Saturday, November 16, 2013

Jessica Chastain and Vanessa Redgrave Play the Same Part in The Secret Scripture


Confession of ignorance. I've never heard of award winning author Sebastian Barry or his novel The Secret Scripture, if not for the cover blurbs  I'd have had no idea what  awards he's won. BUT I learned today that Jessica Chastain and Vanessa Redgrave are costarring in the screen adaptation of the novel and it almost doesn't matter what the books about, I'm in.  According to Playlist, Chastain and Redgrave will play the younger and older Roseanne McNulty, respectively. Chastain as the gorgeous young woman, a Protestant trying to live peacefully with her family in Ireland, and Redgrave as the now-100 year old woman who has been confined to a mental hospital since World War II. 
Jessica Chastain with David Strathairn in Miss Julie via the L.A. Times
Vanessa Redgrave in Lee Daniel's The Butler via BlackFilm.com
Here's more on the story from B&N:
"An epic story of family, love, and unavoidable tragedy from the two-time Man Booker Prize finalist (Ah, major prizes then!)

Sebastian Barry 's novels have been hugely admired by readers and critics, and in 2005 his novel A Long Long Way was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. In The Secret Scripture, Barry revisits County Sligo, Ireland, the setting for his previous three books, to tell the unforgettable story of Roseanne McNulty. Once one of the most beguiling women in Sligo, she is now a resident of Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital and nearing her hundredth year. Set against an Ireland besieged by conflict, The Secret Scripture is an engrossing tale of one woman's life, and a vivid reminder of the stranglehold that the Catholic church had on individuals throughout much of the twentieth century."

Digging a little deeper I scanned Penguin's reading guide - which I highly recommend, and learned 'the secret scripture' is Roseanne's testament, the journal of her world she's kept her entire life..  She shares many - but not all - of its secrets with Dr. Grene, the compassionate psychiatrist tasked with evaluating the patients of the closing hospital to determine their ability to live elsewhere. Another key player in Roseanne's life is Father Gaunt, a Catholic priest fiercely determined that his flock flourish without much regard for what that does to families like Roseanne's. 
That sounds absolutely spectacular to me; two amazing actresses, a stunning location swathed in green glorious green, a riveting historical backdrop and powerful issues. A grown up movie. Very, very exciting!





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