Cannes Opening-Night Film 'Everybody Knows' Bought by Focus Features
The film stars Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz.
Focus Features has acquired Cannes film festival opener Everybody Knows (Todos Los Saben), directed by Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, and starring Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz and Ricardo Darin.
Focus has bought the film for the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, select Asian territories and the Middle East, apart from Iran. It already had the film in Spain.
"Asghar is a world-class filmmaker whose work transcends language," said Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski. "Matching his talents with these emotionally charged performances from Penelope, Javier and Ricardo will leave audiences captivated."
Farhadi, an Academy Award winner for The Salesman and A Separation, wrote and directed the Spanish-language psychological thriller, which follows Laura (Cruz) on her travels from Argentina to her small hometown in Spain for her sister’s wedding, bringing her two children along for the occasion. Amid a joyful reunion and festivities, the eldest daughter is abducted. This leads to various family and community tensions surfacing, and secrets exposed.
The Focus deal had closed prior to the Tuesday-night premiere, according to a source, with Netflix understood also to have been in the hunt.
UTA Indie Film Group and Memento Films International negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmaking team. Farhadi is represented by UTA. Everybody Knows was produced by Alexandre Mallet-Guy of Memento Films and Alvaro Longoria of Morena Films.
"Instead of another perceptive family drama that examines questions of morals and personal responsibility from different sides, [Farhadi's] latest feature — and his first in Spanish — has a more overt genre touch, revolving around a kidnapping and a ransom sum that needs to be found in a place where most villagers turn out to have more grievances than money," THR said in its review. "The result is an odd, somewhat underwhelming hybrid that’s part talky thriller, part family drama, though the package of Farhadi plus stars Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem should nonetheless make this a fairly appealing proposition at art houses worldwide."
A version of this story appears in The Hollywood Reporter's May 10 daily issue from the Cannes Film Festival.