26 March 2010

And Now, The Keira Knightley Literary Adaptation Beat Report

In terms of starring in adaptations, Keira Knightley is definitely headed down the Thompson/Moore/Paltrow path of frequent offenders, and it's working out well for her. So it's not at all surprising that she's signed on for the adaptation of Claire Messud's THE EMPEROR'S CHILDREN, about nearly-30-somethings in New York City just before 9/11. Richard Gere has also been cast, and if you've read the book, you'll perhaps share my disinterest in seeing him play Murray Thwaite. The movie will be directed by Noah Baumbach, who I largely like (though I haven't seen "Greenberg" yet) but it almost seems like too perfect a subject match -- "Kicking and Screaming 2: The Kickening."

The long-discussed adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's NEVER LET ME GO starring Knightley (or as I like to call her, McCheekbones), Carey Mulligan, Sally Hawkins and Charlotte Rampling is due out late this year in Oscar-bait season. (When I went to IMDb to look this up, it suggested a story in which Mulligan expressed an interest in doing the English-language remake of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo." Get out of my head, Internet!)

Incidentally, NEVER LET ME GO and THE EMPEROR'S CHILDREN in my opinion are both novels that suffer from weaknesses related to character development, or a mishandling of such. In one of these books, there is a plausible reason for that! For that reason I wasn't a huge fan of either one so it's possible I may like the movies better. I hope we can still be friends.

UK cover of THE EMPEROR'S CHILDREN (New Yorkers, name the location): Fantasticfiction.co.uk


Wade Garrett said...

Is The Emperor's Children worth reading? I know a couple of people who have really liked it; I have picked it up in bookstores seven or eight times, but always put it back down. What's your opinion of it?

Ellen said...

I didn't like it that much, not so much because the characters were unlikeable (although they were somewhat) as that the author takes time to set them up, only to have them behave in ways that don't make sense with what we've been shown as far as who they were, which is a real problem when you are working within a group of friends who need to in some way be distinguished from each other. I would recommend Francesca Delbanco's ASK ME ANYTHING or Caitlin Macy's THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PLAY instead.