Studio: Focus ( July 17)
Category: Adapted from John Irving’s novel “A Widow For One Year.”
Storyline: The final Hamptons summer of a dying marriage between Ted Cole (Jeff Bridges), a flamboyant children’s book writer, and Marion (Kim Basinger), as they grieve the death of their sons.
About the script: Alternately screwball and tragic, “Floor” was adapted from the 180-page prologue to Irving’s novel. Williams: “I saw that the first section could be broken off and would express a lot of (themes) I had been trying to work on — adultery, loss, also a blend of fun and bad behavior.”
Breakthrough idea: “The final image (Ted disappears through a door in the floor of his squash court). In the book, 40 years later, Ted commits suicide in the squash court,” says Williams. “I wanted to imply that it’s an image of a guy stepping into his own grave.”
Standout scene: Ted catches Marion leaving and they exchange a wordless goodbye. “In the book, she leaves before he gets home. That little change made it feel like they had lost something that (had been) worth something at some point,” say Williams.
Choice lines: “I’m simply an entertainer of children. And I like to draw.” Ted’s blithe self-description, which takes on different hues as repeated throughout the movie.
Writer’s bio: New York City native Williams came west as a stringer for the New York Times. His first feature as writer-director, “The Adventures of Sebastian Cole,” received an Independent Spirit script nom. This is his second.