Sales out of the Toronto International Film Festival started slow, but the market is picking up. As evidence, I present news of three new acquisitions. IFC Films will leave Toronto with at least a trio of films, now that they’ve added Your Sister’s Sister, 4:44 Last Day on Earth, and The Incident to their upcoming slate. Meanwhile, Oscilloscope entered the game with a high-profile acquisition: Andrea Arnold’s adaptation of Wuthering Heights.
Hit the jump for more on each film, including cast and synopses.
Your Sister’s Sister
Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Mark Duplass star in Your Sister’s Sister, the “touching comedy” written and directed by Lynn Shelton (Humpday). IFC has plans for a summer 2012 release. The synopsis:
A year after his brother’s death, Jack (Mark Duplass) still see-saws between emotionally wobbly and outright volatile. When he makes a scene at a memorial party, Iris (Emily Blunt) intervenes with a plan: Jack must oil up his old bike and trek to her father’s cabin on an island on Puget Sound, where isolation will give his brain a chance to detangle. When Jack gets to the woods, however, he finds not solitude but Iris’ sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt), herself nursing a wounded heart and a bottle of tequila. After several shots and some slurred commiseration, liquor isn’t the only fluid these two end up sharing. Their hangover descends in the form of Iris, who pulls up with a bag of groceries the next morning.
4:44 Last Day on Earth
THR brings news of the 4:44 pickup. The ensemble drama written and directed by Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant) first premiered at the Venice Film Festival, led by Willem Dafoe, Shanyn Leigh, Paz de la Huerta and Natasha Lyonne. I’m confused about what the title 4:44 Last Day on Earth is trying to say, grammatically, but the synopsis helps clarify:
In a large apartment high above the city lives our couple. They’re in love. She’s a painter; he’s a successful actor. Just a normal afternoon – except that this isn’t a normal afternoon, for them or anyone else. Because tomorrow, at 4:44 am, give or take a few seconds, the world will come to an end far more rapidly than even the worst doomsayer could have imagined. The ?nal meltdown will come, not without warnings, but with no means of escape. There will be no survivors. As always, there are those who, as their final cigarette is being lit and the blindfold tightened, will still hope against hope for some kind of reprieve. For a miracle. Not our two lovers. They – like the majority of the Earth’s population – have accepted their fate; the world is going to end.
Variety first reported on IFC’s third acquisition, The Incident. Rupert Evans, Kenny Doughty, Joseph Kennedy, Dave Legeno, Marcus Garvey, and Richard Brake star in the thriller directed by Alexandre Courtes. The synopsis:
George (Rupert Evans), Max (Kenny Doughty) and Ricky (Joseph Kennedy) play in a band together, struggling to record their first album and performing small gigs between shifts cooking for the inmates of the high-security asylum where they all work. Their kitchen is separated from the cafeteria by a large window with a small slot, through which they’re able to observe the patients from a safe vantage point. Except for the dispatching of food and medication, their average workday requires little interaction with the disturbed men, who veer between violent outbursts and near catatonia.
This banal routine is interrupted just before dinner one evening, when a storm knocks out the power in the hospital, trapping the three young men in the kitchen and disabling the security systems that keep them safe from the precarious lunatics on the other side of the glass. Help should be on its way, but until it comes, the bandmates must protect themselves from the raging psychopathy that threatens to crack the barrier.
James Howson, Kaya Scodelario, Steve Evets, and Nichola Burley star in the latest film version of Wuthering Heights. Arnold’s take on the material is said to be very stark and distinctive—more expressionist than literal in adaptation. I’m curious, so I’m glad to hear I’ll get a chance to see it. The synopsis:
In a remote farmhouse on Yorkshire’s nineteenth-century moors, Mr. Earnshaw brings home a wary biracial boy, whom he names Heathcliff. Adopted into the family under Christian values, Heathcliff’s new presence is met with mixed feelings. Hindley, Earnshaw’s teenaged son, treats him with contempt, while Catherine, Hindley’s younger sister, embraces the outsider with curious warmth. An intense relationship begins to form between Heathcliff and Catherine as they play on the moor. Their pleasant days are brought to an abrupt end, however, with Mr. Earnshaw’s death. Hindley takes control of the farm and drives Heathcliff away. Edgar, the son of a wealthy neighbouring family, courts Catherine in marriage. Torn between love and reason, Catherine’s decision sets the three of them on a tragic course.