While omnibus projects generally tend to be hit and miss affairs, they are intriguing in that they usually give directors a chance to try something they wouldn't or couldn't normally do in a feature, as well as exercise their skills within the tighter constraints of the format. Or in the case of "The Turning," it will allow a couple of actresses the chance to get their feet wet behind the camera.
Cate Blanchett and Mia Wasikowska will make their directorial debuts, joining a total of fifteen other helmers — David Wenham, Benedict Andrews, Jonathan auf der Heide, Tony Ayres, Shaun Gladwell, Rhys Graham, Justin Kurzel, Ian Meadows, Yaron Lifschitz, Claire McCarthy, Ashlee Page and Stephen Page — in an ambitious adaptation of the novel by Tim Winton. There's no word yet on which stories the various helmers will take on, but the book provides a lot to choose from. Here's what Amazon has to say about some of the tales contained within:
In the title story, Raelene, a young wife and mother living in a trailer park with her abusive husband, Max, becomes fascinated with her happy new neighbors; the seemingly perfect couple's influence sets Raelene on a muddled path toward self-examination, resulting in a transformation shocking for both its brutality and naïveté. "Sand" reveals Max's cruelty as a young boy—he tries to bury his younger brother alive—while "Family" shows the two brothers meeting again as adults, with the balance of power between them shifting dramatically. Another character, Vic, is central to the book: he appears as an awkward adolescent fixated on unattainable older girls, as a young man coping with the legacy of his father's alcoholism and abandonment, and as a middle-aged man unable to come to terms with his past.
It hasn't yet been revealed when it will shoot, but it's the second massive omnibus to come from down under in recent weeks. Last month, a host of folks were announced for "Sydney Unplugged," a project that will find Russell Crowe, Liev Schreiber, Anthony LaPaglia, Toni Collette, Alex Proyas, David Michôd, Ivan Sen, John Curran, Kieran Darcy-Smith, Rachel Ward and Ray Lawrence all stepping behind the camera. So lots of Aussie stories headed your way. [THR]