The Railway Man
Director: Jonathan Teplitzky
Writer(s): Frank Cottrell Boyce (Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story) and Andy Paterson
Producer(s): Archer Street Productions’ Andy Paterson, Chris Brown and Bill Curbishley
U.S. Distributor: Rights Available
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Jeremy Irvine, Hiroyuki Sanada
Teplitzky got the type of career jump start with 2011’s TIFF preemed Burning Man (read our review) which would then land him this meatier, dramatically charged, set to be a tear-jerker tale that is based on an autobiography which was the source material for a television drama. Co-written with Frank Cottrell Boyce, The Railway Man features the top tier fivesome of Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Jeremy Irvine and Hiroyuki Sanada, and could be an awards contender for all the right reasons if executed with button pushing restraint and top notch perfs.
Gist: During World War II, Eric Lomax (played by Colin Firth) is a British officer who is captured by the Japanese in Singapore and sent to a POW camp, where he is forced to work on the Thai-Burma Railway. During his time in the camp he is tortured by an officer and meets a fellow POW (played by Ben Rossberg). Years later, and still suffering the psychological trauma of his wartime experiences, Lomax is persuaded by his wife Patti to find and confront one of his captors. Accompanied by his best friend (played by Skarsgard), Lomax returns to the scene of his torture and manages to track down his captor, Japanese officer Takashi Nagase (played by Sanada), from the prison camp, “in an attempt let go of a lifetime of bitterness and hate”
Release Date: With May and June world release dates in place for several world territories, I imagine a festival such as Cannes might be a longshot for the world premiere. With Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgård, expect a distribution deal in place prior to a festival date. Year-end theatrical release would be logical.