Last year’s “breakout” film from the Sundance Film Festival, Whiplash, went on to win three Oscars and land a Best Picture nomination, so this year’s most buzzed-about film has some big shoes to fill. Whether it gets “Oscar buzz” or not, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a great film, and now we know when the rest of the world will get to see it. Fox Searchlight and Indian Paintbrush announced today that they have set a July 1st limited release for the teen drama, which won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award for Best U.S. Dramatic Feature at Sundance (a feat that Whiplash also accomplished.
Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (American Horror Story), Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is based on the novel of the same name by Jesse Andrews (who also wrote the script) and revolves around a Criterion Collection-obsessed high school senior (Thomas Mann) who is talked into spending time with an acquaintance classmate (Olivia Cooke) who has recently been diagnosed with cancer.
This is one of those movies whose premise sounds terrible when said aloud, but trust me on this one (or just read my full review): the movie is really, really good. Comparisons could be drawn to (500) Days of Summer and The Fault in Our Stars, but Me and Earl differs from the deluge of YA movies in one significant way—it’s not a love story, it’s a friendship story. The filmmaking is impressive, the performances are fantastic, and fans of cinema will find a lot of laughs here, but ultimately it’s a sweet, emotionally impactful story about people. That’s a rarity these days, and it’s certainly something to celebrate.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl will be opening opposite heavyweights Magic Mike XXL and Terminator: Genisys on its July 1st date, but my hope is that the limited rollout gives it time to build awareness. This movie deserves an audience, so I encourage anyone who likes movies (and if you’re reading this, I assume you do) to check it out. Click here to watch Steve’s interview with Gomez-Rejon from Sundance.
And in other release date news, another highly anticipated 2015 movie now has a debut date. Prisoners and Enemy director Denis Villeneuve’s action drama Sicario will open on September 18th in limited release before expanding wide on September 25th. Emily Blunt stars as an idealistic FBI agent who is enlisted by members of a government task force (Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro) to take out a Mexican cartel boss. The pic’s nationwide expansion will happen opposite the Nancy Meyers comedy The Intern, Hotel Transylvania 2, and the Kate Beckinsale-fronted horror pic The Disappointments Room.