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Those at the Library Theater who witnessed the world premiere of director George Ratliff’s take on novelist Larry Beinhart’s religious murder-satire laughed big in all the right places—due largely to star Greg Kinnear’s pitch-perfect turn as an erstwhile Dead Head seeking redemption in a Southwestern mega church led by a wormy pastor played by Pierce Brosnan.
However, about 40 minutes into the comedy, Harvey Weinstein, seated about eight rows from the front, started to nod off and then shuffled out of the theater. He didn’t return.
That ominous display aside, the film offered a rare reprieve at Sundance to laugh — an opportunity made even more enjoyable by the film’s stellar cast that includes Jennifer Connelly and Ed Harris.
Prior to the film’s screening, festival director John Cooper praised Ratliff and apologized for not accepting the director’s documentary film submission, Hell House. “I’m glad he’s here now, and making features, which is exactly what he should be doing,” said Cooper.
When the lights went up, Kinnear spoke about what drew to him to the project and to want to work with his Matador co-star, Brosnan, again.
“A thriller set in a mega church? I’d definitely never seen that before,” said Kinnear. “I also love Pierce. He’s turned his 007 life upside down and taken huge risks.” He then quipped: “If he were here, he’d say the same about me.”
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