Apparition will release ‘The Young Victoria’ Stateside

Posted by · 4:06 pm · August 10th, 2009

Emily Blunt in The Young VictoriaBob Berney’s new outfit is filling out nicely, having acquired “Bright Star” out of Cannes, announcing plans to release Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” in 2009 last week and now, snatching the domestic rights to Jean-Marc Vallee’s “The Young Victoria.”  Anne Thompson has the scoop:

Over the weekend, Apparition closed a U.S. distribution deal for Toronto Film Festival closer The Young Victoria, starring Emily Blunt in what could be her breakout role carrying a movie as the youngest British monarch. As is typical these days, the new distrib run by Bob Berney and backer Bill Pohald did not put up a minimum guarantee, but rather beat out several competitors (including Miramax, Overture and Roadside Attractions) by committing to $4.5 million in P & A and a 250-screen release. Appariiton will open the movie November 13.

Guy saw the film upon its UK release and wasn’t particularly impressed by it, indicating that there was not enough “incident and complication in Julian Fellowes’s unusually trim script to sustain our interest in its heroine.”  Emily Blunt may yet find some room if the BAFTA block shows its support.  But even Guy offered high marks for co-star Rupert Friend, who might be someone to watch in the supporting actor category.

Regardless, costumer Sandy Powell might have jumped headlong into the Oscar race with this pick-up.  Apparition already has a period piece in “Bright Star” to promote in the technical categories, and Powell, of course, will be well-represented in Julie Taymor’s “The Tempest” (where I have her predicted presently).  But it’s always good to have multiple irons in the fire when it comes to these fields.

There are still a number of films awaiting domestic distribution.  “The Young Victoria” will close this year’s Toronto International Film Festival after a number of them will have played and, perhaps, found a buyer.  The season sure is beginning to take shape.

→ 5 Comments Tags: , , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

5 responses so far

  • 1 8-10-2009 at 4:11 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Yeah, that gives Powell a nice boost, even if the film is far from her best work.

    I still think there’s nothing for Blunt here. The character is written on precisely one level throughout, and people should see straight through that, despite the Oscar-y trappings of the role.

    I do love Rupert Friend’s work here, though. Almost film-saving, though I fear too gentle for much awards notice.

  • 2 8-10-2009 at 6:24 pm

    Chase Kahn said...

    Kind of sounds like “The Duchess” — an okay, kind of bland period-costume drama with an interesting young English actress in the lead.

  • 3 8-10-2009 at 6:54 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    That’s more or less it, Chase — except “The Duchess” was slightly more compelling in the telling, and Keira Knightley was given a lot more room to flex.

  • 4 8-10-2009 at 6:55 pm

    Encore Entertainment said...

    @ Guy Lodge: I don’t think the problem with this will be that Blunt’s role was written on one level I just think that despite it being written on one level she cannot raise the bar. Emma Thompson one of my favourite best Actress winner’s played a character in Howards End that was almost on the same level throughout, but she was just a better actress.

    That being said, I hope it’s positively reviewed.

  • 5 8-10-2009 at 7:06 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Encore: You’re right that Blunt carries some of the blame for the character’s flatness in this case, though I do think she’s capable of elevating thin material. (For my money, she’s actually the most alert cast member in “The Devil Wears Prada,” and that role is terribly conceived on the page.)

    I totally disagree with you, however, about Thompson and “Howards End”: Margaret Schlegel is an astonishingly complex character in the way she alternately rejects and is seduced by social status. Subtle, certainly, but multi-levelled.