Tuesday, March 21, 2006

From "Murderball" to "The Every Boy"

I'd have to list "Murderball" as my nicest movie surprise of 2005.

My dad and I were in Atlanta with nothing else to do, so we decided to check out this engaging documentary about quad rugby. I had no idea that quadraplegics played anything resembling rugby, or that their story could be so compelling.

The reason it works so well is a refreshing lack of sentimentality and a built-in, real-life "Rocky"esque saga about the summer paralympic games. If you haven't seen it yet, I'd recommend renting the DVD, for both the movie and the laugh-out-loud extra featuring the movie's stars taking on the "Jackass" crew in a rugby game.

Now comes news about one of the directors of "Murderball" that just makes me smile.

According to Variety, Dana Adam Shapiro has signed with Paramount to adapt and direct "The Every Boy," based on his debut novel of the same name, and set it up with Brad Pitt's company Plan B to produce.

I was unfamiliar with the book, so I peeped this summation at publisher Houghton-Mifflin:

"A fifteen-year-old boy dies mysteriously, leaving behind a secret ledger filled with his darkly comic confessions. Whether fantasizing about being a minority, breaking into his neighbors’ homes, or gunning down an exotic bird, Henry Every’s wayward quest for betterment sometimes bordered on the criminal. Alone now in their suburban house, his father pores over the ledger in a final attempt to connect with the boy he never really knew - and, more urgently, to figure out how he died. As Harlan Every learns the truth about his son’s many misadventures and transgressions, he also discovers the part he unwittingly played in Henry’s tragic death and the real reason his wife walked out years ago. The story grows into two parallel love stories - one past, one present - with drastically different outcomes.

Whew. Sounds like a very ambitious first novel, but a great idea for a story. I love movies about the power of imagination, like "Big Fish" and "Everything is Illuminated," so this sounds right up my alley. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some reading to do.

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