Two icons are back in action this weekend as Roadside Attractions presents the comedy Moving On with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin on close to 800 screens, hoping it will connect with female audiences.
Focus Features also opens Willem Dafoe-starring Inside from Vasilis Katsoupis on 350+ screens.
It’s been relatively quiet on the specialty front. “There’s not that much out there for this audience right now,” said Howard Cohen, co-president of Roadside Attractions. “I think this is the opportunity that we felt — it’s after the Oscars and before the Sundance movies and summer movies.”
Fonda and Tomlin have a great alchemy. They co-starred in 1980’s 9 to 5, played together for seven years on the Netflix sitcom Grace and Frankie and co-led the recent 80 for Brady. The cast of their Paul Weitz-directed Moving On, which premiered in Toronto, also includes Malcolm McDowell and Richard Roundtree. Deadline review here. It’s wide for specialty, and Cohen said it’s a good sign that the trailer got more than 7 million views. Fonda and Tomlin have been promoting the film on social media and TV appearances from The View to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. It trailered heavily before 80 for Brady.
Wide releases and franchises have been arriving with more regularity, but specialty film has been slower to pick up the pace of new releases. “We don’t have a flow like that in the indie world. There hasn’t been much for specialty audiences since the fall,” Cohen said. “Part of it is, if you build it they will come. You need a reasonably steady diet of these movies that [people] want to see. It’s getting that habit back.”
“We are going to be patient,” he said, echoing other indie distributors.
Fonda and Tomlin play estranged friends who reunite to seek revenge against the husband of their recently deceased best friend, making peace with the past and each other.
Psychological thriller Inside marks the directorial debut of filmmaker Katsoupis. Dafoe is Nemo, an art thief trapped in a New York penthouse after his heist doesn’t go as planned. Locked inside with nothing but priceless works of art, he must use all his cunning and invention to survive. It premiered in Berlin. Deadline review here.
Janus Films presents The Innocent at the IFC Center in NYC. Louis Garrel’s comedy won the César for Best Original Screenplay for the director and co-writers Tanguy Viel and Naïla Guiguet, as well as best supporting actress for Tár star Noemie Merlant. It also led the nominations with 11. Garrel, Roschdy Zem and Anouk Grinberg also star in the film about a suspicious young man who tries to derail his mother’s new relationship with recently released convict. Premiered at Cannes. Deadline review. It adds Laemmle LA on April 7 and select theaters nationwide after.
Also in specialty: Niu Vision Media/Beyond Events open Chinese blockbuster Full River Red by Yimou Zhang in 150+ theaters in 50+ markets. In 12th century China, an ambassador is killed and a letter meant for the emperor is stolen. As the search for the letter unfolds, alliances are formed, secrets are revealed, and no one can stop the truth that’s destined to leave its mark on history.