The Western comedy world-premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival, and played at the Berlin International Film Festival in February. The movie is also screening Monday at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, the home town of the Zellner brothers.
Patinson plays an affluent pioneer who ventures across the American frontier to find and marry the love of his life, played by Wasikowska. David Zellner portrays a drunkard named Parson Henry who travels with Pattinson and a miniature horse, as their once-simple journey grows treacherous, increasingly blurring the lines between hero, villain, and damsel.
“We’ve been incredibly fortunate working with Great Point Media in making ‘Damsel’ and are thrilled to be partnering with Magnolia for the release; their enthusiasm means so much to us,” the Zellners said. “Robert and Mia are amazing in the film and doing things we’ve not seen them do before. It’s meant to be seen big and loud, and we’re excited that it will have a proper life on the silver screen before being (lovingly) watched on iPhones while multitasking.”
The film was produced by the Zellners and Chris Ohlson. The deal was negotiated by Magnolia’s Dori Begley and John Von Thaden, with ICM Partners and Robert Halmi of Great Point Media on behalf of the filmmakers.
“‘Damsel’ is a comedy of attitude made with the indulgent touch of an art Western. That’s a refreshingly original thing, though it’s not as blow-you-away cool as the filmmakers seem to think it is,” Variety film critic Owen Gleiberman wrote in his Sundance review.