Original screenplay contender

DISTRIB/RELEASE DATE: The Weinstein Co.-MGM/Dec. 8 (N.Y./L.A.), Jan. 19 (wider)

STORYLINE: A man in a troubled marriage and a high-stakes architectural project sees his world overturned by a series of burglaries.

ABOUT THE SCRIPT: “The issue of crime or damage is a very interesting one to propel a story for me, and I wanted to write a piece that was essentially connected to repairing or healing,” Minghella says. “And in order to have healing, something has to be damaged.”

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “After three quite big research-based adaptations, period films, costume dramas, which required me to really delve into the world of those stories,” Minghella says, “I was looking forward to doing a film where essentially I just told a story with a camera pointed out my back door. ” Then he realized that the task would not be so simple.

BREAKTHROUGH IDEA: About 15 years ago, Minghella had the idea of a couple who came home to find it had been ransacked, “and when they did an inventory, they found that things had been added, and that the things that had been added had been kind of a commentary on their marriage. But I could never get past the concept of it.” After burglars repeatedly robbed Minghella’s own North London office while he was away filming “Cold Mountain,” he thought to adapt his original idea to tell a story about “the way that a burglary or small crime can organically take characters on a journey.”

CHOICE LINES: “When you’ve been hurt this much, you can’t be hurt twice.”

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