Sarah Polley To Adapt Margaret Atwood's 'Alias Grace' For The Big Screen

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by Kevin Jagernauth
January 4, 2012 1:23 PM
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Sarah Polley is no stranger to Canadian literature. As a young actress, she rose to fame playing Sara Stanley in the beloved TV series "Road To Avonlea" based on the writings of Lucy Maud Montgomery, and when Polley set out to make her debut feature film, she turned Alice Munro's short story "The Bear Came Over The Mountain" into the astounding "Away From Her." With another feature film already under her belt in the relationship dramedy "Take This Waltz," which will hit theaters later this year, it looks like Polley has been at the library again.

The writer/actress/director is now set to bring Margaret Atwood's "Alias Grace" to the big screen. The novel is based on the true story of Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper/mistress Nancy Montgomery, who were murdered in their Upper Canada home in 1843 by 16 year-old Grace Marks and James McDermott, servants of Kinnear. Atwood's novel tosses in a fictional character, Doctor Jordan, who investigates the case and grows sympathetic towards Marks. Atwood has long been fascinated with the case, writing a CBC TV movie "The Servant Girl" way back in 1974, but since then, she believes Marks to be innocent of murder. And while the novel is the account of the incident from the point-of-view of Grace, the narrative shifts and turns "Rashomon" style to present a variety of viewpoints from various people involved.

All this to say, it's some pretty great material and another change in direction from Polley who continues to surprise. While there is no concrete word that she will direct as well, we'd assume that's the case. Either way, yet another promising prospect from Polley who continues to be one of the brightest voices emerging from north of the border. [THR]

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1 Comment

  • James | January 4, 2012 3:57 PMReply

    Sounds oddly similar to the Kathryn Bigelow film, THE WEIGHT OF WATER, that Polley starred in in 2000, which also dealt with a period Canadian murder.

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