As previously announced, "The Last Five Years" will celebrate its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival Sept. 7 at 8:30 PM at the Ryerson Theater.
RADiUS co-presidents Tom Quinn and Jason Janego said in a statement, "For the romantic of heart, 'The Last Five Years' is a love story that delivers across the board. Richard has done an extraordinary job with Jason Robert Brown's music and lyrics. Anna Kendrick continues to impress – what a voice! and, Jeremy Jordan is bound for stardom. Those familiar with the show will be thrilled with the faithful adaptation and audiences everywhere are in for a real treat."
LaGravenese added, "'The Last Five Years' has been one of the greatest creative experiences I've ever had. Working in the independent film world with such extraordinary talent gave me the freedom to make the movie I wanted. And now to have RADiUS as our distributor is really a lucky break. RADiUS is at the forefront of re-inventing film distribution for today's audiences."
Composer Brown said, "What started as the tiniest spark of an idea 15 years has now blossomed into this miracle of a movie that gets so deeply and honestly into the souls of the characters I created. I couldn't be happier with what Richard, Anna and Jeremy have brought to life, and I couldn’t be happier that it’s found a home at exactly the right company."
Quinn and Janego negotiated the deal with CAA. The exchange is selling international at TIFF, and the production is represented by attorneys Iddo Arad and Hayden Goldblatt of Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz PC. The film was produced by Lauren Versel of Lucky Monkey Pictures, Kurt Deutsch of Sh-K-Boom Records and Janet Brenner. LaGravenese is also a producer.
The Last Five Years, Brown's semi-autobiographical, two-person musical that documents a five-year relationship of a couple falling in and out of love, is adapted and directed by LaGravenese ("P.S. I Love You").
Kendrick stars as Cathy, a struggling actress who falls in love with rising Jewish novelist Jamie Wellerstein, played by Jordan. The musical explores their relationship from both points of view through a series of solo songs — Cathy telling the story in reverse chronological order, and Jamie starting from the beginning (the pair only comes together at their wedding, the turning point of the show).
The film screened earlier this year at Lincoln Center, where Kendrick, Jordan, LaGravenese and Brown were on hand to talk about the adaptation. Playbill.com recapped the film and the event here. Here's how TIFF describes the USA world premiere of the film: "In this adaptation of the hit Broadway musical, 'The Last Five Years' is a musical deconstruction of a love affair and a marriage taking place over a five year period. Jamie, a young, talented up-and-coming Jewish novelist falls in love with Cathy, a Shiksa Goddess and struggling actress. The film, told almost entirely through song and a beautiful pop music score, portrays an honest, heartbreaking, often funny, exploration of love and its consequences on individual identity. Starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan."
The film version of The Last Five Years was shot in various locations across New York City, and it features cameos and appearances from actors and creatives involved in the musical's history.
The film stays true to its source material — which premiered in Chicago in 2001, opened Off-Broadway at the Minetta Lane Theatre in March 2002 and was, most recently, revived at Off-Broadway's Second Stage Theatre — and enhances each musical moment. Viewers are invited into Cathy and Jaime's passionate bedroom, the Ohio stock theatre that Cathy reluctantly travels to each summer, Jamie's various book signings and office at Random House publishing company and Central Park, where the couple is engaged, among others.
The Off-Broadway production won 2002 Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Music and Outstanding Lyrics and was nominated for Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Actor, Outstanding Actress, Outstanding Orchestration and Outstanding Set Design.