Lynne Ramsay’s tough adaptation of Brit bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin (December 2), one of my favorite Cannes competition films, has a new poster and two new trailers, one domestic, one foreign (below). Oscilloscope is releasing, and PR ace Cynthia Swartz, who is currently negotiating her split from PR firm 42West–she was a founding partner–will be handling PR chores at the Venice and Toronto festivals en route to an Oscar shot.
Truth is, the film debuted to mixed reaction in Cannes, where it failed to land any awards. Safe to say it won’t be in the New York Film Festival, as Richard Pena loathed the creepy movie, which tends to have a polarizing effect, especially on parents, some of whom feel uncomfortable with its sympathetic portrait of a mother (Tilda Swinton) who never bonds with her malevolent son (Ezra Miller). Swinton, though, gives the performance of her career; she has won the Oscar before (supporting actress for Michael Clayton). With Swartz behind her, she has a shot at a best actress nomination. Swartz is the best Oscar campaigner there is (see The Hurt Locker, Crash, The Social Network). She learned her stuff at Miramax and the Weinsteins have missed her ever since. (They’ve got her back: she’s working on Madonna’s W.E., which is showing in Venice and Toronto.)
My sense is that part of the reason for Swartz’s departure from 42West, which is a powerhouse agency looking for big billings on celebrity and studio clients, is her growing identity not only as an Oscar strategist but fierce advocate for the indies. (Swartz won’t discuss her departure.) She recognizes how powerful a PR ally can be for a microbudget self-distributor or her frequent client Oscilloscope. Another movie she is taking to Toronto, where it will be seeking a distributor, is Oren Moverman’s latest, cop drama Rampart, reuniting The Messenger‘s Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster, a movie Swartz also masterminded for Oscilloscope. Swartz will thrive as chief of her own indie shop.