To those who have been paying attention, Cate Blanchett has had her eye on the director’s chair. She was originally slated to direct a short in the Australian omnibus “The Turning,” before she just decided to take a role in the film instead. However, instead of testing the waters with a small segment first, Blanchett is diving right in, and has lined up a feature to kick off her career behind the camera.
Deadline reveals that Blachett will bring Herman Koch‘s acclaimed novel “The Dinner” to the bring screen, and she’s had a pretty talented hand penning the script. Oren Moverman (“The Messenger,” “Rampart“) will write the adaptation, in the tale of two couples, each with a fifteen year old son, united by tragedy. Here’s the Amazon book synopsis:
It’s a summer’s evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse — the banality of work, the triviality of the holidays. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened.
Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children. As civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple show just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.
Tautly written, incredibly gripping, and told by an unforgettable narrator, The Dinner promises to be the topic of countless dinner party debates. Skewering everything from parenting values to pretentious menus to political convictions, this novel reveals the dark side of genteel society and asks what each of us would do in the face of unimaginable tragedy.
Structurally, it sounds not unlike “Carnage,” and moreover, it seems small-scale enough that it should be very easy to handle for a first time director. That said, having being on sets with directors like Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Terrence Malick, David Fincher, Todd Haynes, Steven Soderbergh and countless others, Blanchett will be going in knowing how the very best work. Also, she’s directed some plays as well, so she’s not a complete newbie.
No word yet on if she will star, or when this will roll, but it’s certainly one we’ll be keeping tabs on.