Friday, October 17, 2014

Hey! Go see this!

My friend Matthew Saville is a very successful director.

He's directed features, he's directed high-profile TV movies, and he's directed award-winning TV shows.

But something has eluded him thus far in his professional career:

A U.S. theatrical release date.

That all changes with tomorrow's release of Felony, his police drama that first played at last year's Toronto Film Festival. At that time, he was discouraged about its prospects of getting that coveted U.S. release date, widely recognized as a necessary imprimatur for a film to be taken seriously on the world stage. Even with a cast of known stars, like Joel Edgerton, Tom Wilkinson, Jai Courtney and Melissa George, the film could have still been destined only to "play for a fortnight" (a phrase he used that my wife and I have since privately teased him about) in Australian theaters, and then become a memory.

Well, it's still playing in Australian theaters on the day I write this, October 17th, having been released way back on August 28th. And yes indeed, it's opening in U.S. theaters tomorrow.

I may not like it as much as Noise -- his 2007 feature that got him a trip to Sundance, but never a U.S. release -- but it's in the ballpark. Matt knows what he's doing.

Plus, it's got the great Tom Wilkinson. Who, among his many other talents, can do a very credible Aussie accent.

Like Noise, it's a cop movie, but also like Noise, it's not a conventional cop movie. While that movie dealt with a detective whose pursuit of a murderer is being complicated by a maddening case of tinnitus, this one deals with the ethical quandary when cops try to cover up each others' involvement in a tragic accident. Both films are good food for thought (so seek out Noise if you've never seen it as well).

I saw Felony back on opening night, when I must admit I was one of only a dozen people in the theater. But numbers don't lie. The word of mouth has kept this one going, as Felony has now officially survived another Thursday new release day at Cinema Nova, meaning it's starting it's eighth full week in theaters. That's not a fortnight, Matt. That's four fortnights.

But it may not play for longer than a fortnight in the U.S., so seek it out. You'll be glad you did.

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