Last we heard from Dakota Fanning, she was playing an Elvis-impersonating rape victim in the Sundance debacle Hounddog. That performance managed to simultaneously warm the hearts of festival goers, while rendering anti-kiddie porn crusaders appalled, and leaving most critics simply bored. Now, apparently having had a taste of life as a hot topic on MSNBC, Dakota wants more. She's signed on to star alongside little sister Elle Fanning in Hurricane Mary, which, according to Variety, "tells the true story of an Irish-American mother, played by Patricia Clarkson, who fought a long battle for the rights of her handicapped yet gifted daughters to have a public school education."
Elle and Dakota will play "handicapped yet gifted" under the director of Arvin Brown, a television director who has directed just one feature film, a 1980 horror flick called Diary of the Dead. I'm sure Dakota's parents and handlers have a master plan, and I'm absolutely positive they need no advice from internet movie critics when it comes to the handling of the preteen phenom's career. However, I do think now is the time to recall the sad story of Macaulay Culkin. If you remember, the Uncle Buck star was just about Dakota's age when he stuck his own little toe into dangerous waters, first as sidekick to a window-smashing, crotch-grabbing Michael Jackson in the "Black or White" video, and then as the villain in the 1993 thriller bomb, The Good Son.
Like Hurricane Mary, The Good Son was a family affair, co-starring Culkin siblings Quinn and Rory. Within a year after The Good Son's release, little Macaulay all but suffered a nervous breakdown and basically disappeared for almost a decade, only to resurface briefly to play a drug-addicted murderer and get engaged to a cast member from That 70s Show. This could very well all fit into the Fanning' family's plan: maybe the goal is to screw everything up now, wait until 2017, and then get Dakota cast in a remake of Monster and married off to Wilmer Valderrama. If so, well done, Mr. and Mrs. Fanning! Let all your haters stand corrected when this delicious plan comes to fruition.