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Jason Reitman, Diablo Cody film “Young Adult” gets first poster – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell I’m still surprised — make that shocked — that Jason Reitman’s “Young Adult,” with a script by “Juno” collaborator (and Oscar winner) Diablo Cody, is skipping the fall film festival circuit. Even if Reitman had decided to hold his film out of Telluride and Venice, a world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival – practically the filmmaker’s backyard – seemed like a no-brainer.

But Paramount is keeping “Adult” under wraps until we get closer to its Dec. 9 opening. We’re hearing all sorts of explanations why, most centering around the fact that Cody’s story isn’t afraid to get very dark. Reitman’s film centers on a thirtysomething adolescent (Charlize Theron) sent into an tailspin when she returns home and fails to win back her ex-boyfriend (Patrick Wilson). Emotionally battered, Theron’s character strikes up an unlikely friendship with Patton Oswalt, playing another ex-classmate who also has refused to let the high-school glory days fade.

The decision to bypass the fall festivals set off internal alarms. If “Young Adult” was as good as we’d hoped, Paramount would bring it to TIFF, where Reitman would be guaranteed solid reviews. Right?

Lest we think the studio’s not prepared to make an awards push, however, Paramount strategically released a one sheet exclusively to THR, helping to put the film on readers’ (and writers’) radars right as we head into the awards-season push. We have it below.

The poster’s clever. It looks like the cover of a young adult novel, which Theron’s character reportedly pens in the movie. But the photo also captures Theron’s arrested development.

I still can’t figure out why Paramount skipped Toronto, where Reitman collected accolades for all three of his films, including eventual Oscar nominees “Up In the Air” and “Juno.” TIFF seems like a slam dunk for a movie like this that needs to build buzz. But Paramount has a plan. Let’s see how it unfolds.

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