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Focus’s “Funny Story,” with Zach Galifianakis, could find way into the Oscar race

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Focus Features sent us a list of the next few pictures they’d be handling. And while I immediately gravitated toward Anton Corbijn’s “The American,” because it looks to feature George Clooney in both a cool and lethal role (it opens Sept. 1), it turns out we’re learning more about Focus’ next comedy this afternoon, instead.

The title is “It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” and it will platform in multiple cities beginning Sept. 24. Set in New York City, the film follows Craig (Keir Gilchrist), a teenager who is so stressed he checks himself into a mental health clinic. Because the youth ward is closed, Craig lands in the adult ward, where he is mentored by fellow patient Bobby (Zach Galifianakis of “The Hangover” and “Dinner for Schmucks”).

The reason I’m so interested? It’s the latest picture from filmmaking team Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, who delivered the devastating “Half Nelson,” with Ryan Gosling, and the earnest “Sugar,” about an up-and-coming baseball player struggling to survive in the minor leagues.

Focus tends to put their focus (sorry) on Oscar contenders in the second half of the year, so I’m wondering if “Funny” has that kind of potential. Emma Roberts, Viola Davis, Zoë Kravitz, Lauren Graham, and Jim Gaffigan co-star, lending suitable heft to the ensemble. And MTV recently posted a few new pics from the film to help introduce the cast.

The interesting movie season is right around the corner. Truthfully, it can’t get here soon enough.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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One Comment

  • July 13, 2010 | Permalink |

    i’m with you sean. can’t wait to see this. the buzz i’ve heard is that it’s going to be the breakout indie of the year.
    zach galifianakis giving an oscar acceptance speech? yes please.

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