Two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand is set to produce and star in a feature adaptation of Miriam Toews’ bestselling novel Women Talking that will be written and directed by Sarah Polley.
Deadline broke the news, reporting that McDormand was the driving forced behind this project, as she acquired the rights to the book under her Hear/Say Productions banner before bringing the prestige package to Brad Pitt‘s company Plan B. Women Talking is now set up at MGM‘s Orion Pictures, and will be released theatrically in the U.S. by United Artists Releasing.
Polley will adapt Toews‘ acclaimed 2018 book, which follows a group of women in an isolated religious colony as they struggle to reconcile their faith with a series of sexual assaults committed by the colony’s men.
That’s a fascinating premise if you ask me, and the powerful pairing of Polley and McDormand makes Women Talking a must-see in my eyes. Religion can be a complicated thing, especially when it runs up against the law, and watching McDormand navigate that dichotomy could very well make for a special film, particularly in the hands of a sensitive filmmaker such as Polley.
Polley earned an Oscar nomination for adapting Away from Her, which was her very first film as a director. She went on to direct the Michelle Williams marital drama Take This Waltz, which I thought was quite good, and more importantly, she grappled with some difficult subject matter in her autobiographical 2012 documentary Stories We Tell, which makes me thing she’s the right person to bring Women Talking to the big screen.
As for McDormand, she’s back in the Oscar race this year thanks to her wonderful turn in Chloe Zhao‘s Nomadland, having previously won Best Actress twice for Fargo and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. McDormand could also find herself back in the hunt next year, as she’s a member of Wes Anderson‘s ensemble for The French Dispatch, and also stars opposite Denzel Washington in Joel Coen‘s The Tragedy of Macbeth.