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After Monday's screening, 'The Surrogate' scores a deal

Published January 24, 2012 3:24 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

"The Surrogate," which premiered Monday in Sundance's U.S. Dramatic Competition category, has been bought by Fox Searchlight Pictures, the company announced this morning.

Company presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula praised director Ben Lewin's "touching, uplifting look at one man's desire to experience life to the fullest," in a statement, lauding "the brave and indelible performances by John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H. Macy."

The audience at Monday's premiere screening offered two rare standing ovations at the Q-and-A afterwards, according to Tribune movie critic Sean P. Means

In the film, John Hawkes plays the journalist and poet Mark O'Brien, who contracted polio as a child and spent most of his life in an iron lung. The movie employs a blend of light comedy and touching drama to depict how O'Brien, in the course of researching an article about the sex lives of the disabled, worked with a sex surrogate (played by Helen Hunt) to lose his virginity.

Fox Searchlight, who distributed movies such as "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Little Miss Sunshine," purchased worldwide distribution rights for "The Surrogate."

— The Salt Lake Tribune