Sony basks in ‘Afterglow’

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired the Cannes-preemed romantic comedy “Afterglow,” starring Nick Nolte and Julie Christie, and are targeting a December release with a heavy push for Oscar nominations.

Screened as a special presentation in May, the film was heralded as a major return for the Oscar-winning actress and a potential crossover success for filmmaker Alan Rudolph.

Pic will make its North American debut at the Toronto Film Fest next month as a special presentation.

“We fell in love with the picture,” Sony Classics co-president Michael Barker said. “There was tremendous interest in the acquisitions community following the screening, but I don’t think very many people had a strong sense of how to market it. Alan’s films don’t fit a standard mold and that’s why they work so well for the specialized moviegoer. I think ultimately our passion for the film clinched the deal.”

Produced by Robert Altman for Moonstone Entertainment, the film follows the intertwined lives of two couples living in Montreal. In addition to Nolte and Christie, the film stars Lara Flynn Boyle and Jonny Lee Miller of “Trainspotting.”

Rudolph, who served as an assistant and producer on many of Altman’s films in the 1970s, made his feature directing debut with “Premonition” in 1972. His subsequent films have included “Welcome to L.A.,” “Choose Me,” “The Moderns” and “Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle.”

“It’s gratifying to have people tell you that your films have had an influence on their work,” Rudolph said. “But it’s hard for me to assess a consistent style or theme in my movies. Each film has had unique challenges and many, especially this one, have turned out better than I could have hoped for because of the collaboration between the actors and crew.”

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