‘Biutiful’ goes to Roadside, ‘Good Things’ to Magnolia

Posted by · 12:37 pm · August 25th, 2010

This announcement has been imminent for a couple of weeks now, but I guess the i’s (and lowercase j’s) and t’s are finally crossed and dotted.

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Biutiful” will be distributed by Roadside Attractions and Liddell Entertainmnet.  Roadside also has indie “Winter’s Bone” in the mix this year and got its awards season feet wet for the first time last year with “The Cove.” There will, I imagine, be a considerable push for Javier Bardem in the lead actor race.

The film was generally well received, but while there were rabid advocates, there were also a fair share of detractors, making for a tale of two movies.  Our own Guy Lodge called it “an effortfully solemn amalgamation of personal crises and social concerns” that “paints from too limited an emotional palette for its high-stakes story of parental duty, in the face of hovering mortality, to hit home the way it should.”

The film will play the fall festival circuit.  I’ll have a look then.

Meanwhile, Magnolia Pictures has acquired “All Good Things,” the narrative feature debut of “Capturing the Friedmans” director andrew Jarecki.  This one has been sitting around gathering dust for a while but a December release indicates, I suppose, a level of confidence in awards prospects.  I did hear great things about Kirsten Dunst’s performance once upon a time.

Then again, a reader reported the following yesterday:

I went to a test screening last year and it was horrible. Waste of Gosling, Langella, Philip Baker Hall etc. Terrible Terrible.

Wait and see and all, but ouch.

→ 14 Comments Tags: , , , | Filed in: Daily

14 responses so far

  • 1 8-25-2010 at 12:45 pm

    Drew said...

    Great news. I assume that this puts Bardem as the front-runner for the best actor race.

  • 2 8-25-2010 at 3:21 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Drew: Hardly. He’s as good as you’d expect, but it’s a foreign-language performance from a recently-awarded actor in a divisive, tough-sit arthouse pic. Roadside hasn’t much experience in this area either. A nom is quite conceivable, but from where I’m standing, he’s a long shot for the win.

  • 3 8-25-2010 at 7:33 pm

    med said...

    what does lowercase j’s refer to?

  • 4 8-25-2010 at 8:25 pm

    Drew said...

    Med, I believe it’s a reference to Wayne’s World.

  • 5 8-25-2010 at 8:49 pm

    The Other James D. said...

    How could you assume such inane notions? He’ll be lucky to even nab a nod. Looks meh anyway.

    Glad to hear about All Good Things at least getting the chance to speak for itself. I’m always iffy about troubled project, but note that Matthew Starr did not chide Dunst; that could either be interpreted as:

    A) She was good, at least;


    B) Not much talent to waste to begin with.

    I’m gonna lean towards A, unless Dunst was somehow reduced to “etc.”, which is odd. We shall see.

  • 6 8-25-2010 at 9:09 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Advantage Drew.

  • 7 8-25-2010 at 9:13 pm

    Drew said...

    James, umm the fact that like Guy said he is as good as you’d expect him to be, great reviews and remarks about a performance that earned him the best actor prize at the Canne film festival in May, and a previous oscar winner with a tremendous amount of talent. Biutiful looks like an amazing and a challenging film that’s far from “meh.” Relax, James.

  • 8 8-25-2010 at 9:19 pm

    The Other James D. said...

    I love Bardem, but doesn’t change the fact he’s in another Babel retread.

  • 9 8-25-2010 at 9:21 pm

    Drew said...

    Well, you haven’t seen the movie, so it is a little early to make that definite assumption.

  • 10 8-25-2010 at 9:24 pm

    The Other James D. said...

    I’m still going to see it. But stylistically and structurally, it’s another intersecting-storyline-with-drugs-and-foreigners. So edgy <3.

  • 11 8-25-2010 at 9:33 pm

    Drew said...

    Well, those are focuses that Gonzales certainly uses frequently, but it doesn’t look like a rehash of a prior work. Mind you it is a Spanish film, hence the “foreigner” part. And I get the impression that it has one central concentration on Bardem instead of the global ensemble that Babel was. It also seems to have more hope within it, I’m guessing with the third act, then Babel had. I liked Babel very much and thought it was a very powerful film with excellent performances, but it’s subject matter was so bleak and it offered little to no silver lining by it’s close.

  • 12 8-25-2010 at 9:40 pm

    The Other James D. said...

    Yeah, I wasn’t fully enamored with Babel myself, but I thought 3/4 of it were great. The Pitt/Blanchett subplot was the weakest, imo, and the best time to stretch my legs and crack my neck. But the Kikuchi/Barraza components were terrific, and I also loved the brothers segment as well. I wish Boubker got more credit, because he was terrific.

    Bah, anyway, tangent. I gave it a B+ I think–really good, but I was left a little cold on both viewings. Hopefully Bardem, Portillo, et al, can surprise me a bit. I would love for AGI to apply this cinematic structure to a variety of other topics. It’d be more interesting to see him stretch outside of his comfort zone, that’s all.

  • 13 8-25-2010 at 9:51 pm

    Drew said...

    There clearly subjects that affect him very much and he’s obviously a filmmaker with a great deal to say. And now teading this territory again he’s probably only grown has a filmmaker with his latest passion project since Babel. The few reviews I read from Canne coupled with the recent announcement have me very excited for the movie.

  • 14 8-26-2010 at 4:23 am

    Princess of Peace said...

    It has no interconnecting stories. The film has a linear storyline. So it is definitely different from Inarritu’s other films. Don’t judge the film until you see it.