Roman Polanski's 'The Ghost Writer' was a comeback of sorts, and an act of defiance: the director hadn't had a critical hit since 'The Pianist' eight years before, and the chorus of outrage and condemnation about his crime thirty years ago had reached a sort of frenzied peak in late 2009, when he was arrested in Zurich (and subsequently released). Love him or hate him, though, this year's Brosnan-McGregor thriller was pretty undeniable -- proof that the guy's still got it when it comes to literate, slow-moving, relentlessly compelling thrillers.
Polanski's next project was announced back in July
: an adaptation of Yazmina Reza's acclaimed play 'God of Carnage', about two sets of parents who meet for a civilized confrontation after their kids get into a fight on the playground. As the evening proceeds, though, the conversation devolves into rage, prejudice, and homophobia.
The confrontational director has landed a heck of a cast for 'God of Carnage', proving that he remains anything but a pariah in Hollywood. According to Deadline
, none other than Jodie Foster
and Kate Winslet
will play the wives, joining red-hot Oscar winner Christoph Waltz
(of 'Inglorious Basterds'
fame) and Matt Dillon
as the husbands. (The roles were played by Hope Davis, Marcia Gay Harden, Jeff Daniels, and James Gandolfini on Broadway.) That cast, along with the timing -- the film will shoot for twelve weeks starting in February -- suggests that 'God of Carnage' may be a player in next year's Oscar race.
I totally respect the folks who refuse to see Polanski films as a matter of principle, but I'm not one of them. I'm not the biggest fan of movies based on plays, but with this kind of pedigree, 'God of Carnage' looks like one of next year's definite must-sees.