In 2001, Ann Patchett’s fourth novel Bel Canto amazed readers all around the world. It’s a book about music, love, and politics, set in a South America.The story begins at a birthday party thrown at the vice presidential home in honor of Katsumi Hosokawa, a visiting chairman of a large Japanese company and an opera enthusiast. A famous American soprano Roxane Coss is also invited to perform as the highlight of the night. However, the opera-embroidered night is broken by a break-in by terrorists who take the entire party hostage.
Ann Patchett and the cover of Bel Canto | Image via ProProfs
The appealing plot and Patchett’s skill at describing music make the novel successful. It was awarded both the Orange Prize for Fiction and PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. It was placed on several top book lists, including Amazon’s Best Books of the Year (2001). It was also adapted into an opera in 2015.
Now, the film adaption is going to amaze us again. Directed by Paul Weitz, the movie gathers international cast members including Julianne Moore, Ken Watanabe, Demian Bichir, and Ryo Kase. (See the full list of cast here)
Julianne Moore, Ken Watanabe, and Demian Bichir | Image via Variety
Movie Poster | Image via IMDb
The trailer moves me with the last scene when Roxanne (Julianne Moore) steps onto the balcony and is ready to sing to the public. I think that will be a powerful moment in which music serves as a language of love and forgiveness.
Marissa Martinelli in her article at Slate commented that:
Patchett’s novel is beloved, but it seems like Weitz won’t be precious about making changes, since even in the relatively short space of the trailer, there’s already one major deviation from the original story. Around 40 seconds in, one of the young terrorists seems to shoot a man, presumably the opera singer’s accompanist, in the chest as he comes in the door; in the novel, the character simply dies from lack of insulin, having failed to disclose that he was a diabetic.
That may seem like a minor detail, but it’s significant, because the accompanist’s death is a major turning point in the story, and if the change is as it appears, then Weitz has turned a tragicomic moment into a purely tragic one. Whether that’s a sign of major tonal changes to the story as a whole or a simple tweak to the plot remains to be seen.
I’m sure this will a fantastic film adaption. See you in the movie theatre on September 14th!
Featured Image via IMDb