May 29, 2017

Focus zooms in on “Beginners” while Image nabs “Passion Play”


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: A few last-minute sales out of the Toronto International Film Festival as the annual event officially drew to a close.

Image Entertainment nabbed the rights to Mitch Glazer’s “Passion Play,” the story of a jazz trumpeter (Mickey Rourke) who might be falling in love with an angel (Megan Fox). “Passion “ wasn’t one of the film we were able to see at TIFF this year. JoBlo wrote in a review that the picture “is a BAD movie. Astoundingly bad. Unfathomably bad. As bad as any film Uwe Boll‘s ever made, and then some.” The L.A. Times adds, “While it is difficult to beat up on something made with as much seemingly genuine sincerity as ‘Passion Play,’ it comes together in such a loopily haphazard way that it is hard to think of it as even much of a movie.”

Meanwhile, Mike Mills’ bittersweet drama “Beginners” found a distributor in Focus Features, which picked up worldwide rights to the Ewan McGregor-Christopher Plummer drama. The film stars the latter as a closeted gay man who comes out to his son (McGregor) after his wife passes away.

I did manage to see “Beginners,” and found it to be a tale of two movies. It was incredibly touching and original when focused on Plummer, but insufferable when it focused on McGregor’s efforts to woo a beautiful actress (Mélanie Laurent of “Inglourious Basterds”).

More information on release dates for the two indie films as they are announced.

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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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