I know I'm probably blowing my indie cred (such as it is) with that headline, but I must confess that I hadn't heard about Sidney Lumet's Before the Devil Knows You're Dead until Ryan posted about its "amazing," R-rated trailer, in which the Academy Award-winning Marisa Tomei is featured topless. Ryan's only drawback about the trailer was that it gave away too much of the plot. Now we know why: according to The Hollywood Reporter, the trailer was "unofficial" and was intended only to help sell distribution rights at the Cannes Market. Obviously the trailer was a hit, because ThinkFilm has acquired North American rights to the crime thriller.

Of course, ThinkFilm is too classy to talk toplessness as a selling point. Instead, U.S. theatrical head Mark Urman says: "it's a malevolent toy of a film with a true nest of vipers, very dark and nasty in [a] cynical way, and fun in its structure. It's also connected in spirit to a lot of things Sidney has done, from Dog Day Afternoon to The Anderson Tapes." I'm a huge fan of Lumet's work, especially when he has good material to adapt. Recently I watched Prince of the City again for the umpteenth time; his 1981 drama about police corruption holds up incredibly well.

ThinkFilm plans to open Before the Devil Knows You're Dead in Los Angeles and New York (and maybe Toronto) on October 17 before expanding it over the following three weeks. The film stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke as brothers who decide to rob a jewelry store owned by their parents (Albert Finney, Rosemary Harris). Tomei plays Hoffman's wife; for those who feel they haven't seen enough of her, be advised that the forthcoming U.S. trailer will be suitable for general audiences.

[ via The Reeler ]