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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

September 17, 2010 at 11:32 AM

“Rabbit Hole” gets a deal, and more news for the weekend . . .

As this busy Toronto-to-Seattle week draws to a close, here’s a roundup of movie news:
— “Rabbit Hole,” the Nicole Kidman/Aaron Eckhart drama directed by John Cameron Mitchell from David Lindsay-Abaire’s Pulitzer Prize-wining play, has landed a distribution deal, just days after its Toronto International Film Festival screening. Lionsgate has purchased the film and plans to release it in time for an Oscar campaign. I’ve seen the film and will be stunned if Kidman doesn’t get nominated for her work as a grieving mother — it’s her best performance in years — and think that Cameron, Lindsay-Abaire (who seamlessly adapted his play for the screen), Dianne Wiest in a supporting role, and maybe Eckhart have a shot as well. Beautiful work all around.
— In the category of Stuff We Knew Was Coming, Casey Affleck has finally admitted that everything about the Joaquin Phoenix “documentary” “I’m Still Here” was fictional, and that Phoenix for two years pretended to be a drug-addled rapper as an acting exercise. Raise your hand if you’re shocked.
— Now this sounds interesting: Sacha Baron Cohen has signed to play Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the band Queen, in an upcoming biopic to be scripted by Peter Morgan (“Hereafter,” “Frost/Nixon,” “The Queen”). Mercury died in 1991 of complications from AIDS. The filmmakers have obtained rights to “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You,” “We Are the Champions,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” and other trademark Queen songs; it hasn’t yet been determined whether Mercury’s vocals will be used or whether Cohen will sing. (He did sing, quite well as I recall, in “Sweeney Todd.”) The film, which does not yet have a director hired, is aiming for a 2011 release.
— And finally, with the horror movie “Devil” opening in theaters this weekend (without screening in advance for press, which is really a shame, as this movie’s premise completely cracks me up), it seems appropriate to share some advice on what to do if you just happen to be trapped on some random elevator with Satan. New York Magazine kindly consulted the director of communications at Otis, the world’s largest elevator manufacturer, and asked him what to do. “If you’ve got, so to speak, the devil inside the elevator, press the call button,” he said. Now we know.
Have a lovely weekend, all, and watch out on those elevators . . .

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