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Terence Davies, the English writer-director who memorably adapted Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth into a heralded feature film, has just cemented plans to do the same for the work of a more contemporary American author. Variety reports Davies will turn poet-cum-novelist Richard McCann's heralded 2005 offering Mother of Sorrows into a drama. Set in post-World War II America, this poignant novel focuses on the complicated lives of two gay brothers who share a troubled childhood, domineering mother, and a homophobic father.
Davies told Variety about his passion for the project, saying:
"This is an important story because it touches the humanity in all of us. I love the delicacy of the book and its gentle odyssey from post-WWII optimism for the American Utopia to a deeper understanding of both maternal and filial love and acceptance of morality by surrendering to the light."
While the article doesn't spell out the parameters of Davies' involvement in the adaptation's production, it appears he'll be on board as writer and director, as he's done in the past. And he seems a great fit for it. With themes of familial strife, sexual repression, substance abuse and mortality, Mother of Sorrows is ripe for the melodrama treatment that is Davies' forte. Plus the book couldn’t hope for a more ardent admirer.
Now, the novel's memoir-like storytelling style could prove a challenge in translation. But Davies should have plenty of time to hone his approach, as Mother of Sorrows appears to be on the back burner until Davie's in-development Sunset Song makes it through production. Based on Lewis Grassic Gibbon's classic Scottish novel, this drama will center on farmer's daughter coming-of-age at the turn of the twentieth century. The film is now rumored to be in the midst of casting, with producers hoping to go into production if not by the end of this year, then by early 2013.