that she is raising his child. He decides to stick around and lands a job with a mechanic (an excellent Ben Mendelsohn), who enlists Gosling in his favorite sideline: bank robbery. Gosling wants to support his child and takes to the adrenaline rush like a moth to flame. Soon a policeman (Cooper) is on his tail. The movie also co-stars Rose Byrne, Mahershala Ali, Emory Cohen, Dane DeHaan, Gabe Fazio, Bruce Greenwood, Ray Liotta and and Harris Yulin.

“Derek Cianfrance has made a bold, epic, and emotionally generous saga," stated Focus execs James Schamus and Andrew Karpen, "once again showing a master’s hand in eliciting searingly beautiful performances from the actors with whom he collaborates.”

Other Toronto deals closed this weekend include Strand Releasing's pick-up of U.S. Rights to Ulrich Seidl's "Paradise" trilogy, which encompasses "Paradise: Love," which debuted in competition at Cannes and kicked up controversy in Telluride, with its story about vacationing middle-aged women ("Sugar Mamas") bedding down younger Kenyan men. It is also playing in Toronto. The second film, "Paradise: Faith," which focuses on a single 50ish woman who devotes her summer vacation to doing missionary work, just won the jury prize at Venice, and the third, "Paradise: Hope," about a girl falls in love at a teen diet camp, will be screened in 2013.

'Paradise: Love'
'Paradise: Love'


 
 

This article is related to: Toronto International Film Festival, Toronto, Festivals, Festivals


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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.