Gabriel Byrne, Christopher Plummer, Max von Sydow, Roy Dupuis and Susan Sarandon have signed on as leads in Emotional Arithmetic, from the eponymous book by Canadian novelist Matt Cohen, according to Production Weekly.
Directed by Paolo Barzman and adapted by Jefferson Lewis and Barzman, the film probes the intricate possibilities of love and madness and the shadows the past throws upon the present. Three people who formed a life-long bond in a concentration camp are re-united for the first time forty years later in the bucolic setting of a renovated farm.
Sarandon will play Melanie Winters, a child inmate in the camp, who balances her precarious emotional state with a sharp wit; Plummer plays her husband while Dupuis plays her son; Byrne will play Christopher Lewis, also a child inmate, now a British entomologist haunted by the survivor's question: 'why was I spared?'; Von Sydow will play Jakob Bronski, the protector of the two children in the camp, a dissident who has also survived a Soviet psychiatric hospital. The 'emotional arithmetic' of the title refers to the characters' struggle to face the past and move on.
The project begins production next month in Quebec.