Thursday, December 19, 2013

'Labor Day' of Love: Director Jason Reitman on Adapting Joyce Maynard's novel


2013 has been such a great year for bookish movie fans - nope, I'm not doing a Best Screen Adaptations of 2013 list, just making a point - it's cheering to know that 2014 has its share of books we can't wait to see on screen. The Fault in Our Stars, and Before I Go To Sleep are way up at the top of the list of my personal must-sees along with Jason Reitman's adaptation of Joyce Maynard's Labor Day due out January 31st. Variety spoke with the director of Young Adult and Up in the Air for their Directors on their Teams series. The whole piece is worth reading for Reitman's take on working with the actors, Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet, and his frequent collaboration with his cinematographer and production designer. Reitman scripted the adaptation himself, here's what he told Variety about adapting Maynard's novel. 




"It’s a very new thing for me to make a movie where there’s so little dialog. My characters usually talk a mile a minute; two of my characters actually spoke for a living. So to have characters that are quietly falling in love through glances and touches is a whole new language for me. And that’s two things these actors do brilliantly. Josh and Kate can sell things through looks. The scene that pulled me into the book, which I think works similarly in the movie, is when he ties her up and makes chili and feeds her. There’s such a complex set of ideas going on there: Does she want to be tied up? Is he tying her up for any reasons other than the ones he’s saying? What does it say that he is an amazing chef? How does the boy feel about seeing his mom get tied up? What does it feel like to the boy watching his mom get fed? The ideas set off so much in my brain, that was a biggie. And the pie-making scene, that was another big one. That is the theoretical sex scene of this movie. Those were the two big things that pulled me in. It was intended to be my followup to “Up in the Air.” I asked Kate and Josh to do it, both said yes, but Kate was unavailable. So in the meantime, I did “Young Adult.”

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