September 14, 2013 - 11:36 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Roadside Attractions has picked up U.S. rights to Fred Schepisi’s adult romance, Words and Pictures, which had its world premiere during the Toronto Film Festival, The Hollywood Reporter said.
The film, produced by Latitude Productions’ Curtis Burch in association with Dallas-based Lascaux Films, stars Clive Owen as a washed-up writer and Juliette Binoche as a prickly artist who clash at the school where they teach. They launch school-wide debate over whether literature or painting is best.
Voltage Pictures is handling international rights to the film and presented the project to buyers at the Toronto Film Festival.
“Fred Schepisi’s charming film Words and Pictures features great performances by Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche -- in an uplifting, crowd-pleasing film about teachers who change the lives of both their students and each other with their passions for learning, life and the arts,” said Roadside's co-president Howard Cohen.
At the fest, Roadside also picked up U.S. rights to thriller Therese, and, with Lionsgate, Elmore Leonard's Life of Crime and David Gordon Green's thriller Joe.
“Fred Schepisi’s Words and Pictures is .. light but full of sparkling dialogue, and rich with surprisingly acute knowledge of the human soul. Sophisticated cinema-goers might feel tempted to skip the seemingly conventional story of a romance between two middle-aged art teachers, sensing the sweet, romantic sauce that dominates popular cinema.
Dina Delsanto (Juliette Binoche) is a valued painter who, due to a physically limiting illness–rheumatoid arthritis can be a professional kiss of death for an artist!–tries to find a new language of expression. She also teaches teenagers art and recently changed schools, now taking her first steps in Croyden, where Jack Marcus (Clive Owen) is a veteran. Once a respected writer and accomplished poet who was employed by the school on the wave of his success, he has long been in a creative stupor. Beloved by students for his playfulness and passion, he’s not that enjoyable for the school board, which does not support his carefree approach to teaching and his growing alcohol problem. During one of her classes, Delsanto tells students that words are “lies” and “traps,” so Marcus, a dedicated worshiper of language, calls for a “war ” in which two opposing student parties representing those two fields of art will “fight” under the leadership of their mentors. What will win, words or pictures?
It sounds like a recipe for sugar-coated disaster. But Schepisi’s film is closer to the romantic vision of Before Sunrise than the mass-produced idyllic studio productions that have their protagonists live “happily ever after.” Gerald Dipego’s script is something to admire, precise but charmingly light. There’s some intriguing trouble on display here, and the film is a successful portrayal of changing times in which everything that once mattered slowly loses value,” a review published at Movie Mezzanine said.