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Roadside Attractions near deal to distribute Alejandro Gonzalez Inaritu’s Biutiful

It looks like Biutiful, the latest film from one of my favorite auteur’s Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel), might get stateside distribution from Roadside Attractions, the specialty division of Lionsgate.  According to Deadline, the deal could be completed as soon as the end of the week and they plan on getting it out before the end of the year for awards consideration.

The curious thing to me is that the film is already being distributed by internationally by Focus Features.  Why don’t they just distribute it in the United States?  The film is not exactly box office gold, according to reports from Cannes it is very bleak, but since when has Focus Features been in the business of turning out commercial hits.  The film was extremely divisive at Cannes but those who loved it really loved it and Iñárritu’s and Bardem’s names carry enough cache among movie geeks to buzz up some interest.

The positive thing is that it greatly improves the chances of my favorite film of the year so far, Winter’s Bone, doing well around awards season.  This does prove that ‘Roadside’ is serious about competing with the likes of Fox Searchlight.