Toronto: A24 picks up 'Under the Skin' with Scarlett Johansson and 'Locke' with Tom Hardy

Posted by · 8:24 am · September 10th, 2013

The funny thing about Jonathan Glazer’s “Under the Skin” is that we pretty much called it. Okay, not in print, but Greg Ellwood and I were talking to A24 publicity at the Telluride Film Festival last week and he put it bluntly: “So, you’ll be picking up ‘Under the Skin,'” he said. “It’s an A24 film if there ever was one.” And so it is.

I’m glad A24 is out there grabbing titles like this, films that challenge even in the indie vein and might not be attractive buys in the current market for the companies that might have grabbed them in the past. And mostly, I’m just excited I’ll definitely be able to see Glazer’s latest, which I kept missing at Telluride and again missed at an LA screening after the fest (it’s been playing Toronto this week).

Greg called the film a “near-masterpiece” at Telluride, noting that “Glazer has created a conversation piece that will be talked about long after the blockbusters of this year and next have come and gone.” He gave high marks to Scarlett Johansson for her performance as well. Guy, meanwhile, called it “the riskiest, most extravagantly sensual and image-fuelled film in Competition at Venice.”

I’m mostly just happy Glazer has finally made another film (and told him as much when I met him briefly up in Colorado last week). It’s been far too long since “Birth” and that film, combined with “Sexy Beast,” showed a filmmaker with a strong, definitive voice. That voice appears to be concentrated all the more in “Under the Skin.”

And by the way, this was A24’s second pick-up of the early fall festival circuit. They also nabbed “Locke,” the Tom Hardy-starrer which premiered to a warm reception in Venice. Guy will chime in with thoughts on that eventually.

The Toronto Film Festival forges on. I was dismayed to read a lot of lack-luster takes on “August: Osage County” last night. Apparently that trailer was cause to worry after all. But I’ll judge for myself when I finally see it. I did, however, catch “Dallas Buyers Club,” which is sensational. Thoughts on that in due time.

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