“This isn’t a touching, romantic story.” That’s a teaser line from the first trailer for Fox Searchlight’s Sundance triumph Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, which dropped today. The quirky drama struck a chord with attendees in Park City, where the film won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award. The fact that Fox Searchlight picked up the film nearly ensures its increased visibility and, perhaps, potential awards consideration down the road.
The film revolves around a high school senior and amateur schlock filmmaker named Greg (Thomas Mann, Beautiful Creatures), who strikes an unlikely friendship with a girl named Rachel (Olivia Cooke, The Quiet Ones), who is battling leukemia. As their relationship grows, Greg decides to make a movie in an effort to cheer up Rachel with the aid of his “co-worker” Earl (newcomer RJ Cyler). Nick Offerman (The Kings of Summer), Molly Shannon (Bad Teacher), Jon Berenthal (The Wolf of Wall Street), and Connie Britton (This Is Where I Leave You) co-star. The film was directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, the seasoned and Emmy-nominated television director behind shows including American Horror Story and Glee, and written by Jesse Andrews, who adapted the Black List-endorsed screenplay from his own novel.
It will be interesting to see if Fox Searchlight can use their magic to turn Me and Earl and the Dying Girl into a crossover hit. As a distributor, Fox Searchlight has been enjoying an enviable track record recently, with two consecutive Best Picture Oscar wins for 12 Years a Slave and Birdman. The Sundance seal of approval has also proven to be pretty lucky in the last few years, as recent Grand Jury Prize winners like Precious (2009), Winter’s Bone (2010), Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012), and last years’ Whiplash have all been nominated for Best Picture.
But we might be getting a bit ahead of ourselves. In the meantime, watch the first trailer for Me and Earl and the Dying Girl below. The film is slated to open in on June 12.