Uniting a stellar cast, Evening begins filming in Rhode Island this week for Focus Features. The Hart Sharp Entertainment production, adapted by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Cunningham (The Hours) from Susan Minot's best-selling novel of the same name, is directed by Lajos Koltai (Fateless). Focus Features CEO James Schamus made the announcement today.
The cast of Evening includes Golden Globe Award winner Claire Danes, Academy Award nominee Toni Collette, Academy Award winner Vanessa Redgrave, Emmy Award nominee Patrick Wilson ("Angels in America"), Emmy Award nominee Hugh Dancy ("Elizabeth I"), Tony Award winner Natasha Richardson, Dame Eileen Atkins (Gosford Park), screen newcomer Mamie Gummer, Ebon Moss-Bachrach (The Lake House), five-time Academy Award nominee Glenn Close, and two-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep.
Hart Sharp principals Jeffrey Sharp and John Hart, whose credits include "You Can Count on Me", Proof, The Night Listener, and "Boys Don't Cry" (for which Hilary Swank won her first Academy Award), are the producers of Evening. Gyula Pados (who shot Fateless for Mr. Koltai) is the film's director of photography; Caroline Hanania ("Shall We Dance") is production designer on the film; and Academy Award winner Ann Roth (The English Patient) is the costume designer. Focus senior vice president, production Kahli Small is overseeing the project for president of production John Lyons.
The drama explores the romantic past and emotional present of Ann Grant (Vanessa Redgrave) and her daughters, Constance (Natasha Richardson, who is also the real-life daughter of Vanessa Redgrave) and Nina (Toni Collette). As Ann lays dying, she remembers, and is moved to convey to her daughters, the defining moments in her life 50 years prior, when she was a young woman (Claine Danes).
Mamie Gummer and Meryl Streep, who are mother and daughter in real life, are portraying Ann's college friend Lila as a younger and older woman, respectively. Ms. Close plays the mother of Buddy (Hugh Dancy), Lila's older brother and a suitor of Ann Grant s; Eileen Atkins plays Mrs. Brown, Ann's nurse; and Patrick Wilson plays Harris, the man Ann loves in the 1950s and never forgets.
Mr. Schamus said, Evening is a story that will deeply affect moviegoers. As with the previous screen adaptations Focus has done of great books, we will be working with gifted moviemakers and an outstanding troupe of actors. Evening has an especially strong foundation in that one master author, Michael Cunningham, is adapting the work of another, Susan Minot.