Biggest Sundance sale makes Emily Mortimer feel good

So far the biggest movie deal at Sundance is the $6 million Harvey Weinstein paid for Jesse Peretz’s comedy MY IDIOT BROTHER. The deal happened hours after the film premiered, and the filmmakers and cast have been swooning around the festival every since, understandably pleased.

“It feels so good, and it’s not something that I’m used to at all,” Emily Mortimer, who stars in the film, said on Monday afternoon, sitting in a media lounge swarming with publicists in skinny jeans and tall boots, who could periodically be heard cooing over the starlets waltzing in and out. (“Ooh, she looks so cute,” whispered one upon sighting Zooey Deschanel, who also stars in MY IDIOT BROTHER).

“I’m not generally in these types of movies at festivals,” Mortimer continued, as she sat perched upright on a wooden chair, decked out in a classy-chic ensemble of woolen turtleneck, navy blazer, and gold hoop earrings. “I’m generally in, sort of, slightly more problematic films, or less audience-pleasing films.”

In MY IDIOT BROTHER, Mortimer, last seen in Martin Scorsese’s SHUTTER ISLAND, plays a nervous Nellie mother in Brooklyn, who is obsessed with getting her young son into the right private school, and making sure his sugar-intake is monitored (one cupcake a week).

Asked if she related to any of this, Mortimer (who lives in Brooklyn and has two young sons) laughed. “Oh my God! Completely! It’s almost embarrassing now turning up to the school gates with this film coming out, because I’m basically playing myself and any number of women that I see on a daily basis. Anyone who’s in their 30’s and got kids has been through that familiar predicament of trying to get your kid into a school… You behave so foolishly!”

Mortimer’s shady husband in MY IDIOT BROTHER is played by Steve Coogan, who Mortimer said is a good friend and who is looking to direct a screenplay that she and her best friend have written “about people on a disastrous skiing holiday. It’s sort of a black comedy.”

Sounds perfect for Sundance. We expect to be seeing her back soon.

For more of Nicole’s dispatches at the Sundance Film Festival see her blog on The Daily Beast.