Jessica Chastain & Colin Farell Get Battle of the Sexes Film 'Miss Julie'
After breaking out in a big way in 2011, Jessica Chastain continued her string of impressive performances with a second Oscar nomination for her work in Zero Dark Thirty last year. She's currently on stage starring in a production of a play called The Heiress, but Variety reports that the actress will next star in a film adaptation of a different play, August Strindberg's battle of the sexes piece Miss Julie. Colin Farrell plays the male lead, and Samantha Morton (John Carter, Cosmopolis) has signed on to co-star. Liv Ullmann - an actress, writer, and director who rose to fame working with Ingmar Bergman - will direct.
Set in the late 1800s on the estate of a wealthy Swedish Count, the play follows the Count's daughter (Chastain) as she escapes her social expectations and spends the night dancing with the servants at their yearly party. She's drawn to a well-mannered servant named Jean (Farrell), and a power struggle begins as their relationship grows more complicated over the course of the night. (Pro tip: avoid the Wikipedia page because it totally gives away the ending in the opening description.)
Forbidden love between social classes is a tale as old as time, but when "Romeo and Juliet" and movies like Dirty Dancing and Titanic have already covered it so well, it's going to be tough to make this concept seem fresh. That said, the idea of Chastain and Farrell working together is exciting, so we'll just have to hope that their chemistry and Ullmann's direction combine to make Miss Julie feel like more than a "Downton Abbey" episode with better production values.