Seduced and Abandoned (2013 film)

Seduced and Abandoned is a 2013 documentary film directed by James Toback. The film details the journey of Toback and actor Alec Baldwin, as they try to sell a film concept at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012. Taking part in several pitch sessions with producers as well as interviews with directors and actors, the duo explore the film production aspect of film financing. The film premiered at the festival a year later on May 20, 2013.

Seduced and Abandoned
Directed byJames Toback
Produced byMichael Mailer
Alec Baldwin
James Toback
Morris S. Levy
Alan Helene
Neil Schneider
Larry Herbert
Written byJames Toback
CinematographyRuben Sluijter
Edited byAaron Yanes
Distributed byHBO Films (North America)
Release date
  • May 20, 2013 (2013-05-20) (Cannes Film Festival)
  • October 28, 2013 (2013-10-28) (United States)
Running time
98 minutes
CountryUnited States



After discussing a film idea for quite some time, actor Alec Baldwin and writer/director James Toback decided to go to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and document their search for investors.[3] During their time at Cannes, Baldwin and Toback interviewed many high-profile figures in the film industry.[4] "I knew all the directors I approached," said Toback. "I was pretty friendly with a few of them. Alec wanted those particular directors. Ryan Gosling was his idea. I've known Jessica Chastain for several years, and she was my idea. I hadn't thought about Diane Kruger before, but then we ran into her in the lobby of the Carlton Hotel [in Cannes, France]."[5]

Release and reception

Seduced and Abandoned premiered in the Special Screenings section of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2013.[6] A week prior to its premiere at the festival, the North American rights to the film were acquired by HBO Films.[7] It later aired on HBO on October 28, 2013 and will be given a cinematic release in the United Kingdom on November 8, 2013.[8][9]

The film received positive feedback from critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 86% based on reviews from 22 critics, with a rating average of seven out of 10.[10] Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, reports the film with two different scores. When combined, the film has a score of 74 based on 19 reviews.[11][12]

Stephen Holden of The New York Times gave the film a positive review, calling the film "the year’s most entertaining put-on." Holden described it as a film that "rambles entertainingly from topic to topic. [...] There is hardly a dull moment."[13] Hank Stuever of The Washington Post called the film "a fun, larky travel essay and commentary on the film biz, an exquisite wallow in the most rarefied sort of first-world problems."[14] Conversely, David Hinkley of New York Daily News gave the film a negative review, stating, "In a perfect world, Seduced and Abandoned might have told us why it's so hard for grownups to find anything they want to see at the movies these days. Alas, while it flirts with that question and answer, in the end it plays a little too much like a home movie for the film industry."[15]


  1. Theodoracopulos, Taki (25 May 2013), "What's Cannes all about? Seducing someone important: High life", The Spectator, retrieved 11 November 2013
  2. Ross, Deborah (9 November 2013), "Ryan Gosling couldn't play Taki better than Taki: Seduced and Abandoned Review", The Spectator, retrieved 11 November 2013
  3. Fleming Jr., Mike (May 15, 2012). "Alec Baldwin And James Toback Team On Cannes Docu 'Seduced And Abandoned'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  4. Lombardi, Ken (October 25, 2013). "Alec Baldwin on his new documentary, "Seduced and Abandoned"". CBS News. CBS. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  5. "Interview with James Toback". HBO. Home Box Office Inc. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  6. "Official Selection 2013: Special Screenings". Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
  7. "Cannes: HBO Acquires North American Rights To Alec Baldwin/James Toback's 'Seduced And Abandoned' Feature Docu". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. May 13, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  8. "Seduced and Abandoned: pitching a film in Cannes". TV Weekly Now. October 28, 2103. Retrieved November 6, 2013. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  9. "Seduced and Abandoned |". Total Film. Future Publishing. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
  10. "Seduced and Abandoned". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
  11. "Seduced and Abandoned: Season 1". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
  12. "Seduced and Abandoned". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
  13. Stephen, Holden (October 17, 2013). "Have I Got a Movie for You: Alec Baldwin and Neve Campbell in 'Seduced and Abandoned'". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
  14. Stuever, Hank (October 27, 2013). "HBO's 'Seduced and Abandoned': Cannes they get serious or is it all some kind of joke?". The Washington Post. Nash Holdings LLC. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
  15. Hinkley, David (October 28, 2013). "'Seduced and Abandoned,' TV review". New York Daily News. Daily News, L.P. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
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