Brian Brooks is Managing Editor of MovieLine.
This weekend’s roundup of specialty offerings includes three feature newcomers and one filmmaker’s sophomore effort. Dustin Hoffman’s feature directing debut Quartet will launch its regular theatrical run in limited release following a short awards-qualifying run last month. Barry Battles is taking his Black List script (co-written with Griffin Hood) The Baytown Outlaws to theaters with a cast that boasts Billy Bob Thornton and Eva Longoria, while French-born filmmaker Mikael Buch brings to U.S. theaters his comedy Let My People Go! from a script co-written by César-nominated filmmaker Christoph Honoré. And Saved! director Brian Dannelly returns to the big screen with Struck By Lightning, written by and starring Glee‘s Chris Colfer.
Director: Dustin Hoffman
Writer: Ronald Harwood
Cast: Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Billy Connolly, Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
TWC picked up Dustin Hoffman‘s movie last spring for a “moderate price,” noted the company’s president of theatrical distribution Erik Lomis. It centers on a home for retired opera singers whose annual concert is disrupted by the arrival of an eternal diva — also the ex-wife of a resident. “We think of [Dustin Hoffman] as such an icon that it’s funny to think of him debuting anything,” said Lomis who noted TWC will, unsurprisingly, target a mature audience. Lomis noted that Hoffman’s wife encouraged him to officially take on the director role for the first time in his five decade-plus career. “He liked this material,” said Lomis. “It’s a compelling story about how you’re not too old to do what you do or to fall in love. It appeals to mature audience but it’s heart-lifting and inspirational for younger audiences as well.”