Saturday, July 29

Let's make a movie

So I'm reading The Time Traveler's Wife and it's fantastic. Tamara raved about it and lent it to me while I was in Nashville. And I'm so glad she did, because I've almost bought it countless times in the bookstore but for some reason never did. It's beautifully written, painstakingly detailed and plotted, poignant, whimsical, the whole bit. Love it. It's nearly three inches thick (hardcover, at least) and I'm probably fifty pages from the end and I just started it a day and a half ago.

Predictably, there will eventually be a movie. Apparently Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt bought the film rights to the book before Audrey Niffenegger even published it back in 2003. And it should totally be noted that this is Niffenegger's first published book (since its release she has published The Three Incestuous Sisters, a graphic novel she worked on for 14 years). Knowing someone can come out of the gate with something like this makes me feel very small and very normal and very untalented. But there is infinite inspiration to be drawn from her story.

Anyway, knowing that this book is going to be turned into a movie and probably ruined — there is just no way to do it justice, Hollywood, you bastards — is sort of bittersweet. Sure, I'll go see it, but I doubt it'll be able to give me the thrill reading it has provided.

So, before Hollywood has a chance to defecate on my dreams by announcing concrete plans for the film adaptation, I'm going to go ahead and cast the movie. Because I am a blogger and I can do what I want, reality be damned.

Clare Abshire

Bryce Dallas Howard

She's currently starring in Lady in the Water by M. Night Shyamalan, and she was the blind girl in Shyamalan's The Village a couple of years ago. You also know her as the spawn of Ron Howard. I think she's gorgeous, ephemerally so (but I think that about a lot of redheads because I am insanely jealous of them). Her hair, her lilting figure, her translucent skin, her face — which hasn't had the humanity sucked from it just yet — would be perfect for Clare, the witty artist with a fat bank account and patience not known to many mortals.

Henry DeTamble

Jeremy Davidson

Some of you will recognize this hot hunk o' man meat as Drake Rogers from the Strangers With Candy virginity episode. This is a horrible photo of him, but it'll have to suffice, as he is a relatively unknown theater actor whose photos aren't plastered all over the intertubes just yet. Henry is sort of an enigmatic character — full of charisma and life but at the same time, he is constantly contending with his compulsory time travel, which wreaks havoc on his body. So Mr. Davidson would probably need to slim down just a bit so that he seems a little more fragile. But he still has to retain that sort of carnally sexy core, the kind that can age with a measure of grace, despite the physical hardships. And he's totally going to have to grow out his long dark hair for the first half of the narrative. And be naked. A lot.

Yow.

Okay, onto the lesser characters.

Clare's mother, Lucille

Ellen Burstyn

I love everything about Ellen Burstyn. She is gorgeous and fierce, regal yet down-to-earth. She would make a perfect Lucille, a wordsmith and woman plagued by her own emotional instability. The typical classist matriarch with a history that betrays her delicate sensibilities.

Clare's father, Philip

Albert Finney

The Abshire patriarch, a high-society man with a hefty presence. Who better than dear Albert Finney, with his fantastic ... everything. Mr. Finney will need to work at being slightly more cold than he is naturally; Philip isn't the warmest of men.


Henry's mother, Annette (in her younger years, since she dies early in the story)

Asia Argento

It was a challenge finding a photo of Ms. Argento where she was at least mostly clothed, but I persevered and aren't you glad? Annette DeTamble's character exists in Henry's past — she dies tragically when he is very young — so she doesn't get a whole lot of screen time, and even less speaking time. Which is fine because I'm not so sure Asia Argento is a great actress. I've only ever seen her in Land of the Dead and she did a decent job then, I guess. I just like her look — it's classic but not too earth-shatteringly beautiful. I think she could pull off playing a sophisticated Jewish mid-century singer who looks Italian and dies too young via decapitation. I just imagine her in hats and tightly coifed hair and a soft-focus lens and it works.


Henry's father, Richard

Alan Arkin
Richard, in his older years following Henry's mother's death, is an alcoholic with traces of greatness in years past. His has to be thin and frail, very vulnerable-looking. And very, very sad. His hands play a big part in the film; they are his livelihood (he was a great violinist once) and once they begin to tremble habitually from the alcohol, his life truly loses all meaning. Until ... well, you have to read the book.

Nell, Clare's family's cook

Anna Maria Horsford*

Nell is the family's cook, a motherly woman with a hearty sense of humor and a superb command over the kitchen. Kinda your typical happy black servant-who's-part-of-the-family. Do rich people actually have these kind of employees? I doubt it, but whatevs. I couldn't have the cook from Billy Madison because she died of skin cancer several years ago, which is a horrible thing to just randomly find out on an otherwise lovely Friday night.

Mark, Clare's older brother

Lucas Haas

Mark is a Harvard prick, basically, who neither Clare nor Alicia really seem to like. Mark and Sharon get married solely because he knocks her up and it's the Proper Thing to Do, which causes a commotion in the family anyway.

Alicia, Clare's younger sister


Alia Shawkat
Probably best known for her role as Maeby Funke on Arrested Development, Alia seems like she could play the quietly rebellious cellist Alicia (I swear the Alia/Alicia coincidence was purely, uh, coincidental) with a cynical bite that seems to just barely be there in the novel.

Sharon, Mark's wife

Elisha Cuthbert

Sharon has to be sort of a Floridian country bumpkin of sorts, but she's not stupid — she went to Harvard! — just a little classless, or at least not quite in the tier Mark's parents think she should be (can you even get to Harvard if you're not at least a little rich?). Still, she is sweet and amiable, and a little bit plump because she's pregnant. So Ms. Cuthbert is going to need to need to do some serious noshing before she gets this part.

Ingrid, Henry's suicidal former lover

Clea Duvall

Ingrid has to have this completely extreme Scandinavian look about her. She is dramatic, always on the brink of self-destruction. So Ms. Duvall will want to grow out her hair and bleach it, and basically act like a drama queen vamp hottie the entire time she's on screen. I think she can do it. There is something deep and alarming about her gaze.

Celia, Ingrid's lover

Debra Wilson

I don't know why, but I just couldn't get her image out of my head when I would read about Celia. It doesn't make much sense, but there ya go. I don't want to say too much about her character since I think she might play a bigger part later in the book...

Gomez, Clare and Henry's friend (Charisse's husband)

Justin Hartley*

Gomex is a chain-smoking lawyer who's secretly in love with Clare and insanely jealous and suspicious of Henry. He's a bit slimy, a bit smarmy, but somehow manages to stay in Clare and Henry's orbit despite his general ickiness.

Charisse, Clare and Henry's friend (Gomez's wife)

Ginnifer Goodwin

She'd need to beef up a bit to play Charisse, who is supposedly a little on the round side. Ms. Goodwin is a Memphis native, and her face just screams Charisse to me — delicate, naive, kind, trusting. Perfect.

Whew. I didn't even get to Kimy or Alba or Etta or Dr. Kendrick or any of Clare's friends. Or the people at Henry's library. Not to mention everyone in Clare's and Henry's circles throughout the various stages of their lives. But I think what we've got going here is a good start.

Now, to choose a director...

*As suggested by Brandonian, who saved my bacon because I couldn't think of anyone who wasn't either dead or way wrong.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Kristy said...

I love this book! I also could not help but cast the movie in my head. At the time, I had just watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, so I could only see henry as the Jim Carey character in that movie (as opposed to, say, Jim carey in Mask or anything like that). Good call on Clare.

Sat Jul 29, 10:21:00 PM  
Blogger Hugo said...

I'll admit I loved the book too. Bought it at the bookstore in Detroit Metro, started it before the plane started to board, and finished it -- the first time -- just before landing at LAX. Lovely. Good casting decisions too; I'll see Alan Arkin in anything. Clea Duvall is a perfect choice; she's breathtaking.

Sun Jul 30, 03:46:00 PM  
Blogger phallicpen said...

My mother is reading it, so I got all uppity and wrote it off as romantic drivel. Once again, I'm ashamed.

Tue Aug 01, 01:13:00 AM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

I love this book too!! If you like this one, you should try the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. VERY similar. In fact, that's how Claire got her name...from the Outlander books.

Tue Aug 01, 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger theogeo said...

Kristy: Now that you mention Eternal Sunshine, Kate Winslett would have made a good Clare too.

Hugo: To be so bulky, it'd definitely a quick read. But to get through it in one flight? Whew, that takes some skill!

Cheryl: I have heard you mention those books before and how great they are. I really should check them out.

Wed Aug 02, 11:17:00 AM  

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