Published in 2011, the 460 page book (lots of Selznick’s trademark black & white illustrations) is headed to the screen sometime this year, making its debut at Cannes next month. From Todd Haynes, the film stars Julianne Moore—who Haynes directed in Far From Heaven— and Michelle Williams—Haynes directed Williams in I’m Not There with young actors in the key juvenile roles. The project sounds extraordinary.
About the book
‘‘In this groundbreaking tour de force, Caldecott Medalist and bookmaking pioneer Brian Selznick sails into uncharted territory and takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey.
Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother's room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.
Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories--Ben's told in words, Rose's in pictures--weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder. Rich, complex, affecting, and beautiful--with over 460 pages of original artwork--Wonderstruck is a stunning achievement from a gifted artist and visionary.
From what I can gather, both children in Selznick’s book are deaf and in Hayne’s the film, the young actress playing Rose (Millicent Simmonds) is a deaf actress who goes off in search of her idol, Lillian Mayhew (played by Julianne Moore). In fact, there will be several young deaf actors in Rose’s story which Haynes shot as a silent movie. That fits with both the 1927 timeline of her tale and, according to Haynes, helps to show the deaf child’s perspective. Spoiler Alert: Julianne Moore als0 plays another central character.
The boy, Ben, whose story takes place in 1977 (in the novel) is played by Oakes Fegley, with Michelle Williams taking the part of his mother.
Wish I could find some images of Michelle Williams in Wonderstruck online but so far I’ve come up empty. Clue me in if you’ve seen some.
And on a personal note, may I remind you that Michelle Williams once sat on my husband’s lap and sang him Happy Birthday. That was on the set of Halloween H20 and there were plenty of people around, so nothing to see here folks.
Presuming you’re all grown up—are we ever?—does Wonderstruck sound like a movie you want to see?