Saturday, September 05, 2009

Books @ the Movies, Shutter Island

As you may have noticed with recent Mad Men & Project Runway posts I've become enamored of references to movies in other mediums. I thought I'd share them as they occur to me. On that note, I recently picked up Dennis Lehane's mystery thriller Shutter Island which is set in the 50s on an island for the criminally insane. Figured I had time to read it before the movie version arrives given its abrupt move to February 2010. The jacket blurb claims that it's "instantly cinematic" and for once the blurb ain't shamelessly overstating. Not only does the book read like a zippy movie-movie, it mentions movies, too. Here's one example.

page 168...
Rachel Solando (to be played by Emily Mortimer) and Teddy Daniels (to be played by Leonardo DiCaprio) meet. This is not a spoiler ~ please DO NOT post spoilers in the comments!
"Are you accusing me of being a Communist?" Her back came off the pillows and she bunched the sheet in her fists...

"A Communist, ma'am? You? What man in his right mind would think that? You're as American as Betty Grable. Only a blind man could miss that."

She unclenched one hand from the sheet, rubbed her kneecap with it. "But I don't look like Betty Grable."

"Only in your obvious patriotism. No, I'd say you look more like Teresa Wright, ma'am. What was that one she did with Joseph Cotton, ten-twelve years ago?"
That'd be Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt and if Hitch' were alive, he might've wanted to adapt Shutter Island himself. I giggled at the patriotism line and hoped it made it into the screenplay. Then I thought 'Does Emily Mortimer look anything like Teresa Wright?'

You be the judge.

Emily in 2007 at 36 years of age | Teresa in 1943 at 25 years of age
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13 comments:

Jim T said...

Good for you Nathaniel! It's a good book. I guess Michigan couldn't stop your writing hunger. That's good for us. :p

But look what you've done! I am in a mood of watching old films (Today I saw What Ever Happened to Baby Jane !!)and now you made me add Shadow of a Doubt in the list.

Danny King said...

This was an enjoyable read, and I am looking forward to the movie. I'm not sure the ending will work that well on screen, but anything with Scorsese and DiCaprio teaming up would get me into the theater.

NATHANIEL R said...

Danny -- yeah, i'm worried about the ending onscreen. I hope Scorsese keeps it a little more ambiguous unsettling. not that it isn't unsettling as is.

Jim T -- was this year first experience with Baby Jane? yayyyy

Derreck said...

I loved the book and was super-stoked to see the dream team of Leo and Scorcese, but then they pushed it back. *sigh*

Anyways, the book is quite riveting and a big ol' page-turner. By the looks of the trailer, the movie stays quite faithful to the book, but i won't be surprised if they change some things around. and after reading the book, i notice that the trailer is quite spoilery. yikes. It gives a good amount away like THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE did in its trailer.

But i hope SHUTTER turns out better than TTTW tough. TTTW had the decent leads, but it was like a Cliffs Notes version which wimped out on the ending. I can see how people who didn't read the book were very confused.

Anonymous said...

Emily Mortimer and Teresa Wright are two of my favorite actresses and both are wholly underappreciated but they don't really look alike.

Jim T: You should definitely see 'Shadow of a Doubt'. It's one of Hitchcock's best but is rarely ever mentioned as such.

Anonymous said...

Emily Mortimer and Teresa Wright are two of my favorite actresses and both are wholly underappreciated but they don't really look alike.

Jim T: You should definitely see 'Shadow of a Doubt'. It's one of Hitchcock's best but is rarely ever mentioned as such.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Yes she does have a Teresa Wright vibe going on...although I find veeeeeeeeeery bland.

Anonymous said...

Emily Mortimer looks so much like teresa wright. Are you kidding, they're very similar. Even the hair seems similar but teresa's forehead seems bigger.

Rebecca said...

Isn't Rachel Solando supposed to look like Dolores, too? She's played by Michelle Williams, and they don't really look alike.

I'm also hoping that the movie ending is ambiguous.

NATHANIEL R said...

Rebecca --yes, she is. Or in theory she is... but since we're dealing with conversations with insane person/people... maybe the "likeness" needn't be literal on film.

but yeah. emily & michelle so are so different (though both, i'm relieved to note, are terrific actresses)

rosengje said...

I'm so intrigued to see how Scorsese handles the twist. I read Shutter Island last month and started on a Lehane kick. As much as I enjoyed "Gone Baby Gone," I think Ben Affleck made a big mistake jumping into the middle of the Kenzie/Gennaro series. If ever there was potential for a smart, thoughtful franchise this was it. I would love to see him or someone work through the earlier novels in the series. I have read "A Drink Before the War" and "Sacred" and both have great cinematic potential.

RC said...

How great! I really hope Shutter was only moved for $$$ reasons - not quality reasons - the book has it's own film intrigue that I hope Martin brings to the screen.

Anonymous said...

I think the ending was changed a little, if only in a way that makes it oddly poignant, at least according to some script stuff I've read. I won't give anything away though. I think from what I keep hearing -- which is bits and pieces of tweets -- from some people who claim to have seen it already (and, yes, quote whore Peter Travers is among them -- he loved it and has been excoriating Paramount for releasing crap but not this) that it is really, really good. I just think Paramount didn't want anything to get in the way of their most obvious crowd (and, by extension, Academy member) pleaser, Up in the Air. I wouldn't put it past them to move this again, btw. Anyhow, if DiCaprio is as good in this as is being broadcast and good in Inception, which has an opportunity to be a hit, it might be his year at the movies again.