Moviegoers anxiously await the February 19, 2010 release of Shutter Island. Adapted from the novel written by award-winning author Dennis Lehane, the film is sure to do well in the box office with swoon-worthy leading man Leonardo DiCaprio.
Lehane is also the crime novel mastermind behind Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone, both adapted into powerhouse films.
Lehane first became popular when President Bill Clinton was in office. Clinton asked his personal aide to find him some leisure reading. The aide gave him Lehane’s Prayers for Rain, which Clinton was photographed holding as he emerged from Air Force One.
In the summer of 2003, I took a graduate fiction class at Harvard. My professor recommended a talk by Dennis Lehane. The conference room was packed, standing room only, because Mystic River was about to come out in movie form, with Clint Eastwood directing.
Sitting there in a wooden a chair, I saw Lehane speaking in front of me, cracking up the entire audience. With the flair of a Boston accent, Lehane told hilarious anecdotes of how his father visited the Mystic River set, met Clint Eastwood and then informed his son he could still get him a job at the local plant. Lehane said that Eastwood got a little “Dirty Harry on him” when persuading him to direct Mystic River. Lehane said a limo driver was the best job for writers because you can write for hours at a time while waiting for the customer at any given event.
Basically, he was a man of the people. Like Springsteen in Jersey, the working man’s hero.
Shutter Island opens this week and I will be sure to be there. Though not the most literary film, it certainly will be a lot of scary fun.
Remember to explore your literary imagination with Dennis Lehane and Shutter Island . . .
Jennifer, Network Editorial Director