Striving for legitimacy, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ books Berlin Film Festival premiere

12.22.14 3 years ago

Focus Features

Sam Taylor-Johnson”s “Fifty Shades of Grey” will arrive to theaters in February 2015 with a handicap. Even if it”s artfully crafted, sensual and romantic, and joins “Basic Instinct,” “Eyes Wide Shut,” “Body Double,” “Little Children,” “9 1/2 Weeks” in the pantheon of Hollywood kink, it”ll still carry a burden: E.L. James” e-book source material. “Fifty Shades” that swept a nation and embarrassed the lit-savvy.  The book has an audience, selling over 100 million copies since its 2011 release. But it”s also the butt of many a joke; When rumors leaked that Emma Watson was up for the film adaptation”s lead role, Anastasia Steele, she tweeted “'Who here actually thinks I would do 50 Shades of Grey as a movie? Like really. For real. In real life.'” Salman Rushdie thought “Fifty Shades” made “'Twilight' look like 'War and Peace.'”

Half-baked material can be mined for transcendent film experiences, so no one should count Taylor-Johnson”s film out just yet. The Berlinale isn”t. Announced through press release, the Berlin International Film Festival announced that “Fifty Shades” would celebrate its international premiere at the fest”s 65th incarnation. Debuting on Feb. 11, 2015, two days before its American release, the film will play one time and one time only. 

Adapted from James” novel by “Saving Mr. Banks” writer Kelly Marcel, “Fifty Shades of Grey” stars Jamie Dornan (“Marie Antoinette,” Netflix”s “The Fall”) and Dakota Johnson (“The Social Network,” Fox”s “Ben and Kate”) as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, who take a workplace relationship to the next level with sexy gazing and BDSM toys. The film marks Taylor-Johnso”s follow-up to her 2010, BAFA-nominated film “Nowhere Boy.” Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti alongside James.

'Fifty Shades' joins new films from Terrence Malick and “Weekend” director Andrew Haigh in the announced Berlinale line-up. Darren Aronofsky will dominate over the competition films as Jury President.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” slips in to U.S. theaters on Feb. 13, 2015.

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