The Weinsteins' acquisition of Abe Sylvia's 80s period Dirty Girl for $3 million was the talk of the jammed CAA party Sunday night. $3 million (for rights in the U.S., France, United Kingdom, Australia/New Zealand and South Africa) is a big number in today's contracted indie marketplace. A high school bad girl comedy, Dirty Girl stars Juno Temple, Dwight Yoakam, Milla Jovovich, and Willam H. Macy. And Harvey Weinstein is in good spirits because Tom Hooper's The King's Speech --which Weinstein hastens to remind he bought into at the script stage--is the hit of the festival.
The movie is a total win, a soft lob down the middle for Oscar voters and upscale cinephiles alike. It will be a badly needed hit for the Weinsteins. I spoke to Hooper at Friday's Weinsteins' Windsor Arms bash; the guy knew exactly what he was doing. Not only will Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush earn Oscar noms--both will be the ones to beat in their respective categories--but the film will scarf up more than acting nods along the way.
Also on the Oscar front, while Barney's Version is not nearly as strong a movie, it does feature an extraordinary performance from Paul Giamatti, which Sony Pictures Classics should be able to parlay into some awards attention.
As for the CAA party: what a list!
Disney's Rich Ross with MOMA's Raj Roy, Alex Gibney, George Hickenlooper and his Casino Jack star Kevin Spacey, Lance Black and IMDb's Col Needham, CAA's Micah Green, Bob Bookman and Roeg Sutherland, Cinetic's Matt Dentler and SXSW's Janet Pierson, David Linde, the Summit gang, Fox Searchlight's Tony Safford, Phoenix's Mike Medavoy (happy about Black Swan), Kim Masters, Nick Meyer and Morgan Spurlock.