For better or worse, a bunch of lit-minded films will be hitting theatres soon. Here’s the rundown:
Neal Cassady: a biopic about Neal, who went on the road with Jack Kerouac in the 40’s and then reprised the journey with Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters in the 60’s, could be great. Making a film about Cassady is also a neat way to get around the Jack Kerouac’s estate’s stranglehold on any film project related to Kerouac (On The Road is Neal’s story too). But there have already been two mediocre films about Cassady, and there’s little reason to believe this one will be any better. I wasn’t encouraged when John Cassady told me he hadn’t even been consulted on the project. We shall see. (First noticed at Syntax).
Little Children: we love Tom Perrotta’s acidic multi-generational portraits of modern suburbia, and we have high hopes for this film. Kate Winslet will lead the ensemble cast, and this seems like a positive indication. Todd Field is the director, and the IMDB preview is up.
Running With Scissors: What on earth will this movie version of Augusten Burroughs’ weird confessional deliver? The book is about what happens when a selfish mother leaves her sensitive son with a truly eccentric psychiatrist who collects rejected kids. Since the book’s appeal relied much on the shocking fact that the kinky goings-on had supposedly taken place, it’s not clear how the transformation from memoir to cinematic drama will work; the results could be simply and unbelievably weird. Annette Bening plays the mother, Alec Baldwin plays the father (a character I barely remember from the book) and Brian Cox will play Dr. Finch. IMDB page and ugly promo artwork here (maybe they can redesign the artwork before release? Please? There’s plenty of time.)
Charlotte’s Web: the 1973 animated version of the great E. B. White animal fable was useless and charmless. Let’s see if the live action version can manage to be radiant or terrific. Steve Buscemi as the voice of Templeton the Rat can only help.
History Boys: I haven’t seen Alan Bennett’s academic drama, which got great reviews. The upcoming film will probably be talky as hell, but that’s not always a bad thing.
There’s the fall preview for literary films. We can only hope.