Julianne Moore to Play Opera Singer-Turned-Hostage in ‘Bel Canto’
With all the new reviews and interview coming out of Toronto this past week — it’s kind of like Comic-Con International, but for the arthouse crowd — it’s totally understandable if you missed some of the casting notices or odds-and-ends about upcoming productions. So here’s one important bit of news you might have overlooked: according to Deadline, Julianne Moore is set to headline a cast of impressive actors for the Paul Weitz adaptation of the bestseller Bel Canto.
As Deadline notes, the book is based on a series of true events in Peru and tells the story of a birthday party for a rich Japanese industrialist (played by Ken Watanabe in the movie). Music is the most important thing in this man’s life, so to honor him, a famous American soprano (Moore) is flown in to sing at his party. Things don’t go quite as planned, however, when a group of freedom fighters assume control of the mansion and hold all of the party guests hostage. What follows is a unique and heartfelt examination of how art and culture can cross political and economic divides.
I read Bel Canto in college and it quickly became one of my favorite books about the intersection of politics and the arts. While the story is considerably more muted than the above synopsis suggests, the two key characters — Watanabe’s industrialist and Moore’s singer — are the sort of roles that could easily garner both actors some attention come award season. The talent of the cast all-but guarantees that Bel Canto will finally enter production, so be sure to put Bel Canto down as an early contender in your way-too-early 2018 Oscar pool.