The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus turns in an impressive performance in the new film Sunlight Jr., in which he plays Naomi Watts’ shady ex-boyfriend who she once had to put a restraining order on.
In this exclusive clip, Reedus (Justin) shares an intense conversation with Watts (Melissa), who’s pregnant with her disabled boyfriend Richie’s (Matt Dillon) child. Watts and Dillon, though in love, are trapped in a generational cycle of poverty, and must struggle through the daunting hardships that come their way, which includes not only fending off a creepy Justin, but Melissa dealing with an abusive boss and the two of them facing eviction from their already rundown motel.
The first trailer for Naomi’s upcoming movie Sunlight Jr. has recently been released, and you can watch it below. What are your first thoughts on the movie?
Naomi Watt’s ‘Sunlight Jr.’ Gets U.S. Distribution
Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American rights to Laurie Collyer’s indie drama “Sunlight Jr.,” starring Naomi Watts, Norman Reedus and Matt Dillon.
Gravitas will partner with Samuel Goldwyn Films for the release with a pre-theatrical VOD opening followed by a November theatrical release.
The film screened at Tribeca, where Ronnie Schieb gave it a strong review for Variety: “Incandescent performances by Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon and an unerring grasp of strip-mall-dominated Florida distinguish ‘Sunlight Jr.’ the latest feature from writer-director Laurie Collyer (‘Sherrybaby’).”
Watts’ character, a hard-working convenience store employee with a disabled boyfriend (Dillon), is trapped in a generational cycle of poverty. She becomes pregnant, loses her job and is evicted from the motel they live in.
Collyer directed from her own script. Charlie Corwin, Andrea Roa and Ariel Elia produced with William Dietrich, Simon Fawcett, Joshua Skurla, Dan Klabin and Fisher Stevens exec producing.
Deal was negotiated by Nolan Gallagher of Gravitas and CAA, Untitled Entertainment, and Roger Kass on behalf of the filmmakers.
Earlier this week, Entertainment One set a Nov. 1 U.S. opening for “Diana,” starring Watts as Princess Diana.
Hello Naomi fans! Sorry for the shortage of updates here recently – real life has become busy, and as wonderful as Naomi is, she’s had to take a back seat for a while. This may continue for a while, but be sure I will update as often as I can.
I have now caught up with adding photos from all the events Naomi has attended in the past couple of months. Read through this post for a rundown of those appearances…
Naomi and Liev looked cool and casual at a benefit event for Stuart House, a program to support sexually abused children:
Naomi mingled with fellow Aussie actress Abbie Cornish and a variety of stylists at THR’s Stylists Luncheon. Naomi’s stylist, Jeanann Williams, dressed her in a blue and white floral print dress by Erdem, with nude Jimmy Choo ‘Anouk’ pumps and a nude Valentino ‘Rockstud’ clutch. Read more about the Stylists issue here.
Naomi, Matt Dillon and director Laurie Collyer premiered their new movie Sunlight Jr. at the Tribeca Film Festival. Naomi wore a patterned Alexander McQueen dress with Monique Péan earrings. More on this premiere and movie coming soon!
Naomi made the Children’s Museum of Art Spring Benefit a family affair, taking her kids, sister-in-law and niece to the event in New York City! See the cute family photos below!
Diana was screened privately at the recent Cannes Film Festival to attract buyers, and Naomi was in town to help promote the movie. She attended a gala event hosted by Swiss watch company IWC Schaffhausen, and looked so beautiful in a black floral tea-length dress by Dolce & Gabbana, with earrings from Aurélie Bidermann. I love this look on her! More on Diana coming soon.
Naomi sported a Burberry top and skirt with Proenza Schouler heels for last weeks Up2U’s Inaugural Gala in New York City. Naomi posed with Sienna Miller on the red carpet. Up2Us is an organisation aiming to tackle the problems facing youth today through an increased involvement in sport. Read more about them in the event press release further down this post, and on their official website.
• Up2Us Inaugural Gala x43
The late-April New York festival released the first half of its slate Tuesday, which includes a mix of narrative dramas and documentaries.
The world’s greatest melting pot will host a film festival with true international flair — and some star power.
Following last week’s announcement that a documentary about and concert featuring local rock band The National will kick off this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, the organization announced the first half of its competition slate Tuesday.
Opening the narrative competition will be the rural drama Bluebird, the full-feature debut of writer-director Lance Edmands. The film, about the dramatic events in a Maine logging town, stars Amy Morton along with Girls star Adam Driver, Mad Men’s John Slattery and Justified Emmy winner Margo Martindale.
The world documentary competition will open with Big Men, about corrupt oil companies in Africa and executive produced by Brad Pitt, and the Viewpoints section will kick off with Flex Is King, about New York City street art.
Notable stars in the festival include Russell Crowe, who narrates a documentary about Bordeaux wine called Red Obsession; Matt Dillon and Naomi Watts, who feature as a paraplegic and his pregnant wife in Sunlight Jr.; Ben Kingsley in A Birder’s Guide to Everything; and Jena Malone and Ben Whishaw as narrators of the documentary Teenager.
The full slate of announced films is below, with synopses provided by the festival:
Sunlight Jr., directed and written by Laurie Collyer. (USA) – World Premiere. Quickie-mart employee Melissa (Naomi Watts) and paraplegic Richie (Matt Dillon) are very much in love. Supported only by Melissa’s small hourly wage, they are nevertheless thrilled to learn that Melissa is pregnant. Then their situation deteriorates, and their tenuous financial situation threatens to bring their happy life crashing down. Norman Reedus also stars in this a moving romantic drama from Laurie Collyer, director of the Golden Globe-nominated Sherrybaby.
- Hollywood Reporter (includes full Tribeca line-up)
USA Today have published this really interesting new interview with Naomi. I particularly loved the quotes about her from Kate Hudson, J.A. Bayona and Sunlight Jr. director Laurie Collyer. It will be added to our Press page in a minute … I have a feeling lots of new press interviews will be popping up in the next few weeks, so if you’re interested in reading that kind of thing, be sure to keep checking our Press page, as I may not post about each and every new addition.
Nothing is ‘Impossible’ for Naomi Watts
The Oscar nominee balances demanding roles with an equally rich family life.
Oh, and she’s terrified, understandably so, of dying and leaving her two young sons behind. It all goes back to her childhood. Watts’ dad, English road manager and sound engineer Peter Watts, passed away in 1976, when his daughter was 8, and her memories of him are a blank.
So you might wonder why Watts decided to tackle the lead in The Impossible, a grueling, harrowing film that required her to be soaked for six long weeks – and had her playing a real-life woman who gets separated from two of her three sons after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami destroys their resort.
“I was struck by (my character’s) sense of courage and heroism. It’s deeply impressive. She hates to be thought of that way, by the way. It’s so miraculous that her family survives. She came so close to dying and she was certain she would. She had to believe that the last thing she left behind was this message to her son, which was to help others,” says Watts, 44, of playing Dr. Maria Belon, who is vacationing in Thailand with her husband (Ewan McGregor) and their trio of boys when the tsunami hits and splits them up.
Whilst browsing Google Images for various Naomi things, I just came across this previously unseen photo taken on the set of Sunlight Jr. last year. It gives us our first look at Naomi’s characters look in the film, and shows her wearing the uniform for the place she works – Sunlight Jr. I don’t know who the other person in the photo is – probably an extra in the film? I found the photo here.
The film was recently previewed for buyers at the Cannes Film Festival. Below is a synopsis from IMDB, and you can find this first set photo in our Gallery.
Sunlight Jr. is a love story set in the ruins of the American dream. Melissa is a convenience store clerk who lives in a motel with her paraplegic boyfriend, Richie. When they learn they are going to have a baby, they are genuinely excited. But when she loses her job and they are evicted from the motel, they face difficult choices about life and their relationship.
Sunlight Jr. will be revealed to the industry this month at the Marche Du Film, which is the largest film marketing event taking place alongside the Cannes Film Festival. Apparently it the largest market for film distribution deals in the world. A promotional reel/extended trailer will be shown to potential international distributors at the festival.
I don’t know whether this means it will be screened to the press, or just to industry buyers, and I don’t know whether this means that Naomi will be at Cannes to promote the film. I guess we will find out more soon. It’s great that the film is being unveiled at this festival, and I hope it gets bought quickly!
The gritty, inspirational drama SUNLIGHT JR. will be unveiled to international buyers by Hyde Park International at this year’s Marche du Film (the business counterpart of the Cannes Film Festival). Written and directed by the award-winning Laurie Collyer (SHERRYBABY) and starring Naomi Watts (J. EDGAR, KING KONG), Matt Dillon (CRASH, THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY) and Norman Reedus (THE BOONDOCK SAINTS, THE WALKING DEAD). The film is produced by Original Media’s Charlie Corwin (HALF NELSON, THE SQUID AND THE WHALE), Freight Yard Films’ Andrea Roa and Ariel Elia, who is producing on behalf of Empyrean Pictures. Joshua Skurla and Dan Klabin are executive producers for Empyrean, which fully financed the film, and are joined by Simon Fawcett (HOW TO LOSE FRIENDS & ALIENATE PEOPLE, IN THE LOOP) as executive producer.
SUNLIGHT JR. is currently in post-production and a promo will be shown at Cannes. Shot on location in southern Florida, the story spotlights hard-working convenience store clerk Melissa (Naomi Watts) and her paraplegic boyfriend, Richie (Matt Dillon), who are trapped in a generational cycle of poverty and ignorance. They are genuinely excited, however, once they learn that Melissa is pregnant. But when she loses her job and they are evicted from the motel they live in, things go from bad to worse. Through this adversity, the couple realizes that they can never lose everything as long as they have each other.