Mendes and Oprah unite on ‘Netherland’

Posted by · 4:55 pm · September 17th, 2009

NetherlandI’m glad Sam Mendes seems determined to up the languid one-film-every-three-years work rate he started out with, even if I think “Away We Go” would have benefitted from having a bit more time (and a lot more rewrites) lavished on it.

He’s not the first director I thought of to helm an adaptation of Joseph O’Neill’s brilliant novel “Netherland,” a story of immigrant displacement in post-9/11 New York. Now I can see the fit rather neatly — and the combination of a Transatlantic narrative with a healthy dose of cricket in the proceedings must have been irresistible to the Brit.

Variety reports that Mendes is “eyeing” the project with a view to direct, but he’s decisively on board as a producer, teaming with Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions and Focus Features. Meanwhile, Christopher Hampton (“Dangeous Liaisons,” “Atonement”) is on script duty, so you know this is a classy enterprise.

Anyone who’s read “Netherland” can confirm that, if they get this right (casting will be crucial here), this is major awards material. (Anyone who hasn’t — well, I recommend it.) Keep an eye on this one.

The cover blurb, for those unfamiliar with novel:

“Netherland” is a novel of belonging and not belonging, and the uneasy state in between. It is a novel of a marriage foundering and recuperating, and of the shallows and depths of male friendship. Joseph O’Neill has taken the anxieties and uncertainties of our new century and fashioned a work of extraordinary beauty and brilliance.

No pressure, then.

→ 5 Comments Tags: , , , , | Filed in: Daily

5 responses so far

  • 1 9-17-2009 at 5:02 pm

    JAB said...

    i really disliked that book

  • 2 9-17-2009 at 5:46 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    American Beauty for my money is still one of my favorite movies, he may have stumbled a few times since, but i still got faith

  • 3 9-17-2009 at 5:55 pm

    JAB said...

    i don’t doubt it will translate well to film though, especially in those hands.

  • 4 9-17-2009 at 6:02 pm

    James D. said...

    I am still waiting for these great Mendes films everyone talks about. Maybe this will be it.

  • 5 9-17-2009 at 6:09 pm

    Loyal said...

    Road to Perdition was pretty.