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TIFF: Magnolia Acquires 'The Brass Teapot,' in which Temple and Angarano Strike Deal with Dishware

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood September 14, 2012 at 12:08PM

Magnolia Pictures has picked up distribution rights for "The Brass Teapot," starring Juno Temple and Michael Angarano, following the film's debut at TIFF. The black comedy follows a broke newlywed couple who discover a magical teapot that rewards physical pain with cash.
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"The Brass Teapot"
"The Brass Teapot"

Magnolia Pictures has picked up North American distribution rights for "The Brass Teapot," starring Juno Temple and Michael Angarano, following the film's debut at the Toronto International Film Festival. The black comedy follows a broke newlywed couple who discover a magical teapot that rewards physical pain with cash.

The film is the debut feature of commercial and music video director Ramaa Mosely. Darren Goldberg of Atlantic Pictures, Kirk Roos of Northern Lights and James Graves are producers.

Here's a more extensive film description from the TIFF programming notes:

Alice (Juno Temple) and John (Michael Angarano) are young, in love, and completely broke. While their more successful friends enjoy a life of luxury and comfort, the two struggle to pay the bills. Just as their financial troubles are reaching their peak, they get into a fender-bender in front of a roadside curiosity shop. Moved by an unseen force, Alice is drawn inside the shop towards an antique brass teapot and, acting on a whim, steals it.

As the days pass, the luckless couple soon realizes this is no ordinary teapot: it miraculously produces wads of cash whenever Alice or John feels physical pain — the greater the pain, the greater the payout. Excited by this unimaginable (and freakish) turn of events, they gleefully rack up injuries, raking in enough dough to pay off their debt and move out of their tiny bungalow into a lavish mansion on the rich side of town. After years of monetary woe, the nouveau riche pair finally has the affluent lifestyle they've always dreamed of: they drive fast cars, wear designer clothing, dine at expensive restaurants, and hobnob with their fellow elite. But the teapot's funds begin to dwindle, demanding bigger and bigger sacrifices from the couple to maintain their excessive expenses — until it becomes clear that John and Alice must up the stakes.

Despite the film's macabre premise, Mosley eschews graphic violence for a more whimsical, Tim Burton–esque treatment, buoyed by Temple and Angarano's sharply funny performances as the loopy, increasingly frenzied Alice and hapless, good-natured John. A zany yet bitingly incisive satire, The Brass Teapot demonstrates that the myth of the American Dream is a dangerous one — and there is no such thing as a quick (or painless) solution.

This article is related to: Toronto International Film Festival, Magnolia Pictures, Juno Temple, News, Festivals, Festivals, Toronto, Magnolia


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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.