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

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by Sophia Savage
February 7, 2013 4:10 PM
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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.

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