EXCLUSIVE: While my colleague Nancy Tartaglione has reported a somewhat soft market midway through Berlin, seeds are being planted for a lot of deals that might not bear fruit until Cannes. Domestic and foreign buyers have been watching a lot of sizzle reels. It’s a risky way to buy a movie, but sometimes it’s a lot better than having to sit through a whole picture in between all those meetings because these presentations usually range from five to eight minutes on in-progress films.
Some of these will get deals before the week is out, and on some it starts a dialogue that leads to an onslaught of deals at Cannes, when distributors really need to plug holes in release schedules. For sure, some of these films will likely factor in next year’s Oscar race. I’ve seen this kind of salesmanship lead to splashy sales on films that have included Looper, The Iron Lady and Drive. The titles most buzzed about that I’ve heard are Grace Of Monaco, and Diana on the prestige circuit, and on the genre circuit, there is the Eli Roth cannibal extravaganza The Green Inferno. Here are the ones I’ve heard about that are whetting the appetite of buyers in Germany right now.
Grace Of Monaco, the Olivier Dahan-directed drama that stars Nicole Kidman as Princess Grace and Tim Roth as Prince Rainier III, about how the former Hollywood star became an important ally for her husband in a dispute between Monaco and France over tax laws in the 1960s.
Two Faces Of January, the Hossein Amini-directed thriller that stars Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen and Oscar Isaac; Diana, the Oliver Hirschbiegel-directed drama that stars Naomi Watts as Princess Diana covering the last two years of her life before a tragic fatal car crash.
Dom Hemingway, the latest film directed by Richard Shepard and starring Jude Law as the title character, a safe cracker forced to do 12 years for keeping his mouth shut, and looks to get reimbursed when he’s back on the streets.
Serena, the Suzanne Bier-directed Depression era drama that re-teams Silver Linings Playbook stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, about a timber magnate who discovers that his wife is unable to have children.
A Most Wanted Man, the Anton Corbijn-directed drama that stars Rachel McAdams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright and Daniel Bruhl in the tale of a Chechen muslim who emigrates illegally to Hambug and finds himself in the center of the international war on terror.
Tracks, the John Curran-directed fact-based drama that stars Mia Wasikowska as Robyn Davidson, a young woman goes on a 1,700 mile trek across the deserts of West Australia with her four camels and faithful dog.
On the genre front, there are two prime titles I’ve been hearing about:
The Green Inferno, the Eli Roth-directed thriller about a group of New York-based student activists who venture to a remote jungle in Peru and find they are on the menu when they encounter a tribe of cannibals.