Suite Française, the novel by Irène Némirovsky (translated to English by Sandra Smith), is being adapted for the big screen. Will Michelle Williams star in it? That’s a possibility!
If the star of My Week with Marilyn signs on to the project, she play Lucille Angellier, an old-fashioned gal with gumption, living in Nazi-occupied France. What does she do? She goes and falls in love with a German officer. Woops! It won’t be easy choosing between love and country, either.
Lucille is married, too, but not in love with her husband, who leaves to join the fight, leaving her under the poor care of her overbearing mother-in-law. Lucille losses herself in the piano when things get tough. Of course, when the young German officer enters her life, staying in their home, revealing he’s a former composer, well, then the attraction becomes undeniable.
British director, Saul Dibb is making the proper preparations. Suite Française will be his next film. Four years ago he was sitting in the director chair for another period drama, The Duchess, for Paramount Vantage. That one starred Keira Knightley of course. Dibb also wrote it.
Williams is now a three-time Oscar nominee, and I’ll say that she earned every nomination. If she accepts the offer to star Suite Française, she’ll be agreeing to rejoin her My Week With Marilyn collaborators David Parfitt and Mark Cooper. Those two are producing Suite Française. Work should begin next spring in London.
Blue Valentine aside, (okay, and Brokeback Mountain aside, too) Williams does some of her best work in period films. She was simply haunting in Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island. did you notice her accent, too? And her work getting into the character of Marilyn Monroe has been unforgettable. My Week With Marilyn resulted in her first Golden Globe win. Soon we’ll see Williams as Glinda the Good Witch in Sam Raimi’s big show Oz: The Great and Powerful, coming from Disney on March 8.
Williams is the only young actress I’ve ever felt can compare in aptitude for acting to the immortal Ms. Meryl Streep. I haven’t had the chance yet to see her in Meek’s Cutoff, but the Western, which has circumstances not unlike the old Oregon Trail video game, sounds very intense. Her romantic comedy, Take this Waltz, was released in September. In it Williams shared the screen with Seth Rogen and Sarah Silverman.
Author Irène Némirovsky is a Jew who lived in Paris as a successful writer even before her novel debuted. Unfortunately, in 1942 she was arrested and deported to Auschwitz, where she died. According to Goodreads, Suite Française remained hidden for sixty-four years. I also hear that because of her untimely death, the novel was never fully completed. Reviewers note the haunting beauty of Némirovsky voice in her book and say the story was riveting and heart-breaking.
Saul Dibb’s Duchess took home the Oscar for costume design and earned a Golden Globe nom for Ralph Fiennes. Dibbs is also working on a thriller called Codenames Only.