As speculated in my post from June 16 of this year, Deadline (among other sources) is now reporting that the author of The Hours, Michael Cunningham, is indeed working on a script for Meryl. At the time, we had no idea if it was going to be an adaptation or his first original screenplay. We now know that it will be an adaptation of Ann Leary's bestselling novel The Good House which will see Meryl pair with Robert De Niro for a fourth time. De Niro's Tribeca films will pair with FilmNation to produce.
Needless to say, on paper, this seems like complete Oscar bait. Two legends collaborating on a story adapted by a Pulitzer Prize-winning author from a hugely popular novel. Here's a good synopsis of the story I found:
Hildy (Meryl) Good is a townie. A lifelong resident of an historic community on the rocky coast of Boston’s North Shore, she knows pretty much everything about everyone. Hildy is a descendant of one of the witches hung in nearby Salem, and is believed, by some, to have inherited psychic gifts. Not true, of course; she’s just good at reading people. Hildy is good at lots of things. A successful real-estate broker, mother and grandmother, her days are full. But her nights have become lonely ever since her daughters, convinced their mother was drinking too much, staged an intervention and sent her off to rehab. Now she’s in recovery—more or less.
Alone and feeling unjustly persecuted, Hildy needs a friend. She finds one in Rebecca McCallister, a beautiful young mother and one of the town’s wealthy newcomers. Rebecca feels out-of-step in her new surroundings and is grateful for the friendship. And Hildy feels like a person of the world again, as she and Rebecca escape their worries with some harmless gossip, and a bottle of wine by the fire—just one of their secrets.
But not everyone takes to Rebecca, who is herself the subject of town gossip. When Frank Getchell (De Niro), an eccentric local who shares a complicated history with Hildy, tries to warn her away from Rebecca, Hildy attempts to protect her friend from a potential scandal. Soon, however, Hildy is busy trying to cover her own tracks and protect her reputation. When a cluster of secrets become dangerously entwined, the reckless behavior of one threatens to expose the other, and this darkly comic novel takes a chilling turn.
Boston accent in store? There's no word yet on who will play Rebecca. My first thought is how amazing it would be to pair Meryl with Cate Blanchett, but on paper this seems a little too much like Notes on a Scandal to get Blanchett to bite. I've read that it's kind of a dramedy, or dark comedy. I'm hoping that means it will lean more toward August: Osage County than Hope Springs. Not that Hope Springs wasn't a good movie and great performance from Meryl, but I like the heavier stuff. Plus I absolutely live for films that garner awards buzz, as it gets people talking about Meryl and how incredible she is at giving us brilliant performances time and time again.
I'm guessing filming will likely take place mid to late next year. Plenty of time for me to read the book (which I'll more than likely request form the library today). Great news!