> Chapter1-Take1: May 2012

Happy Mother's Day

I didn't take any new pictures for this week's Saturday Snapshot meme hosted by At Home with Books. Instead I found a few of my favorite pictures to help me tell all my fellow blogging moms to have a fabulous mother's day!
The first one of my pictures is a very old one of me (center with glasses) at about 4 years old , my mother, baby sister and big bro, on our first plane ride.
Second is my mother and my son, Russell, about a dozen years ago. One of the last Mother's Days she would really celebrate before Alzheimer's stole her memories.
The third picture is me with my own pride and joy, Russell, this time last year. A budding director, this was taken at the school theatre where his production of All My Sons was staged to rave reviews. He did such an amazing job directing this very emotional play - you can see I'm about to burst with motherly pride!
I hope you all have a wonderful mother's day, giving and receiving, love.

Kyle Chandler joins THE WOLF of WALL STREET

There is something people just love about Kyle Chandler. The announcement that he was going to join The Wolf of Wall Street as FBI agent  Coleman, the man who tracks down Leo's Jordan Belfort, was accompanied by a ton of, "Oh he's such a nice guy" comments. Most people know and love the guy from Friday Night Lights; plus he was the sheriff dad in last year's Super 8 ( LOVED it) and is in a new Ben Afflect-directed film ARGO. He will also shoot the killing of Bin Laden movie helmed by Katherine Bigelow later this year.
The movie is shaping up to be something to look forward to - Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, with Martin Scorsese directing. The story is based on Jordan Belfort's book and is being written by Emmy award winning writer Terence Winter. Scorsese and Winter worked together on the critically acclaimed Boardwalk Empire. Winter also wrote The Sopranos
Source: Deadline.


Emma: Read It, Rent It. Straight from the oldies vault! #book2movies

I was taking a break from packing tonight and my action loving hubby being out with his bros, I decided to see what Netflix had available on instant streaming. I enjoyed Three Coins in the Fountain so much last week; I was up for another classic chick flick. Emma fit the bill beautifully.
Based on Jane Austen's Emma, I'd forgotten how adorable and funny the movie is. I don't think it was wildly successful at the time but I liked it. Shot way back in 1996, Gwyneth Paltrow was girlishly fetching (the character is 22) - she actually had a bit of a protruding mouth and a hint of a lisp which had me wondering whether she's had dental work.  In any case, I really enjoyed watching Emma continually play the matchmaker to little success. After all too easily persuading Toni Collette's self-conscious and silly Miss Harriet Smith that the farmer who loves her isn't good enough for her, Emma tries to get her matched up with a series of men all the while falling in love herself and being the last one to know it. Collette is ALWAYS good, isn't she? So natural and real, less than perfect teeth and all. LOVE her! 

Jeremy Northam is Mr. Knightly who frankly bears a striking resemblance to Austen's Mr. Darcy - there is something about men that show restraint that Austen was really really attracted to. Sophie Thompson's is heartbreaking in the small but key role of Miss Bates. In fact when Emma takes her own hurt out on the foolish but kind Miss Bates, we feel hurt for the poor simple woman ourselves. But it is Mr. Knightly's distaste for Emma's behavior and his passionate outburst that brings Emma to tears and confirms what we knew all along; it's Mr. Knightly's opinion and feelings that Emma cares about. Northam was Sir Thomas More in The Tudors; he seems like one of those underrated actors who will never quite hit the stratosphere. 

On the other hand the years have been good to Ewan McGregor who is nice and smarmy as the new boy in town - especially in his show-offy duet with Emma. When he then takes up with Miss Fairfax, we feel for Emma as if it were a slap in the face.

Of course, alls well that ends well. All the men and women end up with exactly who they should end up with.
The movie is a light, frothy romp which had all its characters playing their parts as expected. And for me, on this night, that was a good thing. Thank you Ms. Austen, for your fascination with the marriage plot.

Ryan Gosling is NOT a Recreant: Wondrous Words Wednesday

Ryan Gosling: Not a recreant
It's time for Wondrous Words Wednesday the meme hosted by Kathy at Bermuda Onions' weblog. Typically it's the day when we share new to us words from our reading.
This week I've barely read a thing because I am in the midst of packing madly for our move into Los Angeles plus I foolishly signed up for a writing workshop. Talk about terrible timing! While packing I discovered my old thesaurus, it's a fairly ancient hardback edition of Rogets classic; this one published in 1962 features wonderful little alphabetical and numerical tabs and there really is something very gratifying about sticking your finger in and pulling back the pages. The heft feels so good that even though I've mostly moved into the electronic age, I plan on keeping it!
So I opened it at random and found the word "recreant". Ahhh, one who recreates? Sorry, no.
It's one of those words that can be used as a noun and an adjective; the key meaning is coward/cowardly or disloyal.
According to dictionary.com
1300–50; Middle English < Old French, adj. and noun use of present participle of recreire to yield in a contest, equivalent to re- re- + creire < Latin crēdere to believe

rec·re·ance, rec·re·an·cy, noun
rec·re·ant·ly, adverb
un·rec·re·ant, adjective

1. dastardly, pusillanimous, base, faint-hearted, yellow. 2. faithless, untrue, apostate. 3. dastard.

1. brave. 2. loyal. 3. hero.
AND I thought you might enjoy this song from Drive, the film made from the James Sallis book of the same name. I LOVE this song "A REAL HERO" from College and Electric Youth

Cameron Diaz about to join Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbinder in Cormac McCarthy movie

UPDATED May 9, 2012: If you are Cormac MCarthy and you're the writer behind The Road and No Country for Old Men and Ridley Scott wants to direct your first original script, I suppose it is no surprise that your work will attract a stunning A list cast of characters. According to Deadline, Cameron Diaz is just about to sign on the dotted line "to join the spectacular cast of The Counselor, the Ridley Scott-directed drama based on the original script by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Cormac McCarthy. She will join Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz. It is a strong supporting role she’ll play, named Malkina. Fassbender plays the title role of a respected lawyer who thinks he can dip a toe into the drug business without getting sucked down, which proves to be a life threatening decision."
UPDATED from my February 12 post:
 The news just in from Deadline.com is that Michael Fassbender (Shame) has committed to star with Ridley Scott directing! Insiders are saying it's No Country for Old Men on steroids and Fassbender seems like just the guy to do it.
Hopefully they'll have something out by early next year unless they speed through production and post as quickly as they've done everything else and get it out late 2012!
Cormac McCarthy, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Road, and two other books which have been turned into films ( No Country for Old Men, and All the Pretty Horses)  was due to turn in his latest manuscript to his agents. According to Deadline the agents were shocked to find, not a novel, but a script. The Counselor  is that script, one which is speeding its way through the process. Ridley Scott has committed to direct AND Scott wants Michael Fassbender to play the title role. McCarthy turned in his script in December, Scott is looking to begin May 1st.

Deadline says  "The Counselor is reminiscent of the rough and tumble world depicted in the Oscar-winning adaptation of McCarthy’s novel No Country For Old Men. The protagonist is a respected lawyer who thinks he can dip a toe in to the drug business without getting sucked down. It is a bad decision and he tries his best to survive it and get out of a desperate situation."

Said producer, Steve Schwartz “Since McCarthy himself wrote the script, we get his own muscular prose directly, with its sexual obsessions. It’s a masculine world into which, unusually, two women intrude to play leading roles. McCarthy’s wit and humor in the dialogue make the nightmare even scarier. This may be one of McCarthy’s most disturbing and powerful works.”

Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth on the set of The Railway Man

File this under: So Many Books, So Little Time!   Updated 5/7/2012: They've started filming this one and I'm pretty happy about the fact that Nicole Kidman has joined the production as Lomax wife. She replaces Rachel Weisz who had some sort of time confliction. Lomax is played by Colin Firth who looks amazing in this shot, doesn't he?  According to The Playlist, in addition to Jeremy Irvine who plays the young Eric Lomax, the wonderful Stellan Starsgaard - he played the bad guy in The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo is also onboard as a friend. who helps Lomax confront his wartime tormentor played by Hiroyuki Sanada (The Last Samurai).
Jeremy Irvine, who we'll be seeing soon in Steven Spielberg's War Horse, has just been cast to co-star alongside Colin Firth in The Railway Man. Jonathan Teplitzsky is directing the drama. Based on the memoir by Eric Lomax, the story is about his life during and after World War II working on Japan's Death Railway.  Japan forced prisoners of war to work on the railway, which connects Bangkok to what is now Yangon, Myanmar.
Lomax was a British officer during the war, and was tortured by the Japanese for being a spy. Later in life, Lomax sought to track down one of his torturers.
The script was co-written by Frank Cottrell Boyce and Andy Paterson, who is also producing via his Archer Street Productions with Chris Brown of Pictures in Paradise and Bill Curbishley.
Lionsgate has the U.K. rights and is handling international sales. Liongate U.K.'s Zygi Kamasa will executive produce.
Jeremy Irvine is clearly an up and comer! He's currently in production on director Mike Newell's Great Expectations, in which he will star as Pip opposite Ralph Fiennes and Helen Bonham Carter. He has completed Now is Good, opposite Dakota Fanning, Paddy Considine and Olivia Williams. In Dreamworks' War Horse, which will be released in December, Irvine plays Albert, whose beloved horse is sold to the cavalry during World War I. Though too young to enlist, Albert heads to the battlefields to save his equine friend. The film is based on the Tony Award-winning play.
In The Railway Man, Irvine will play a young Colin Firth. I don't know Irvine's work yet, but on a purely physical level it looks like they got the casting right. Score one for Hollywood!

Sunday Snippets: No surprise: Catching Fire Gets New Writer

A few weeks ago Gary Ross, the director of the wildly successful Hunger Games, bowed out of directing numero 2 in the series claiming lack of prep time. The studio wants to start shooting this August. Now screenwriter, Simon Beaufoy who wrote the first draft of the first book is out too. Lionsgate is looking for a new writer and word is, Michael Arndt, the writer behind Toy Story III and Little Miss Sunshine is in. If I was Suzanne Collins I would be a bit nervous about what they were doing to my franchise. The script is job one, THE MOST IMPORTANT element, and now the pressure is on to get it on paper before August? I'm surprised it's coming down like this. I would have thought they would have made plans for Catching Fire back when the film first started coming together in a way they knew would satisfy the fan base. Next thing you know we'll hear Jennifer Lawrence is rethinking whether to come back as Katniss...presumably Lionsgate inked her deal ahead of time. Why not the writer?
Nordic crime fans take heart. While waiting for Sascha Gervasi (Anvil, Story of Anvil) to bring and English language version of Jo Nesbo's Headhunters to the screen,  American fans of the books can see the Norwegian version currently playing in American theatres. And Word and Film has an interesting piece about director, Morten Tyldum's approach to the material. Read the article here.  It's playing at two theatres here in the L.A. area; hopefully you can catch it somewhere on a screen near you.

A River Runs Through It movie based on the book: Read It...Rent It

Medea Creek, Oak Park, CA

This is a picture of the creek that runs through my very suburban neighborhood. It's beautiful in the springtime - I took this picture about a month ago but as the spring rains stop and summer advances and the temperature rises the water slowly starts to disappear. I walk our beagle Charlie around this creek every day; I love to see the families of ducks. He's so used to them now he doesn't even bark. We are moving back to the city in a couple of weeks and I'm looking forward to living across from a world class art museum and near great shops and restaurants but I will surely miss our quiet morning walks.

It's not exactly "A River Runs Through It" and you can't fish in it but there is a magic for me in living near the soothing sounds of the water. In the meantime, "A River Runs Through It" is a book and movie pairing I highly recommend. Because really, can you ever get enough of Brad Pitt??
I'm posting this picture as part of Alyce's Saturday Snapshot meme. If you want to participate visit AtHomeWithBooks.net. It's fun to see what photos other bloggers have taken when they're not busy reading or blogging!  

Jonah Hill Joins Scorsese and DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street, Francis Lawrence Catches Fire

UPDATE: 5/4/2012
The Hollywood Reporter just announced that Jonah Hill is in talks to join Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street. I guess Moneyball has really added an entire dimension to his acting credibility; along with the weight loss he seems to have lost the label of 'just another fat goofy guy making semi crude comedies'. According to HR he'll play "Danny Porush, who is convinced by his future best friend and business partner Belfort to quit his job in furniture sales and enter the lucrative yet volatile world of stock brokering. The film chronicles the duo’s meteoric rise and colossal fall amidst scandal, fraud, and excess." I have to say this tawdry tale is sounding better and better!
According to Screen Rant, Red Granite pictures confirms that Leo and Marty are def on track to make a movie version of The Wolf of Wall Street, the memoir from convicted white collar criminal, Jordan Belfort. It's their fifth collaboration (Gangs of New York (2002), The Aviator (2004), The Departed (2006), and Shutter Island (2010) )
I love DiCaprio and Scorsese - especially when they team together - so I'll probably overcome my aversion to criminals getting even richer off their bad choices and see the movie when it comes out.
They don't get started filming until the fall so it's well over a year away.
The book was first published in 2007 and chronicles former Wall Street stockbroker Jordan Belfort’s "rise to riches – and ultimate white collar crime conviction. Despite the true story itself leaving Belfort’s investors with losses totaling over $100 million collectively, his memoir has become a go-to read as a result of the outrageous activities of the stock kingpin and his underlings – which included, among other debaucherous adventures, loads of cocaine and prostitutes as well as a crashed Gulfstream jet - all while his wife and children waited at home (he’s since divorced)."
Apparently Belfort’s tale was the inspiration for Ben Younger’s 2000 film, Boiler Room starring Giovanni Ribisi and Vin Diesel.

And on the Hunger Games "Catching Fire" front - you may remember Gary Ross has decided not to direct the second film. There was lots of speculation over who the helmer would be, with the decision coming down to Bennett Miller who directed Moneyball and Francis Lawrence who directed Constantine, I Am Legend and Water for Elephants based on Sarah Gruens book..

A major scheduling conflict tipped the decision in Lawrence's favor. According to Deadline.com (who broke the story) Lionsgate wanted to get started in late August, and Bennett Miller wanted them to start later (as did Gary Ross and why he ultimately turned it down, saying it wasn't enough time to prepare).  Lawrence jumped at the chance.
According to Screen Rant "The choice of Lawrence is definitely a major change from what many industry experts have been speculating. He certainly has experience working with big stars like Keanu Reeves, Will Smith and Reese Witherspoon – but none of his films has been of the same magnitude and scope as directing the second chapter in a (newly) beloved franchise. But it should be noted that Lawrence has more experience behind the camera than just those three films. He previously made a name for himself as a director of music videos, where he worked alongside several prominent, high-profile singers. If you can say nothing else about his films, they definitely have a sharp and crisp visual composition – which could bode well for Catching Fire.
One of the major differences between Lawrence and Ross will likely be the focus on the screenplay. Before he was chosen to helm The Hunger Games, Ross was an Oscar-nominated screenwriter who had worked on the scripts of Seabiscuit, Dave and Big. And when it came time to do The Hunger Games he worked closely with author Suzanne Collins in adapting her bestseller for the big screen. It remains to be seen if Lawrence will be that involved, or leave writing duties solely to Slumdog Millionaire screenwriter Simon Beaufoy."
Catching Fire arrives in theaters in late 2013.
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