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Acquisitions – Indie Films

Damaged Goods: Broad Green Pictures Addicted to Adam Salky’s I Smile Back

While top tier Sundance items in Rick Alverson’s Entertainment, Josh Mond’s James White and Matt Sobel’s Take Me to the River are still without a distributor, the more than a dozen selections in Sundance’s U.S. Dramatic Comp are, at quick glance, close to being all snapped up. Deadline reports that Broad Green Pictures are going to give some tough love to I Smile Back, an addiction drama that was an audience and critic divider back in January. In what could be the distributor’s lead horse in the awards-worthy season, no mention has been made about a release date, but we imagine that this will be positioned sometime during the fall season. The company has a slate of about eight pictures (including Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room which might premiere in Cannes) awaiting release.

Gist: Written by Amy Koppelman (who authored the book) and Paige Dylan, Adam Salky’s sophomore pic sees Silverman play a woman who seems to have it all: she’s an attractive, intelligent, devoted mother of two adorable children and is married to the perfect guy (Josh Charles – Bird People), living in a pristine house with a shiny SUV in the driveway. Beneath this facade, she is depressed and disillusioned and it sends her careening into a secret world of reckless compulsion. Only very real danger will force her to face the painful root of her destructiveness and its crumbling effect on those she loves.

Worth Noting: From Dare to I Smile Back, Salky (check out our trading card series profile) is currently working on a web-series titled Drinks!. I think we see a pattern…

Do We Care?: Less tranquil, and more of an in-your-face type of melodrama, Silverman and Charles are serviceable, commendable poster adults for the sub-genre. While I Smile Back contains a little bit more verve than say upper crust portraits of Ordinary People or more recently, Still Alice, it is rough around the edges, and some might find that it struggles to shake off the self-awareness template.

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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