West Of Memphis Documentarian Moves To Drama With Diane Lane

By Kristy Puchko 2012-08-01 10:02:57discussion comments
West Of Memphis Documentarian Moves To Drama With Diane Lane image
You might say documentarian Amy Berg is drawn to the dark side of human nature. To date she's directed two feature-length documentaries, Deliver Us From Evil and West of Memphis, both of which deal with true crimes committed against young children. The former focused on the horrific exploits of Father Oliver O'Grady, a Catholic priest accused of molesting dozens of children; the latter investigated the infamous case of the West Memphis Three who were accused of mutilating and murdering three young boys. But notably, both also dealt with seeking justice. Now in the works on her third feature, a documentary with the provocative title This Is America, Berg is making plans to branch out into narrative film, but she's taking her penchant for crime and punishment stories with her.

Variety reports Berg has signed on to make her narrative directorial debut on Every Secret Thing, a thriller penned by Nicole Holofcener (Please Give) and based on Laura Lippman's 2004 mystery novel. Like her documentaries, this film will begin with an atrocious crime. Alice Manning and Ronnie Fuller are two 11-year-old girls with a bad reputation. After being booted from a birthday party for their bad behavior, they stumble down an unfamiliar lane and find a lone stroller with an abandoned baby inside. After being convicted of murdering the infant, the pair is sentenced to spend the rest of their childhoods in a juvenile prison. At 18, they are released. But suspicion surrounds the infamous duo when children start going missing, and unanswered questions from the earlier crime re-emerge.

Right off the bat it seems a chilling tale well suited to Berg's somber and unsettling storytelling style. And with Holofcener penning the script it seems certain Every Secret Thing will be a grounded and poignant drama rather than a hysterical hair-pulling melodrama. But the most enticing news from the Variety item may well be that heralded leading lady Diane Lane is attached to co-star, slated to play mother of one of the girls, who she's long believed to be a skilled liar. Already imagining Lane hissing the word "liar" through a sneer has me eager to see Every Secret Thing. The Oscar-nominated actress has a seething intensity, and if the film can attract other performers who can match her electric appeal than Every Secret Thing is going to be on everyone's lips.
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