Kristen Stewart at Toronto Film Festival
The David Cronenberg / Robert Pattinson collaboration Cosmopolis likely benefited from the media circus erected atop the Kristen Stewart / Rupert Sanders “cheating scandal," which became world news in late July. An offbeat, uncommercial film, this past weekend Cosmopolis opened to solid figures in the United States, collecting $70,339 at three locations, boasting the highest per-theater average on the North American box office chart: $23,446. Expect a similarly enthusiastic reception when Walter Salles' On the Road is screened at the Toronto Film Festival in September, as Kristen Stewart will be attending the event. If reports are to believed, that'll mark her first “official public appearance” since the scandal. [Photo: On the Road Kristen Stewart as Marylou.]
Starring Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, and Kristen Stewart, On the Road premiered at this year's Cannes Film Festival, where it drew mixed reviews. For quite some time, the film, which was shot in 2010, had no North American distributor – despite its stellar cast, On the Road's stream-of-consciousness narrative was deemed too uncommercial. Eventually, IFC Films / Sundance Selects picked it up for a sum “in the low seven figures.” On the Road opens in the U.S. on Dec. 21, clearly for awards-season consideration. [Check out On the Road trailer.]
Kristen Stewart 2012: Free Spirited Marylou
In a way, the “cheating scandal” might actually help people's take on Kristen Stewart's performance as the free-spirited Marylou, who discards both her clothes and society's moralistic restrictions with equal ease. In On the Road, Stewart appears naked and has what amounts to a three-way with Hedlund and Riley's characters.
Twilight's Bella Swan might have been shocked at the thought (or maybe not, considering her Jacob vs. Edward dilemma), but Stewart has shown time and again that she and Bella have about as much in common as Edward G. Robinson and Little Caesar's Rico.
'Kristen Stewart is a trampire' hypocrisy
Will Ferrell recently got laughs and free publicity for his new comedy, The Campaign, by announcing on TV that “Kristen Stewart is a trampire.” On the Road's Marylou would also have been called a “tramp” by hypocritical prudes and moralists – and by opportunists eager to make a quick buck at her expense – both six decades ago and now. Would she have cared? Free spirits don't care about that kind of shit.
Instead, Marylou would likely have shown Ferrell and his ilk a mirror. That would have shut them up. We'll see if Kristen Stewart's On the Road performance achieves the same results. In fact, though hardly a sure thing, don't be too surprised if Stewart's name pops up in Best Supporting Actress citations during awards season. Her early reviews have mostly been quite strong. [Check out: Great Kristen Stewart On the Road picture.]
On the Road cast
In addition to Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, On the Road features Kirsten Dunst, Amy Adams, Viggo Mortensen, Alice Braga, Tom Sturridge, Danny Morgan, and Elisabeth Moss. Both Hedlund and Mortensen have been announced as other Toronto 2012 guests.
Walter Salles' The Motorcycle Diaries collaborator José Rivera wrote the screenplay adaptation of Jack Kerouac's 1951 novel (published in 1957). Brokeback Mountain's Oscar winner Gustavo Santaolalla composed the score, while Francis Ford Coppola is one of the film's executive producers.
Kristen Stewart On the Road picture (Stewart as Marylou): Gregory Smith / Jerry Leider Company.
On the Road movie reedited for Toronto screening
Aug. 28 update: Based on Jack Kerouac's '50s novel, Walter Salles' On the Road movie adaptation starring Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, and Kristen Stewart (photo) will be screened at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival. We all knew that. What we didn't know is that TIFF 2012 will unveil a new cut of the film (via indieWIRE), which premiered last spring at the Cannes Film Festival to mixed reviews.
The 2hr20 million drama has been downsized to approximately 125 minutes. That's an interesting development, as On the Road has already been screened in several countries, with varying degrees of box office success: $2.7 million in France, $1.47 million in Brazil, $423k in Belgium, $248k in The Netherlands, $160,000 in Finland, and $51k in Sweden. [Check out the On the Road trailer.]
On the Road movie reedit hardly unique
On the other hand, different cuts shown in different countries is hardly something new. Whether as a result of poor critical/box-office reception, (perceived) local sensibilities, and/or censorship, the movie you watch in, say, Canada isn't necessarily the exact same movie watched by someone in Singapore, Suriname, or Sweden – even though they may have the same title, director, screenwriters, and actors.
The new cut is clearly a move to make On the Road more “commercial” in the United States, where IFC Films / Sundance Selects will be opening the film for awards consideration on Dec. 21.
IFC Films “honcho” Jonathan Sehring (quite diplomatically) explains below (via indieWIRE), what has taken place:
“The response at Cannes was that some people loved it and some people were respectful of it, like some people loved the book. And Walter took a lot of that to heart. … He's added certain things that weren't in the cut that was in Cannes. He has been in New York and Rio and L.A. working on it the past couple of months, and it's going to be very wet when it gets to Toronto.”
On the Road movie cast
In addition to Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, and Kristen Stewart, On the Road features Viggo Mortensen, Tom Sturridge, Danny Morgan, Amy Adams, Alice Braga, Elisabeth Moss, and Kirsten Dunst. The Motorcycle Diaries screenwriter José Rivera penned the adaptation, while Francis Ford Coppola, who bought the rights to the novel more than three decades ago, is listed as one of the film's executive producers. Brokeback Mountain's Gustavo Santaolalla composed the score.
On the Road box office figures via Box Office Mojo.
On the Road picture: Gregory Smith / Jerry Leider Company.