Toronto 2010: Lionsgate goes down the 'Rabbit Hole'
The rain fell heavily in Toronto Thursday, and the deals kept pouring down too as Lionsgate picked up North American rights to grieving-mother drama "Rabbit Hole." The Nicole Kidman film, which elicited mostly favorable reviews when it premiered earlier this week, will likely be released in 2010. That should help fill out the ranks of the Oscar best actress race, which until now had been considered fairly thin.Adapted from David Lindsay-Abaire's stage hit and directed by John Cameron Mitchell, "Rabbit Hole" centers on a mother (Kidman) coping with the loss of a young child, with Aaron Eckhart playing Kidman's husband.
The move marks Lionsgate's second acquisition of the film festival; it previously joined Roadside Attractions in acquiring Robert Redford's period morality play "The Conspirator." Though the company is not primarily known for awards fare, the pickup was reminiscent of its 2006 acquisition of Alzheimer's drama "Away From Her." That film wound up landing star Julie Christie a best actress Oscar nomination.
It also means that numerous distributors now have bought multiple movies at the festival; others to walk away with their pockets full are IFC, Sony Pictures Classics and the Weinstein Co.
-- Steven Zeitchik
Photo: Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart in "Rabbit Hole." Credit: JoJo Whilden