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Sundance: Magnolia Picks Up ‘Compliance,’ ‘2 Days in New York,’ and ‘Nobody Walks’

Written by on January 29, 2012 

As most of us anticipated, Magnolia ended up being one of the big players at this year’s Sundance, snatching up films — with stars big, small, and somewhere in-between — left and right. Don’t believe me? Well, the past 24 hours alone have seen them make three acquisitions that could all be in discussion by the end of this year. If you catch my drift.

First, up THR tells us that they’ve purchased Compliance, Craig Zobel‘s (reportedly excellent) real-life drama that chronicles the way in which a man (Pat Healy), pretending to be a police officer, was able to send the life of a young girl, Sandra (Ann Dowd), straight to hell. (THR goes into some further plot details that, to an unknowing viewer like myself, come across as spoilers.) And, lucky for Compliance, it ended up being this year’s obligatory “Sundance movie that pisses off certain members of the audience, only promoting it even further”; expect that to hold up during its theatrical run. If you’ve been following our acquisition coverage (and I hope you have), then you probably don’t need me to tell you that Compliance will open at the end of this year.

Variety, meanwhile, reports that they’ve also bought 2 Days in New York, Julie Delpy‘s sequel to her 2007 film, 2 Days in Paris. Starring the director, Chris Rock, and Albert Delpy, the follow-up — which, once more, centers on the same character — tells of Julie’s time in New York with her son, and how “a visit from her family, the different cultural background of her new boyfriend, her sister’s ex-boyfriend, and her upcoming photo exhibition make for an explosive mix.” Going by our review, it seems to be the exact kind of film that description would indicate — not that I see this as a bad thing. We can expect a release in theaters and on Magnolia’s Ultra VOD line.

Finally, THR also has news of the company picking up Nobody Walks, a drama from Ry Russo-Young that, thanks to a “mid-to-high six figures deal against significant gross incentives,” will receive a theatrical opening sometime over the next eleven months. With a script by the director and Tiny Furniture helmer Lena Dunham, Nobody Walks has one of the most prolific line-ups of Sundance: John Krasinski, Olivia Thirlby, Rosemarie DeWitt, Justin Kirk, India Ennenga and Dylan McDermott. If that assemblage of talent onscreen and off screams “Sundance release,” listen to the logline; the film follows “a young woman from New York who upends a family she stays with in Los Angeles while working on a movie.” This doesn’t rule out its quality as a film — it’s just funny, is all.

Are you looking forward to any of these films? If you plan on seeing them, will you do so in a theater or on VOD?

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