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Tommy Lee Jones Takes Hold of Hemingway's Islands in the Stream

by
May 15, 2008
Source: Hollywood Reporter

Tommy Lee Jones

Tommy Lee Jones is certainly not one for retirement. He would have had an Academy Award last year for Best Actor in a Lead Role for In the Valley of Elah if it weren't for that pesky Daniel Day-Lewis; and I'm sure folks remember his great performance in No Country for Old Men. Well, next up, Jones is aiming even higher and is planning to write, direct, produce and star in an adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's posthumously published "Islands in the Stream". Might this be Jones' most ambition work yet?

Jones said of the project, "adapting Hemingway's 'Islands in the Stream' is a passion project of mine." That seems a slight understatement considering how Jones is bear-hugging the production of Hemingway's first posthumous novel - Hemingway died in 1961 and nine years later "Islands" was published. Jones went on to say, "I believe this passion will be communicated effectively and resonate with the audience who will be engaged in the personal experience of the main character." Well that's a boilerplate statement if ever I've heard one.

But speaking of engaging with the character, "Islands in the Stream" surrounds the three stages in the life of Thomas Hudson, titled "Bimi" Bahamas, "Cuba," and "At Sea." These periods surround World War II and detail Hudson's transformation from a solitary painter who finds peace in the Bahamas to a broken, obsessed man, who's obsession leads to his own death. The work certainly seems emotionally charged and pretty spot-on for Jones.

If that weren't heavy enough, Morgan Freeman and John Goodman are apparently in talks to join the production as well. Prior to this, Jones has only directed one other film, 2005's The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, which won for Best Actor and Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival that year. I had never actually heard of that movie until now, but it holds an enticing 85% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. So does this sound promising? Could this be Jones' best work yet?

Islands in the Stream

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  • ap0ck
    Actually, had it not been for D D-L, I'd have given the award to Viggo Mortensen for his work in Eastern Promises, a truly great performance.
  • Nate
    You had never heard of that movie? Thats weak man...very weak.
  • The Three Burials is a kinda tough movie to watch. Great performances and characters, but it's kind of slow and sparse, but deep. I'd compare it to The Proposition I guess. Not that's in any way a bad thing. I'll be looking forward to this if for no other reason than to see another one of John Goodman's dramatic performances. That guy's pretty awesome when he's not Fred Flinstone.
  • matt
    Ray Wistone should play tom hudson. I cant see tommy lee jones playing him.

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