Depending on who you ask, the Sundance screening of “Son Of No One” was either an epic disaster or simply a poor movie met with the reception it deserved from the press and industry folk in attendance. While there were some early reports of an “exodus” of people throughout the screening, The Film Stage delivered what appears to be the most honest account of what happened, saying “There were intermittent walkouts leading up to this moment, but no “exodus.” In what was to be believed the ‘final’ scene of the film, Montiel employed some odd (i.e. flabbergasting) editing choices which caused laughing, head-shaking, and groaning from a variety of audience members including myself. After the scene ended the title card came up “Based on the book: Story of Milk,” but no lights were raised. This slight confusion caused some audience members to gather their things and start to get up, but soon after we saw additional scenes wrapping up the plot. Many sat back down to finish the film, and this caused more groans since most already gathered their belongings to exit. Once those additional scenes ended, the lights came up and many exited as quickly as possible. With many needing to get to another screening, or do writing, this ended in a similar fashion, as with all press and industry screenings.”
Yet, despite the bad buzz that surrounded the pic (and the mostly tepid reviews that followed), Cassian Elwes who was repping the film at the festival said that he had already received three offers following the screening and a deal has now been made. Deadline reports that Anchor Bay picked up the film for a cool $2 million bucks. And really, it’s not that surprising that the film still got a deal and commanded a pretty decent selling price. It features a pretty solid cast including Channing Tatum, Al Pacino, Katie Holmes, Tracy Morgan, Ray Liotta and Juliette Binoche and its no-brainer to sell to audiences — the indie distributor should have no problems getting people at least interested in seeing it, but just don’t expect it to hit in a wide release.
Anchor Bay has given a P&A commitment to open the movie in ten of the top twenty film markets which pretty much means that depending on how it well it plays in those cities will determine if it will go any further than that before hitting DVD. We have to admit, we’re still kind of curious about “Son Of No One” but given the mediocre trailer and generally half-hearted reactions for the film, we’re not keeping our hopes up.