Thursday, March 1, 2012

Adaptation Angst: The Corrections

When I first heard rumors swirling about a cinematic adaptation of Jonathan Franzen's 2001 tour-de-force The Corrections, my only response was "I hope HBO makes it a miniseries." The novel, which takes place during the late-90s American tech-boom, masterfully illuminates and argues for a relationship between psychological neuroses and the cultural climate through the complicated, maddening, and deeply human Lambert family. This trope, echoed in Franzen's follow-up, Freedom, makes for characters that are simultaneously infuriating, pitiful, hilarious, dignified, ridiculous, sympathetic, and very, very recognizable. How would one do that in a 120-minute feature?

Well, maybe the powers-that-be are finally reading my diary, as The Corrections is set to air on HBO for four ten-episode seasons. Allow me to say: squee. Even better? Noah friggin' Baumbach is going to adapt and direct the series. This is a writer-director who knows all too well how to mine the tiny tragedies of everyday lives for cinematic gold (The Squid and the Whale, Margot at the Wedding, and Greenberg, anyone?). However, he's also the auteur behind Kicking and Screaming and Mr. Jealousy, showing he can bring the funny as well.

The cast is also so far, so good. Chris Cooper and Dianne Wiest are rumored to be playing the Lambert parents, with Ewan McGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal as the two younger siblings. Imagine me singing to the tune of Alanis Morisette's "Thank You": "Thank you HBO, Thank you Baumbach, Thank you Ewan Mah-Gre-GOR! "

Adaptation Angst: 2

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