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Acquisitions – Foreign Films

Disparate “Youth”: Fox Searchlight Fawn over Fonda in Palme d’Or Cannes Contender

The Fox Searchlight folks have always been a label who look towards Youth and they could technically be the first out of the gates among U.S. distributors (the usual suspects include the IFCs, SPCs and Weinsteins) to land a 2015 Cannes Film Fest title. THR reports that a deal is near on Paolo Sorrentino’s second English language feature. The film will likely be included in fall fest showcases in Telluride and TIFF for what could be an awards push for acting perfs from Michael Caine and Jane Fonda.

Gist: La giovinezza tells the story of Fred (Caine) and Mick, two old friends, are on vacation in an elegant hotel at the foot of the Alps. Fred, a composer and conductor, is now retired. Mick, a film director, is still working. They look with curiosity and tenderness on their children’s confused lives, Micks enthusiastic young writers, and the other hotel guests. While Mick scrambles to finish the screenplay for what he imagines will be his last important film, Fred has no intention of resuming his musical career. But someone wants at all costs to hear him conduct again.

Worth Noting: With the exception of his directing debut, this is the filmmaker’s sixth return trip in the Cannes Main Comp. The Consequences of Love, The Family Friend, Il Divo, This Must Be the Place, The Great Beauty all premiered in the section.

Do We Care?: While his first English language film (This Must Be the Place) was a misfire, in the ultimate vote of confidence, it’s always a positive sign when a distrib grabs a Main Comp film prior to the film premiering.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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