It’s been no secret and filmmaker Jason Reitman has never been shy about the fact that his movies are heavily indebted to the films of Alexander Payne. They both have a very particular humanist tone and often a quiet, deadpan one at that. Reitman put on a double feature of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and Payne’s “Election” back in 2010 at Los Angeles’ New Beverly Cinema in tribute to the films (Reitman sees “Election” as a sort of unofficial sequel to ‘Ferris Bueller’) and he’s gone on the record often about Payne’s influence.
So it’s perhaps no surprise that Reitman is following Payne’s lead again. The elder filmmaker had tons of success in 2011 with his adaptation of Kaui Hart Hemmings’ “The Descendants” (5 Oscar nominations including Best Picture) and now Reitman’s company Right of Way Films has optioned her latest book, "The Possibilities." Not scheduled to hit stores until May 13, the story is set in a Colorado ski town and follows a grieving mother struggling to overcome her son’s death. She’s visited by a strange girl with a secret that will change them both.
If you’ve seen Reitman’s “Labor Day,” perhaps his least successful film to date creatively (it does not come out until January 31; read our review here), you could be justified in thinking this is once again material ill-suited for the usually talky and quick-witted filmmaker, but who knows. You should never quite count him out. Never one to slow down, Reitman, who’s not part of the Oscar conversation this year, is already shooting his next movie, “Men, Women & Children,” starring Emma Thompson, Adam Sandler and Jennifer Garner. [THR]