Look out world, they’re remaking The Bell Jar and it looks like it’s going to be a girls-only affair (is there another way to do The Bell Jar?). Kirsten Dunst is making her feature-length directorial debut and she couldn’t have picked a better way to do it. Dunst has co-written the script with Nellie Kim, and Dakota Fanning is set to star as Esther. The producers (which include Fanning) are all female but for one. What a refreshing change! The ladies will handle this one, Hollywood.
The Bell Jar is Sylvia Plath‘s only novel and follows the story of a young college student, Esther Greenwood. Esther spends a summer in New York City interning at a women’s magazine where it feels she has a million options open to her. After the freedom and bustle of New York, she returns home to her mother’s house where she is expected to either settle into a practical career or motherhood. There seems to be no third option. Esther falls into a depression and the rest of the novel recounts her treatments and mental journey.
It doesn’t seem like a cheery book (spoiler: it’s not) but as one of the earliest feminist novels, it’s mandatory reading. The novel is a critique of the expectations and limitations imposed on women in the 1950s, and tackles issues of mental health and the mistreatment of mental patients. Plus, Esther owned that ‘don’t need no man’ attitude decades before Amy Schumer was even born .
We can only hope the movie captures the great feminist critique (and humour) of Plath’s book (yes, it may be a heavy read, but it has its funny moments). Plus it looks like this movie is going to be made exclusively by women so what’s not to love? We’re ready, Kristen, show us what ya got!