Neil Jordan Going Back To Boarding School For Skippy Dies

By Katey Rich 2010-08-02 10:23:52discussion comments
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Neil Jordan's latest film, Ondine, came and went without much notice despite boasting Colin Farrell in the lead role as a man falling in love with a possible mermaid. But the director also of The End of the Affair and Breakfast on Pluto has never been afraid to keep making small movies in the past, and that's exactly what he plans to keep doing as he moves on to Skippy Dies, an adaptation of Paul Murray's novel.

According to Deadline Skippy is an Irish novel about school friends Skippy and Ruprecht, described as "South Park meets Tom Brown's Schooldays," whatever that means. The project fits right next to Pluto and Ondine as a story set in Jordan's native Ireland, but hey, with a concept that weird, maybe it will garner more attention than either of those underseen films. Published this spring, Skippy Dies was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and its title isn't as much a spoiler as you would think: Skippy indeed dies in the beginning of the book, but much of the story takes place as flashbacks during the preceding school term. A review in The Independent pointed out that book "strays near some dark territory (self-harm, domestic violence, bereavement, sexual abuse), but maintains its light, utterly readable, skippy tread throughout." They saw that as a bad thing -- "It can't decide how serious or funny it wants to be"-- but after the largely morose Ondine, I wouldn't mind seeing Jordan try some tricky humor instead.
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