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Sony Pictures Classics Confirmed for ‘Smashed’; IFC Nabs ‘Grabbers’; Cinedigm Fights ‘Invisible War’

Posted by , on March 5, 2012 at 2:42 pm 

One month after we reported that Sony Pictures Classics were “on the verge of picking up” Smashed, Deadline has come in with a press release confirming this acquisition. As you may already know, the film at hand is a drama about the perils of alcoholism, which stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aaron Paul, Octavia Spencer, Nick Offerman, and Megan Mullaly, and is directed by James Ponsoldt. Our reaction out of Sundance was one of all-around positivity, with special notice going to Winstead‘s peformance; that’s the primary hook, as far as I’m concerned. Hearing that everything else works alongside it is icing on the cake, if you will.

Read the full press release below:

NEW YORK (March 5, 2012) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired all worldwide rights to SMASHED. The film, directed by James Ponsoldt (OFF THE BLACK), is produced by Jonathan Schwartz (Like Crazy) and Andrea Sperling (Like Crazy) of Super Crispy Entertainment, who were honored at Sundance this year with a Special Jury Prize for Excellence in Independent Film Producing, as well as Jennifer Cochis. The film is executive produced by Audrey and Zygi Wilf. SPC previously worked with Sperling on the 2005 feature, THE QUIET.

SMASHED premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival to positive reviews and stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead (SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD), Emmy Award® winner Aaron Paul (BREAKING BAD), Academy Award® winner Octavia Spencer (THE HELP), Nick Offerman (PARKS & RECREATION), Emmy Award® winner Megan Mullally (WILL & GRACE) and Emmy Award® winner Mary Kay Place (BIG LOVE; MARY HARTMAN, MARY HARTMAN).

In SMASHED, Kate and Charlie like to have a good time. Their marriage thrives on a shared fondness for music, laughter . . . and getting smashed. When Kate’s partying spirals into hard-core asocial behavior, compromising her job as an elementary schoolteacher, something’s got to give. But change isn’t exactly a cakewalk. Sobriety means she will have to confront the lies she’s been spinning at work, her troubling relationship with her mother, and the nature of her bond with Charlie.

“This is quite a remarkable and rare human drama, achieved through superb filmmaking by director James Ponsoldt and his entire cast, especially Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who gives one of the finest performances of the year. We are so pleased to be able to bring this film to audiences all over the world and to be working with producers Jonathan Schwartz and Andrea Sperling as well as our friends at UTA.” states Sony Pictures Classics.

Adds Producer Jonathan Schwartz, “We are all are thrilled to be working with Sony Pictures Classics on the release of SMASHED. We are in love this movie, and could think of no better home for the film than with Michael and Tom. Their track record speaks for itself.”

Then there’s a couple of Sundance leftovers — which is to say, the ones that just took a little longer than expected to get some distribution — those being Grabbers and The Invisible War. THR says that the former of those two has been bought by IFC Midnight, a perfect choice when you read that it centers on “a sleepy Irish fishing village whose only defense against an attack by bloodsucking sea aliens is becoming very drunk.” (Count me as curious.) Jon Wright directed a screenplay from Kevin Lehane; Richard Coyle, Ruth Bradley, Russell Tovey, Lalor Roddy, David Pearse, and Bronagh Gallagher all star.

Meanwhile, TheWrap reports that Cinedigm have acquired The Invisible War for a summer release. Winner of the U.S. Documentary Audience Award at this year’s Sundance, the documentary from Kirby Dick (This Film Is Not Yet Rated) has been described as “examination of the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the U.S. military, the institutions that cover up its existence and the profound personal and social consequences that arise from it.”

Cinedigm sounds rather enthused about the buy, with CEO Chris McGurk saying it’s “incredibly powerful and deserves – in fact demands – to be seen by as many people as possible.” The trailer alone was some impacting material, and reviews from the festival have pointed to something that lives up to this quick look. The Invisible War might not be something I’m “looking forward to,” but it’s definitely a work I fully intend to seek out.

Which of these films are you most interested in?


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