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TIFF: Magnolia Acquires ‘The Brass Teapot,’ in which Temple and Angarano Strike Deal with Dishware

TIFF: Magnolia Acquires 'The Brass Teapot,' in which Temple and Angarano Strike Deal with Dishware

Magnolia Pictures has picked up North American distribution rights for “The Brass Teapot,” starring Juno Temple and Michael Angarano, following the film’s debut at the Toronto International Film Festival. The black comedy follows a broke newlywed couple who discover a magical teapot that rewards physical pain with cash.

The film is the debut feature of commercial and music video director Ramaa Mosely. Darren Goldberg of Atlantic Pictures, Kirk Roos of Northern Lights and James Graves are producers.

Here’s a more extensive film description from the TIFF programming notes:

Alice (Juno Temple) and John (Michael Angarano) are young, in love, and completely broke. While their more successful friends enjoy a life of luxury and comfort, the two struggle to pay the bills. Just as their financial troubles are reaching their peak, they get into a fender-bender in front of a roadside curiosity shop. Moved by an unseen force, Alice is drawn inside the shop towards an antique brass teapot and, acting on a whim, steals it.

As the days pass, the luckless couple soon realizes this is no ordinary teapot: it miraculously produces wads of cash whenever Alice or John feels physical pain — the greater the pain, the greater the payout. Excited by this unimaginable (and freakish) turn of events, they gleefully rack up injuries, raking in enough dough to pay off their debt and move out of their tiny bungalow into a lavish mansion on the rich side of town. After years of monetary woe, the nouveau riche pair finally has the affluent lifestyle they’ve always dreamed of: they drive fast cars, wear designer clothing, dine at expensive restaurants, and hobnob with their fellow elite. But the teapot’s funds begin to dwindle, demanding bigger and bigger sacrifices from the couple to maintain their excessive expenses — until it becomes clear that John and Alice must up the stakes.

Despite the film’s macabre premise, Mosley eschews graphic violence for a more whimsical, Tim Burton–esque treatment, buoyed by Temple and Angarano’s sharply funny performances as the loopy, increasingly frenzied Alice and hapless, good-natured John. A zany yet bitingly incisive satire, The Brass Teapot demonstrates that the myth of the American Dream is a dangerous one — and there is no such thing as a quick (or painless) solution.

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