Variety has been given the exclusive first-look image from “The Kindness of Strangers,” the latest film from Lone Scherfig, director of the Oscar nominated “An Education.” The film is a modern-day fairy-tale set in a Russian restaurant in New York.
Zoe Kazan, Tahar Rahim, Andrea Riseborough, Caleb Landry Jones, Jay Baruchel and Bill Nighy star in the film, which is in post-production. HanWay Films represents worldwide sales and distribution rights, backed by Ingenious Media and Apollo Media. Entertainment One will distribute the movie in Canada and SF Studios in Scandinavia.
The film centers on Clara (Kazan), a mother looking to avoid her abusive cop husband; Alice (Riseborough), a shy ER nurse who has found her calling running an eclectic therapy group; Marc (Rahim), an ex-con now turned manager of the restaurant; Jeff (Landry Jones), a young man in desperate need of a job; John Peter (Baruchel), a lawyer with high ethics but low self-esteem; and Timofey (Nighy), owner of the restaurant and the grandson of Russian immigrants. Scherfig wrote the screenplay.
The restaurant at the center of the action serves as “a crossroad as our characters flow in and out of each other’s lives, discovering that their liberation and hopes ultimately lie in each other’s hands,” according to a statement. “In a time of growing insecurity and little mercy, the smallest coincidences and kindness can turn into the most surprising of outcomes.”
Malene Blenkov produced the film for Denmark’s Creative Alliance and Canada’s Strada Films, in co-production with France’s D’Artagnan, Germany’s Nadcon and Sweden’s Unlimited Stories. It is financed with the support of the Danish Film Institute and Telefilm Canada, DR, Copenhagen Film Fund, the Swedish Film Institute, Film Väst, SF Studios, Nordisk Film &TV Fond, ARTE Grand Accord/WDR, Entertainment One and Ingenious Senior Film Fund.