TNT, television's destination for drama, will give viewers a special gift this holiday season with the world television premiere of Chazz Palminteri's film NOEL, starring Oscar® winner Susan Sarandon (Dead Man Walking, Shall We Dance), Penelope Cruz (Head in the Clouds, Vanilla Sky) and Paul Walker (The Fast and the Furious, Pleasantville). This dramatic ensemble piece, co-starring Alan Arkin (And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself, The Pentagon Papers) and Marcus Thomas (Drowning Mona, Scorched), is directed by Palminteri (A Bronx Tale, Bullets Over Broadway) and written by David Hubbard (Delivering Milo). It will premiere on TNT Sunday, Nov. 28, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT) in a special one-night-only airing during the film's theatrical run.
This holiday tale is produced by Red Rose Productions LLC, with Jonathan Dana serving as executive producer and Bart Rosenblatt, Al Corley, Eugene Musso and Howard Rosenman serving as producers. It features striking cinematography by Oscar® winner Russell Carpenter (Titanic), music by eight-time Oscar® winner Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas), and production design by Carol Spier (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Mimic, The Fly).
In a unique distribution deal, the Convex Group brings this holiday film to TNT marking the first "trimultaneous" release of a feature film, designed to offer consumers multiple viewing choices while also generating awareness about Flexplay. This innovative distribution strategy extends through the 2004 holiday season, including a limited nationwide theatrical release beginning Nov. 12; a special one-night-only airing on TNT on Sunday, Nov. 28, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT); and simultaneous online availability of the NOEL Flexplay DVD exclusively through Amazon.com.
"NOEL is an ideal holiday gift for our viewers - a tender, hopeful drama with a stellar cast," said Ken Schwab, senior vice president of programming for TNT and TBS. "Bringing this wonderful tale of miracles to our audience of drama lovers fits perfectly into our strategy of aggressively pursuing top-quality theatrical movies as early as possible after their theatrical release."
"What is most important to me is the message of the film," Palminteri added. "It's a movie about hope, a movie about miracles that touches people of all ages, from all walks of life and in all circumstances. And, in this day and age, I think we all need a miracle. The story of NOEL will make people feel good inside as they reflect on the hope of the holiday season, and I am excited by the unique approach we are taking with its release."
NOEL is set on the snow-dusted streets of New York City. As shoppers buzz to finish last-minute gift buying, several isolated individuals are missing out on the usual holiday cheer. Rose (Sarandon) is an emotionally fragile caregiver for her ailing mother, whom she visits in hospital on Christmas Eve as part of her lonely routine. Her night then unfolds as a series of unexpected encounters that will change her view of her world.
Meanwhile, police officer Mike (Walker) has a disturbing run-in with an older man, Artie (Arkin), who takes an unsettling interest in him. At the same time, Mike's unwarranted jealousy regarding his fiancee, Nina (Cruz), drives a rift between the couple just days before their wedding. And Jules (Thomas), a young hustler with a miserable life, resorts to extreme measures to return to the only place he ever spent a happy holiday. As these lives intersect in the anonymous city, they are not only touched by holiday happiness but also graced by something bordering on miraculous.
NOEL marks the feature directorial debut of New York native Palminteri. He first appeared off-Broadway in the 1980s and made the transition to film after his play A Bronx Tale, which he wrote and starred in, was adapted for the screen by Robert DeNiro. Palminteri subsequently earned an Oscar® nomination for his performance in Woody Allen's Bullets Over Broadway. His other credits include The Usual Suspects, Jade, The Perez Family, Mullholland Falls, Diabolique and Analyze This, as well as the TNT Original Boss of Bosses.
Flexplay is a patented technology developed in collaboration with GE Advanced Materials that makes DVDs unreadable 48 hours after being removed from a specially sealed package. Once the package is opened, the movie can be watched an unlimited number of times within the 48-hour window. This creates a viable alternative to traditional rental models, with multiple benefits to the consumer, including no returns, no late fees and perfect-quality playback on any standard DVD player. In addition, because the unopened package has a one-year shelf life, Flexplay is a DVD-on-demand solution that offers consumers a compelling combination of affordable price points and "buy anywhere, watch anytime" convenience.
The Convex Group, Inc. is a media and entertainment company that acquires and integrates unique assets to create new media networks. The Atlanta-based company owns or controls proprietary distribution and content platforms including the "HowStuffWorks" franchise; the exclusive rights to "in-lid" CD-ROM distribution, which it operates through the LidRock division; and Flexplay.