Sophie and the Rising Sun’: Sundance Review


Prejudice clashes with free-thinking in the WWII-era South in Maggie Greenwald’s Sophie and the Rising Sun, an adaptation of Augusta Trobaugh’s novel about a small-town woman who falls for a mysterious Asian newcomer. Though one cringes a bit that Julianne Nicholson’s Sophie gets title billing while the character’s equally intriguing partner, played by Takashi Yamaguchi (Letters from Iwo Jima), is referred to with generic indirectness, the picture works on its own old-fashioned moralistic terms. Moviegoers allergic to stories of enlightened white people helping defenseless minorities should steer clear, but its gentle righteousness will go down easily with cable auds.

‘Becoming Mike Nichols’: Sundance Review


One of the oldest adages in show business is to leave ’em wanting more, and Mike Nichols does just that even from the grave in Becoming Mike Nichols, a short, funny and illuminating interview-based documentary that will leave theater and film mavens both satisfied and hungry for many additional courses.

Sundance: Michael Shannon-Imogen Poots Drama ‘Frank & Lola’ Lands at Universal


Universal has acquired Matthew Ross’ drama Frank & Lola. A source pegged the deal at $2 million.

Though the studio is buying the adult drama, it won’t do the releasing. Instead, a third party, still to be determined, will give the film a theatrical release, likely Focus World or a specialty distributor.

Set in Las Vegas and Paris, the film stars Michael Shannon and Imogen Poots as a couple trapped in a cycle of love, obsession, sex, betrayal, revenge and eventually redemption. Ross also wrote the screenplay.