I am a huge fan of Sylvia Plath and The Bell Jar is my all time favorite novel. Since Rose McGowan is going to appear in the film adaptation of the novel, I thought I’d post a little more information about the movie in addition to Mycah’s post.
Julia Stiles, who will star as Esther Greenwood, has been working on developing Plath’s novel into a film for over five years.
“Whenever I mention that I am working on turning The Bell Jar into a film, immediately people offer, ‘how depressing!’ Not only is that somewhat dismissive, but it shows that the real tragedy of Plath’s suicide (for those who didn’t know her personally) is that it overshadows her writing. In a recent NY Times editorial, Joyce Carol Oates describes Plath as ‘a rare genius,’ and I don’t think this is an overstatement. Sylvia Plath managed to combine her sensitivity with an obsessive dedication to the English language. She writes, ‘The blood jet is poetry, there is no stopping it.’ Her words are potent and electric, and even as I write this, I realize how difficult it is to be that original.
In the poem Lady Lazarus, Plath describes regaining consciousness after her first (failed) suicide attempt. She writes, ‘hey had to call and call/ and pick the worms off me like sticky pearls..’ Plath often combines the beautiful and the grotesque, a testament to her hallucinatory imagination.” – Julia Stiles
You can read more of Julia’s thoughts about Plath and adapting her work here. It is obvious that Stiles is incredibly passionate about the material, which certainly makes fans like myself happy.
The film is currently in development, with no production or release date announced.
Rose will have a smaller supporting role as Doreen, a fun, wild and rebellious friend of Esther’s. Read for more information about the character under the cut.
One of the Ladies’ Day girls, “Doreen came from a society girls’ college down South and had bright white hair standing out in a cotton candy fluff round her head and blue eyes like transparent agate marbles, hard and polished and just about indestructible, and a mouth set in a sort of perpetual sneer.” Doreen, with her white hair and silky white items of apparel, is another opposite of Esther. Her amused cynicism makes her quite indestructible — at least from Esther’s point of view. Doreen does not take the magazine work seriously; she is in New York City to have fun. She takes Esther along on a date with Lenny, and she arranges the ill-fated date with the suave Marco, a date that has a devastating effect on Esther.
But Esther likes Doreen, even though she cannot be like her. What she likes most is the fact that Doreen is smart enough to see through the hypocrisies of society, and perhaps Esther is more than a little envious of Doreen’s ability to make the best of a bad situation.
When Doreen gets drunk and vomits outside Esther’s door, Esther just leaves her there on the rug and shuts the door. Esther is not able to take this double life of the white Southern belle. Yet when Esther leaves New York City, Doreen gives her a half suitcase of avocados to take home. We never hear of Doreen again. We do not know if wearing white and having fun worked better for her than Esther’s wearing black and trying to be successful.
Wow, at my school we’ve just been annotating one of Plath’s poems, that’s great. :biggrin: