Woody Allen‘s To Rome with Love kicked off the Los Angeles Film Festival earlier this evening. LAFF runs June 14-24, mostly at the L.A. LIVE entertainment complex in the downtown area.
Allen was in attendance, telling the crowd (quote via Movieline’s Twitter page): "If you like [To Rome with Love], I want you to tell your friends and pressure Sony so they don’t put it in the witness protection program. If you hate it and think it was a waste of time coming, don’t let me know because I get depressed easily."
To Rome with Love Italian box office
To Rome with Love opened on April 20 in Italy, where Allen’s omnibus comedy has taken in a solid $9.63 million — to date, the country’s eighth biggest box-office gross of 2012. (Midnight in Paris collected $11.86 million last year.) Sony Pictures Classics will release To Rome with Love in the United States on June 22.
Worth noting: In Italy, To Rome with Love was distributed by Medusa Films, which has no less than five movies among the top ten on the 2012 box-office chart. The others are Luca Miniero’s Benvenuti al nord / Welcome to the North; Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano’s The Intouchables; Paolo Genovese’s Immaturi - Il viaggio; and Fausto Brizzi’s Com’è bello far l’amore / Love Is in the Air. In other words, having a strong, savvy distributor can make a hell of a difference to an “independent” film’s popular success.
Written and directed by, and featuring Woody Allen, To Rome with Love boasts an eclectic cast: Life Is Beautiful‘s Oscar winner Roberto Benigni, Vicky Cristina Barcelona‘s Oscar winner Penélope Cruz, and The Social Network‘s Oscar nominee Jesse Eisenberg, in addition to fellow Oscar nominees Ellen Page, Judy Davis, and Alec Baldwin, plus Alison Pill, Greta Gerwig, Riccardo Scamarcio, Alessandra Mastronardi, Alessandro Tiberi (also featured in Immaturi - Il viaggio), Isabella Ferrari, Antonio Albanese, Flavio Parenti, and veterans Giuliano Gemma and Ornella Mutti.
Ellen Page / Jesse Eisenberg / To Rome with Love photo: Philippe Antonello / Sony Pictures Classics.