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Cannes: ‘Blue is the Warmest Color,’ ‘Blood Ties,’ and ‘A Touch of Sin’ Receive Distribution

Written by on May 23, 2013 

With only a few key titles left in the schedule, Cannes 2013 is entering its third act with a slate of acquisitions. While this crop is wide, only a few titles noted here are a) playing at the festival and b) of genuine interest — so, let’s focus on some of the bigger stuff and save those others for last.

Of greatest note would be Blue is the Warmest Color, the widely praised, three-hour Palme d’Or frontrunner directed by Abdellatif Kechiche (The Secret of the Grain). Variety got word that IFC offshoot Sundance Selects are taking it stateside; with any luck, to be put out this fall after a further run on the festival circuit. Since Grain‘s IFC release helped it nab a spot in the Criterion Collection, might a high-faulting Blu-ray be in this film’s future, too?

Newcomer Adèle Exarchopoulos takes the lead as “a teenage girl who unexpectedly falls in love with another woman and faces her parents’ and friends’ judgment”; Léa Seydoux stars as the mysterious, blue-haired woman who provides her with a sexual awakening. Yes, things are said to get steamy from thereon out.

Next is the crime drama Blood Ties, Guillaume Canet‘s English-language adaptation of a 2008 French title, Rivals, in which he was a star. This American-ized take has been scripted with the help of James Gray — whose latest feature, The Immigrant, will premiere tomorrow morning — and stars Clive Owen & Billy Crudup as, can you even imagine, brothers on opposite sides of the law. It’s old hat, though a well-executed ’70s setting and exemplary supporting cast — Matthias Schoenaerts, Marion Cotillard, Griffin Dunne, James Caan, Zoe Saldana, and Noah Emmerich — hold promise.

Lionsgate have agreed to release through their independent-oriented outlet, Roadside Pictures — with any luck, more quickly than it took for Mud to hit theaters. And, all due respect to Jeff Nichols, something with more substance and weight might be fine, too.

Finally, there is Jia Zhangke and A Touch of Sin. Putting out his first title in about five years, the acclaimed Chinese filmmaker has crafted what, true to his interests, is described as “a four-part story inspired by real-life events and focused on the violent impact (and hefty human sacrifice) of the Chinese economic boom on its own citizens.” Understanding the meaning of prestige names and whatnot, Kino Lorber snatched it up for an opening in “late fall or early winter” — the hopes of bringing Jia‘s title “to a wide audience in the US” are encouraging — which is to be preceded by further festival engagements.

Then there’s smaller, typically non-festival deals that are nevertheless happening in the south of France. eOne have purchased Diana, the Oliver Hirschbiegel-directed, Naomi Watts-starring film concerning Princess Diana‘s final months; a fall run and Oscar campaign are in mind. Cleaning up a bit are The Weinstein Company, who plan to release Jean-Pierre Jeunet‘s The Young and Prodigious Spivet, according to Variety, and likely before the end of 2013; also in line is Philomena, directed by Stephen Frears and starring Judi Dench & Steve Coogan; lastly, there is Keanu Reeves. ComingSoon tell us his directorial debut, Man of Tai Chi, is set to arrive in the coming months courtesy of Weinstein’s VOD-oriented RADiUS-TWC, while Passengers — co-starring Reese Witherspoon, scripted by Jon Spaihts (a coherent version of Prometheus), and directed by Brian Kirk (Game of Thrones) — has come under their control.

Which listed title are you anticipating most strongly?

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