The premiere of “Dark Places,” “Gone Girl” writer Gillian Flynn’s second novel-to-film adaptation brought out Sophia Loren, a traffic snarl on Sunset, and filled the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood with A-list talent Tuesday night.
Stars Christina Hendricks, Charlize Theron celebrated the dark thriller at the party hosted by distributor A24, although the two female leads do not share any scenes.
“Dark Places” tracks two tragic timelines set 30 years apart. Hendricks plays Theron’s mother in the story that follows Charlize’s character Libby Day, the lone survivor of a sensational family murder when she was a child. Now an adult, she is broke, desperate, and looking to cash in on her fading notoriety by accepting paid interview appearances. This sends Libby down a path that leads to her recanting the testimony that landed her teenage brother in jail decades ago.
Theron’s “Mad Max” co-star, Nicholas Hoult, plays a self-made detective who guides her through various twists and deceitful turns on the quest for the truth.
There was no Hoult in Hollywood on Tuesday, but a certain Italian screen legend more than over-compensated for his absence.
Sophia Loren was the surprise guest of the night, which boasted an impressive showing for a film that has already been on DirecTV for over a month.
Also filling seats at the Harmony Gold Theater for the premiere were “Dark Places” producer/WIF President Cathy Schulman, producer Gary Michael Walters (who produced Ryan Gosling’s “Lost River” in which Hendricks also played a single mother making questionable last-grasp decisions), producer Ron Yerxa, Moby, and Hendricks’ “Mad Men” co-stars, Rich Sommer and Michael Gladis.
“We have been working for five years so we have no words left,” director Paquet-Brenner told the crowd. “We’re just exhausted. If you don’t like it, don’t tell me after at the Chateau Marmont please.”
Reaction to the thriller was similar to the Svedka jalapeño grapefruit cocktails at the post-party — mixed and slightly icy, but thankfully, nobody overtly registered that sentiment with Paquet-Brenner. As Chateau hostess Anya Varda floated through the courtyard, the mood was more like the homemade cookies on offer from the runway caliber waitstaff: warm.
Theron’s Libby Day may not be the new “Amazing Amy,” but she did disappear somewhere between the screening and the Marmont party. Andrea Roth (“Rescue Me”), who plays the adult incarnation of Chloe Grace Moretz, Darin Pfeiffer, Jared Eng and Zoe Lister-Jones also took in the Apothic wines hosted party.
As mentioned, the release pattern is a shuffle of traditional windowing. DirecTV’s exclusive window began in June and continues until just before the film’s theatrical release on August 7.