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The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney: Is it Time to Play the Casting Game? #book2movie

‘‘As the rest of the guests wandered the deck of the beach club under an early-evening midsummer sky, taking pinched, appraising sips of their cocktails to gauge if the bartenders were using the top-shelf stuff and balancing tiny crab cakes on paper napkins while saying appropriate things about how they’d really lucked out with the weather because the humidity would be back tomorrow, or murmuring inappropriate things about the bride’s snug satin dress, wondering if the spilling cleavage was due to bad tailoring or poor taste (a look as their own daughters might say) or an unexpected weight gain, winking and making tired jokes about exhanging toasters for diapers, Leo Plumb left his cousin’s wedding with one of the waitresses.’’
The Nest, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

That’s quite an opening sentence/paragraph. A two-for-one that leaves the reader visualizing the sun setting over the white painted wooden deck, the big banks of French windows reflecting sky and sea and the handsome waitstaff, sharp-boned men and dewy-faced young women, hair tucked into polished ponytails as they glide in and out of the crush of snooty guests in their elegantly casual wedding attire. Leaving us wanting to know more about Leo Plumb and exactly what kind of man leaves a wedding with the help. Obviously, a bad boy who doesn’t care what his family and friends think of him or his choices. Obviously, a man we want to know better.

The Nest was optioned back in 2016 by producer Jill Soloway (Transparent) for Amazon. Soloway is included in the author’s acknowledgments so I assume the producer saw early galleys—and the cinematic scenes in her head while she was reading D’Aprix’s fluid prose—and snapped the novel up asap.

Now, that they’re getting down to business with Oscar-nominated Emily V. Gordon (The Big Sick) busy writing the screenplay, it’s time for We, the Readers, to start thinking about our fantasy cast. We’ll begin with Leo because of course, the world of the Plumb family revolves around him.

About the book

Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs' joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.
Melody, a wife and mother in an upscale suburb, has an unwieldy mortgage and looming college tuition for her twin teenage daughters. Jack, an antiques dealer, has secretly borrowed against the beach cottage he shares with his husband, Walker, to keep his store open. And Bea, a once-promising short-story writer, just can’t seem to finish her overdue novel. Can Leo rescue his siblings and, by extension, the people they love? Or will everyone need to reimagine the futures they’ve envisioned? Brought together as never before, Leo, Melody, Jack, and Beatrice must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths, and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident, as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives. 
This is a story about the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, the ways we depend upon one another and the ways we let one another down. In this tender, entertaining, and deftly written debut, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney brings a remarkable cast of characters to life to illuminate what money does to relationships, what happens to our ambitions over the course of time, and the fraught yet unbreakable ties we share with those we love.

Johnny Depp in the upcoming Richard Says Goodbye

I’ll start it off. Could this be a redemption project for Johnny Depp? I can see him slipping into Leo’s shoes, the bad man-boy just out of rehab. Depp himself is one of the oldest bad boys out there and he shares Leo’s good looks. And Depp, when he gets it together, is still one fine actor. Actors don’t just bring their chops to a part, they bring themselves, their public persona and all their personal baggage. This is the kind of role where all the controversy matches the part. If the shoe fits, as they say. 

Colin Farrell in Roman J. Israel, Esquire

Another possibility, Colin Farell, who comes with his own irresistible dark side, but who cleans up ever so nicely. 
Even in this moneyed crowd, Leo was unreasonably handsome, a word she was quite certain she’d never employed for someone whose attention she was almost enjoying. She might think hot, she might think cute, or maybe even gorgeous, but handsome? The boys she knew hadn’t grown into handsome yet. Matilda found herself staring up at Leo’s face trying to determine which variables added up to handsome. Like her, he had dark eyes, dark hair, a strong brow. But where his features were angular and sharp, hers was round and soft. On television, he would play someone distinguished—a surgeon, maybe and she would be the terminally ill patient begging for a cure.’’
 page 3, The Nest

How about you? Thoughts? Are these the kind of ‘unreasonably handsome men’ you envisioned when reading The Nest? Who would you cast in their well-heeled shoes?  I’m all ears.