Magazine article Variety

Focus Features Goes Back to Its Indie Roots

Magazine article Variety

Focus Features Goes Back to Its Indie Roots

Article excerpt

FOCUS FEATURES IS back in indie territory roughly a year after the label underwent another massive shakeup.

The company's chairman Peter Kujawski told a crowd of journalists assembled at the beach in front of the J.W Marriott on Friday afternoon that Focus had successfully repositioned itself as a home for top filmmakers. On a balmy day, as the waves lapped against the seashore, he unveiled a slate of films that included movies from Joe Wright, Sofia Coppola, Stephen Frears and Garth Davis that might be in the hunt for Oscar glory.

"We believe filmmakers thrive when they are supported," said Kujawski.

His talk boasted roughly 20 minutes of clips, including footage of "Atomic Blonde," an action thriller with Charlize Theron as a thighhigh- boot-wearing assassin who uses ropes and freezer doors to dispose of her adversaries. That received the loudest applause from the crowd. There was also more awards-baity looks at "Victoria and Abdul," a historical biopic with Judi Dench as an aging Queen Victoria, "Darkest Hour" with Gary Oldman, unrecognizable under pounds of makeup and in a fat suit as Winston Churchill; and "Mary Magdalene," a religious epic with Rooney Mara as an empowered version of Magdalene and Joaquin Phoenix as an ethereal Jesus. …

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