Hot property

Posted by · 5:21 am · January 21st, 2009

Yesterday I mentioned how Lone Scherfig’s British period romance “An Education,” starring much-buzzed ingenue Carey Mulligan, had become the talk of Sundance, with Fox Searchlight zeroing in on the film.

Now Anne Thompson reports that Searchlight, and several others, have been beaten to the punch by Sony Pictures Classics, who have acquired the North American rights for $3 million:

Fox Searchlight came back into the negotiation on a second round but was unable to close … Also bidding on An Education were The Weinstein Co., Focus Features, Lionsgate and Overture. SPC will launch the film in the fall with an eye on an awards campaign.

Wow, that some hefty interest there. SPC sounds like an appropriate fit for the film, given that they’ve had some success lately with female-skewing arthouse titles like “Rachel Getting Married,” “I’ve Loved You So Long” and their canny acquisition from last year’s festival, “Frozen River” — even if those films’ campaigns have lost some steam over the course of the season.

The news of an awards-oriented release is certainly interesting … could Mulligan be this year’s Ellen Page? Stu Van Airsdale thinks she’s rather better than that, saying that Page’s “Juno” turn comes off looking like “a Lifetime reject” by comparison.

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