Although Atom Egoyan's first adaptation The Sweet Hereafter won the Cannes jury prize and scored two Academy Award nominations, the writer-director was initially uncertain about tackling another novel as the basis of his next film. But when Icon head of development Karen Glasser sent him William Trevor's Felicia's Journey he was won over.
"I was struck by the brilliance of the writing, the characters' depth and how many of the themes resonated with me," says Egoyan.
The story follows naive Irish teenager Felicia as she treks to Birmingham to find her lover Johnny, but instead encounters the sinister and faintly comic Mr Hilditch.
Egoyan, who was born in Cairo and grew up in Canada, brought an outsider's viewpoint to the film's locations, small-town Ireland and the industrial sprawl of the English Midlands. "I felt a responsibility," he says, "that both locations be presented with honesty and accuracy."
Egoyan also found working with British and Irish actors a fresh experience. He praised the calibre of the actors who include newcomer Elaine Cassidy as Felicia and Bob Hoskins as Hilditch. Felicia's Journey is firmly stamped with Egoyan's style and preoccupations. The film includes regular Egoyan collaborators such as DoP Paul Sarossy, editor Susan Shipson and composer Mychael Danna, while the director's muse Arsinee Khanjian plays Hilditch's extraordinary mother Gala. The film's structure jumps back and forward in time, incorporating video and film footage, in a way that will be familiar to Egoyan fans.
Felicia's Journey was released in the UK in October last year to critical acclaim.
- Type of film
- Atom Egoyan
- Mychael Danna.
- Atom Egoyan.
- Exec prods
- Paul Tucker, Ralph Kamp.
- Bruce Davey.
- Robert Lantos.
- Atom Egoyan, based on the novel by William Trevor.
- Paul Sarossy.
- Prod des
- Jim Clay.
- Susan Shipton.
- Main cast
- Bob Hoskins, Elaine Cassidy, Claire Benedict, Brid Brennan, Peter McDonald, Gerard McSorley, Arsinee Khanjian.
- The Movie Network, TMN, CAVCO, Newmarket Capital Group.