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Annual Top Films Lists

Top 100 Most Anticipated Films of 2013: #98. Phil Morrison’s Almost Christmas

Almost Christmas

Director: Phil Morrison
Writer(s): Melissa James Gibson
Producer(s): Touchy Feely Films’ Daniel Carey and Elizabeth Giamatti, SKE’s Sidney Kimmel and GreeneStreet Films’ John Penotti
U.S. Distributor: Rights Available
Cast: Paul Rudd, Paul Giamatti, Sally Hawkins

Remember when Amy Adams was the new “it” girl back in 2005? It was because of Phil Morrison’s own splash onto the indie scene with the small town meets city dweller problems in the kitchen, but non-sink drama Junebug. It might be a cause for concern that Morrison hasn’t directed since, but when he wasn’t directing he was the executive producer on Kelly Reichardt’s Wendy and Lucy & Meek’s Cutoff — very much meeting our indie film cravings. While Almost Christmas appears to be a brand of dirty scoundrels comedy that works only on paper, we’re hoping Paul Rudd and Paul Giamatti offering French Canadian accents falls into the Bad Santa-esque category of holiday pics.

Gist: Written by first time scribe Melissa James Gibson, Guy and Rene (Giamatti and Rudd) are a French Canadian odd couple on the loose in New York City. It’s the holidays and these ex-cons have a get rich quick plan to sell Christmas trees. For happy go lucky Rene it’s a chance to make some easy cash, but when competition comes from the Mob he’s left out in the cold. Guy can’t stand Rene because Rene’s sleeping with his ex-wife. But he’s determined to get them their money, even if it means falling in love along the way.

Release Date: A Sundance debut was not in the cards for the formerly titled “Lucky Dog”, so this holiday comedy might be squeezed into the fall film festival calender. We now think a TIFF showing is possible if Toronto wants to poke fun at its rival city, Montreal – we expect distribution will likely be in place prior to what would logically be a year end offering.

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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