Amazon Studios has nabbed North American rights to Phyllida Lloyd’s “Herself,” an Irish drama about a woman who builds her dream house after escaping an abusive marriage, Variety has learned. The streaming service is planning a theatrical release for later this year.
The movie debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, where it enjoyed a warm reception and glowing reviews. Variety‘s Peter Debruge predicted that “Herself” could be a major awards season contender, writing, “I’m convinced this inspirational Dublin-set drama could go all the way. … Don’t be surprised if people are still talking about ‘Herself’ this time next year, when Lloyd could be the sixth woman to break the Oscars’ glass ceiling.”
Despite the reception, the Dublin-set film does present commercial challenges — namely, it lacks any big-name stars. Clare Dunne stars in the film and wrote the screenplay. She plays a woman with two adorable daughters (Molly McCann and Ruby Rose O’Hara), who is trying to break away from the husband who beat her. Harriet Walter, Conleth Hill and Ian Lloyd Anderson also star.
Lloyd is a distinguished theater and film director, currently on Broadway with “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.” She also directed the box office phenomenon “Mamma Mia!” and “The Iron Lady,” which earned Meryl Streep an Oscar.
Producers are Rory Gilmartin, Sharon Horgan and Ed Guiney, with executive producers Andrew Lowe, Clelia Mountford, Rose Garnett, Alison Thompson and Mary Burke. The film was co-developed by Element Pictures (“The Favourite”) and Merman (“Divorce”). “Herself” is backed by Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI), BBC Films and the BFI (with National Lottery funding).
Cornerstone Films is handling worldwide sales and negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers.
Amazon’s upcoming movies include “Sound of Metal,” a drama with Riz Ahmed, and “Radioactive,” a biographical drama with Rosamund Pike as Marie Curie.