Sunday, November 20, 2011

Scarlett Johansson directing Capote adaptation

Scarlett Johansson has signed on to direct an adaptation of Truman Capote's first novella, Summer Crossing, about a 17-year-old Manhattan socialite who breaks away from her family and has an affair with a working class parking lot attendant in the summer of 1945. Produced by Barry Deer Hunter Spikings, it certainly holds promise.

After making a name for herself with Lost in Translation and Girl with a Pearl Earring in 
2003, Scarlett made a few good movies before settling into simply pouting and looking sexy for most of 2005 - 2009; marrying and divorcing Ryan Reynolds; releasing an album of heavily produced songs, to mild response; winning a Tony for her supporting role in Broadway play A View from the Bridge, and now this. An interesting move, to say the least, and a worthy project. 

Johansson joins the handful of actresses turned directors:

Barbra Streisand - Oscar winner for her debut, Funny Girl, in 1969 (and the only ever "tied" win, with Kate Hepburn for The Lion in Winter), and a prolific actress since, she turned to directing in 1983 with cross-dressing Jewish musical, Yentl, followed by 1991 Best Picture & Best Actor (Nick Nolte) contender, The Prince of Tides. After this she only made  charming grown up Rom Com The Mirror Has Two Faces in 1996 and a series of TV Specials about her own Concerts.

Penny Marshall - Technically, she has more acting than directing credits, but she is best known as the director of Jumpin' Jack Flash, Big, Best Picture nominated Awakenings, A League of their Own and Riding in Cars with Boys (there are two good Best Actor Oscar nominations in there) & as an actress for 70s TV sitcom Laverne & Shirley.

Jodie Foster - Oscar nominated child actor turned double Oscar winning grown up actress, Foster is also director of a trio of decent indie family dramas - Little Man Tate (1991), Home for the Holidays (1995) and, more recently, The Beaver.

Diane Keaton - 70's legend and Oscar winner for one of cinema (& fashion)'s most iconic characters, Annie Hall, Keaton has also directed a few TV movies, an episode of Twin Peaks (!!) and two feature films: Oscar Nominated (for Thomas Newman's score) Unstrung Heroes (1995) and sister dramedy Hanging Up (2000), most notable for being the great Walter Matthau's final film (in which he fittingly has a touching death bed scene). 

Sofia Coppolla - Believe it or not, Sofia has 16 acting titles to her name, but is rightly known for directing The Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation, Marie Antoinette and Somewhere instead. Her most notable acting credit is her dubious turn in her father's Godfather Part III (although she featured as babies in Parts I & II as well).

Drew Barrymore - Adorable ET star turned classic first Scream victim turned cutesy Rom Com star turned very deserving Golden Globe winner for Grey Gardens, Barrymore recently directed her very enjoyable and substantial debut feature, Whip It, with Ellen Page as a disenchanted young woman who falls in love with roller derby.

Vera Farmiga - Powerhouse character Actress, recently entering the Oscar crowd with Up in the Air and this year taking the helm of acclaimed indie drama Higher Ground, about a woman's lifelong struggle with her faith. She directs herself in a knockout performance to boot.