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Amy Berg and Nicole Holofcener's 'Every Secret Thing' Adds Dakota Fanning and Danielle Macdonald

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood February 7, 2013 at 4:10PM

Amy Berg's West Memphis Three doc "West of Memphis" played Sundance and Toronto 2012 before being shortlisted for the Best Documentary Oscar, and now the director is entering the narrative realm with "Every Secret Thing," penned by Nicole Holofcener ("Please Give," "Friends with Money").
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Dakota Fanning

Amy Berg's West Memphis Three doc "West of Memphis" played Sundance and Toronto 2012 before being shortlisted for the Best Documentary Oscar, and now the director is entering the narrative realm with "Every Secret Thing," penned by Nicole Holofcener ("Please Give," "Friends with Money"). The script is based on Laura Lippmann's book, which -- like "West of Memphis" -- deals with murder and blame.

Dakota Fanning and Danielle Macdonald are joining the cast, which includes previously announced stars Diane Lane and Elizabeth Banks. The pair will play two girls who are convicted of murdering a baby at age 11, and then released from incarceration at age 18. Read the full synopsis below.

Frances McDormand is producing with Likely Story, and Merced Media Partners, Palmstar Media Capital, and Hyde Park International are serving as exec producers. Shooting is set to begin March 25.

Read the book's synopsis from Booklist below.

Lippman has won just about every mystery writing award there is--the Edgar, the Agatha, the Anthony, the Shamus, and the Nero Wolfe--for her Tess Monaghan series. This is her first stand-alone mystery, one in which the detectives are consigned to bit parts. The fact that the police here do little save go through the motions underscores the fatalistic feeling at the core of this dark domestic tragedy. Lippman writes the kind of opening that should make readers feel they're following helplessly as a nightmare slowly unfolds. Two 10-year-old girls, bounced from a birthday party for bad behavior, discover a baby in a carriage on the sidewalk and deem it necessary to "save" her. Lippman leaves the reader knowing something terrible happened but unsure what it was until the narrative progresses to seven years later, when the two girls are released from prison and return to their homes, six blocks away from the house to which they brought untold grief. The girls have to adjust to a new prison of neighborhood suspicion. Then, as the girls make somewhat of a new life, children start disappearing, and then reappearing, until one toddler is well and truly missing. Lippman doesn't write a standard whodunit here but plays with reader expectations of what should happen next. A startling page-turner.

This article is related to: News, News, Dakota Fanning, Nicole Holofcener, Amy Berg, CASTING WATCH


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.