Now this is more like it, frankly. When Sony Pictures had control of Gus Van Sant‘s romantic drama “Restless” under its purview, the film curiously was slotted in the throwaway January season (January 25 to be exact), which seemed fairly odd for a picture from a two-time Oscar nominee, considering his last film “Milk” earned eight Academy Award nominations in 2008.
Starring Mia Wasikowska, Henry Hopper, Schuyler Fisk and Ryo Kase, the film centers on the story of a terminally ill teenage girl (Wasikowska, looking her most Mia Farrow with a shorn ‘do) who falls for a boy (Hopper, Dennis’ son) who likes to attend funerals and their encounters with the ghost of a Japanese kamikaze pilot from WWII (Kase). And yeah, that last line is what throws people and perhaps earned the films some early, “wtf-is-that?” type buzz.
And while early trailers weren’t perfect, a mix of feel-good rom-com dramedy and quirk, they still revealed something that looked many rungs above the fare that usually gets slotted in the January dumping ground. Fortunately January came and went and the film’s release was pulled to a TBD date. Now, it has been moved to the company’s specialty division Sony Pictures Classic (as was rumored) and while some may see it as a downgrade move, SPC is a more thoughtful programmer and will likely know how to carefully market and promote the picture.
“Having known and admired Gus’ work for years, we are so pleased to be releasing his newest film, which to our mind, is one of his very best. We are also thrilled to be working with producer Bryce Howard and the impressive team at Imagine,” Sony Pictures Classics reps said in a statement release today.
While no firm release date yet, SPC is evidently eyeing a fall release, which probably means the film will skip Cannes and will turn up during the fall film festival season, our guess is the Toronto Int. Film Festival (though past rumors also had it pegged for a Cannes bow, so we could be wrong).
So crisis averted for the Gus Van Sant film. While the picture is still probably not the easiest sell in the world — though we read the script by Jason Lew and dug it — it’ll still likely get a better, more deserving shake in the fall by arthouse audiences or film festival-going viewers then it would’ve next to “The Mechanic” or “The Rite” that were scheduled that same weekend. Sure, it’s no “Super Hero Film 7,” but we’re still very curious. Here’s the trailer again if you need a reminder.