BERLIN — Renee Zellweger plays a 1950s housewife who leaves her husband and takes her teenage sons on a cross-country trip that becomes a journey of self-discovery in "My One and Only," which had its world premiere Thursday at the Berlin film festival.
Based loosely on actor George Hamilton's tale of how his mother brought him and a brother to Hollywood, the film rolls a love story, road movie and coming of age tale with a heavy dose of wry humor into one.
"This was one of the great unmade scripts of Hollywood. Everyone wanted to read it, everyone loved it, but no one wanted to make it for a while," director Richard Loncraine said of the film, which so far has no set U.S. release date.
After winning the support of producer Norton Herrick _ Loncraine declined to say how much _ the director approached Zellweger about taking on the leading role of Ann Devereaux, a beautiful woman married to the director of a big band, with a weakness for his singers, portrayed by Kevin Bacon.
Zellweger said she that though she was working on another film at the time, she was immediately taken by the character when reading the script.
"I absolutely couldn't wait to play her," the 39-year-old Oscar winner said. "The material is gorgeous."
Ann buys a Cadillac convertible and loads her sons _ sensitive Robbie and dry-witted George, played by Mark Rendall and Logan Lerman, respectively _ and hits the road in search of a new husband to care for her family.
After several misadventures, she realizes the depth of her own capabilities and self-reliance.
"I play this woman who doesn't recognize her own value and is certain that she needs to depend on others to get by, who goes on this journey, and I think it's a journey of self discovery," said Zellweger, who won a supporting-actress Academy Award for 2003's "Cold Mountain."
"My One and Only" was a last-minute entry at the Berlin festival, where it is competing against 17 other films for the top Golden Bear honor, to be awarded Saturday.
On the Net:
Festival site: http://www.berlinale.de/en/HomePage.html