EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures Classics has acquired world rights to Puzzle, the directing debut of Big Beach principal Marc Turtletaub that stars Kelly Macdonald as a housewife whose life takes a turn when she enters the world of competitive jigsaw puzzling. Film premiered Tuesday evening at the Eccles Theater and the crowd loved it.
Sony Pictures Classics moved quickly and the deal was done fast by ICM Partners. Deal was in the vicinity of $5 million, all in.
While Macdonald has turned in terrific performances in everything from No Country For Old Men to Boardwalk Empire, this is her first lead role in a feature film. A female-driven, coming-of-age story, Puzzle is the story of Agnes taken for granted as a suburban wife and mother until she discovers a passion for solving jigsaw puzzles which unexpectedly draws her into a new world – where her life unfolds in ways she could never have imagined. David Denman, Irrfan Khan, Austin Abrams, Bubba Weiler and Liv Hewson also star.
Script is by Oren Moverman (The Messenger) and directed by Turtletaub, who with Big Beach partner Peter Saraf has scored at Sundance with such films as Little Miss Sunshine and Safety Not Guaranteed. Music is by Dustin O’Halloran (Lion) and an original song co-written and performed by Ane Brun. The film is produced by Wren Arthur, Guy Stodel, Saraf and Turtletaub.
“I could not be more pleased than to partner with Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and their team at Sony Pictures Classics,” said Turtletaub. “Their experience and success in the business is unmatched and their passion and commitment to this film is undeniable.”
SPC co-chief Michael Barker called Turtletaub’s debut “one of the freshest, most endearing independent films in years. Kelly Macdonald’s career best performance offers one surprise after another. Irrfan Khan is right up there with her. So original, so moving, so entertaining, Puzzle will be a movie embraced by everyone. We are also so pleased to be in business with our friends writer Oren Moverman, Peter Saraf at Big Beach, Wren Arthur and Guy Stodel.”
Macdonald is represented by ICM Partners and Independent Talent.