SPC acquires 'Another Year' at Cannes

Mike Leigh's ensemble drama attracting accolades at festival

In a major film sale at Cannes, Sony Pictures Classics on Tuesday acquired domestic distribution rights to Mike Leigh's "Another Year."

An ensemble drama, the British production has been among the fest's Competition films attracting the most accolades. Lesley Manville, who portrays the film's sadly befuddled Miss Lonely Hearts, is touted as a strong candidate for a best actress award at the fest.

"Year" focuses on a happily married couple, some troubled friends and the nuanced emotions of aging. Other cast members include Jim Broadbent, Oliver Maltman and Ruth Sheen ("Heartless").

Details of distribution plans were unavailable, but at a minimum it's likely that SPC will book "Year" for Oscar-qualifying exclusive engagements in 2010. SPC specializes in foreign-produced films and handled last year's Oscar winner in the foreign-language category, Argentine thriller "The Secret in Their Eyes."

Miramax unspooled Leigh's last pic -- bittersweet dramatic comedy "Happy-Go-Lucky" -- in limited release in October 2008, with the Sally Hawkins starrer ringing up a total of $3.5 million domestically.
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