Neeson, Connelly headline Dustin Lance Black’s directing debut

Posted by · 10:43 am · May 17th, 2009

Liam NeesonThe Liam Neeson career revival continues apace. Variety reports that the 56 year-old thesp will star opposite Jennifer Connelly in “What’s Wrong With Virginia,” the first directorial effort from “Milk” scribe Dustin Lance Black. The film, which has Gus Van Sant involved as an executive producer, which begins shooting this summer. The pitch goes as follows:

Connelly will play the charming but psychologically disturbed mother of a 16-year-old son. Her 20-year clandestine love with a sheriff (Neeson), who is running for the state senate, is tested when her son begins a relationship with his daughter.

Sounds to me like a return for Black to the quirky domestic territory of “Big Love.” Is this a comedy of sorts? Certain details (that title, for starters) imply that to me, though it isn’t made clear in the report. Either way, Neeson and Connelly aren’t exactly the first pairing I’d think of for an onscreen romance — so, well, interesting.

We’re also reminded that Black and Van Sant are collaborating once more on an adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test,” which is an ambitious undertaking to say the least. You may remember that I wasn’t exactly sold on Black’s Oscar-winning efforts on “Milk,” but good on him for using his post-win momentum to get as many irons in the fire as possible.

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6 responses so far

  • 1 5-17-2009 at 11:14 am

    Speaking English said...

    Go Dustin! His win was one of my favorites last year, so I’ll be sure to keep my eye on these upcoming projects.

  • 2 5-17-2009 at 3:24 pm

    Brian said...

    Dustin brought this up at a Milk Q+A last year (with that cast), and then everything terrible happened and I was afraid it wouldn’t get going. But can’t wait to see this.

  • 3 5-17-2009 at 4:05 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    The Milk script was weak and as much as Black seems like a cool dude, I can’t see this turning out very well.

  • 4 5-17-2009 at 7:15 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Calling MILK’s script weak is completely stupid. At least say why.

  • 5 5-17-2009 at 7:42 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Why is it stupid? Has it been set in stone that the script is good and accepted as fact? Everything that was interesting or nuanced in that film came from either the direction or the performances. The structure was the same as a dozen other “Wikipedia Biopics”. The catalyst for Milk’s courage (the boy in the wheelchair) was poorly handled and heavy handed. The balance between Milk’s relationships and his political life was only touched on in broad strokes. And I had problems with dialogue throughout.

  • 6 5-18-2009 at 1:09 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Clearly I’m stupid too, since I agree with every one of Chad’s points here.