I’m not up on my Sara Gran, but I do know my Roman Polanski, and, aside from having the good sense to say no to a champagne/lude cocktail, I’m well aware that the master filmmaker did the crazy-bitch-gets-worked-up-over-nothing subgenre to perfection with Repulsion. But there must be something to Gran’s novel, Come Closer, which Miramax has assigned to director Carter Smith (the fashion photographer making his feature directing debut on The Ruins) and screenwriter Tristine Skyler (who’s currently adapting Sylvia Plath’s screwball comedy The Bell Jar for Julia Stiles). I mean, I can’t imagine a studio – or, in this case, a corporate-owned boutique – would plunder a cinematic masterpiece in the name of turning a quick buck.
Variety categorizes Come Closer as the saga of "a woman who may be possessed by unseen forces or simply may be losing her mind"; in other words… that’s just way too easy. I’m especially amused by the logic that Skyler has been brought aboard to pen a more "literary" version of the novel, which will apparently counter the mainstream sensibility of the previous adapter, Hossein Amini, who wrote such commercial smashes as Jude and The Wings of the Dove. Clearly, this man had no experience with renowned literature. I mean, was Steven E. de Souza too busy counting his Ricochet residuals?
One positive is that Carter Smith has already booked his second feature before completing The Ruins, which means he must be some kind of talented. This is another thriller based on the horror of the unseen (or the unthinkable), so maybe the guy really is the next Polanski. I’ll settle for the next Barbet Schroeder.