David Jacobson’s A SINGLE SHOT recruits an all-star cast

Will Schiffelbein

by:
May 17th, 2010

Well, it's a Monday and that means today's news will be full of casting announcements held over from the weekend. The latest one  includes several of my favorite actors working today. David Jacobson, the director of the 2005 Cannes selection DOWN IN THE VALLEY, has wrangled the likes of Michael Fassbender, William H. Macy, and Thomas Haden Church to star in his adaptation of the novel A Single Shot.

Check out the full story, after the break.

I hadn't ever heard of this book which, for someone who reads quite regularly, was quite surprising. I perused Amazon for a synopsis and came across this:

A gritty, claustrophobic blend of Jim Thompson and James Dickey, it depicts the seven-day ordeal of a backwoods poacher who accidentally shoots a runaway girl. Set in an unnamed, seedy, mountain town, the novel opens as reclusive John Moon, whose wife and young son have recently left, hunts a buck into a canyon in the state preserve adjacent to his trailer home (which sits on farmland repossessed from his family by the bank some years before). There he fires a shot into a thicket, killing not the buck but teenage Ingrid Banes, who is hiding out with a cache of $100,000.

Not only is this synopsis incredibly intriguing, it also brings to mind a narrative style and tone that would be perfect for the big screen. The story sounds distinctly dark, and looks to expose every dark element of fate that seeks to tear this man apart. Nothing seems to be going right for this guy and things seem to only be getting worse.

These stories are often my favorite. A SERIOUS MAN has a similar plot synopsis, albeit sans homicide, and it was my favorite film from last year. There's something about films that present huge obstacles to their characters that really interest me. This one has got me hooked as well.

All that interest has been generated without the pull of the cast, which is substantial. William H. Macy is a favorite of mine, particularly his work in FARGO and MAGNOLIA. He's a one of a kind actor who can deftly portray a certain cynical naiveté. Given the right director and a good script, this guy is up for some long overdue praise.

And then you've got Fassbender. While he's been around for a few years, Michael Fassbender really broke onto the screen last year. He played a British officer in Tarantino's INGLORIOUS BASTERDS, which got him some mainstream support. But it was his small scale films that really hooked me. FISH TANK was an extremely well told coming of age story that featured not only amazing performance by the lead female actress, but also some keen work by Fassbender himself.

However, it was HUNGER that really made his mark on me. Holy hell. This is just one of those movies. If you're looking to see an actor go beyond mere portrayal, this is it. It's a performance that brings to mind Daniel Day-Lewis in THERE WILL BE BLOOD and  Peter O'Toole in LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. It evokes so much emotion from the viewer that it produces physical reaction. Fassbender truly is the next great actor and I'm very excited to see him work in ways that really challenge him, like A SINGLE SHOT.

Source: The Playlist

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