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ActressesA quartet of features centered around this year’s Oscar caliber actresses greets us in Variety this morning, starting with Bob Verini’s piece on literary icons taking the screen:

Long before Samantha Barks was awarded ragamuffin Eponine in the
cinematic “Les Miserables,” she had grown up seeing the tuner numerous
times, and went on to essay the part in the West End and on the
star-studded 25th anniversary gala broadcast. Yet despite all her
previous familiarity with the property, nabbing her movie debut sent her
promptly to the Victor Hugo novel.

Kristen Stewart was first dazzled
by “On the Road” as a high school freshman, and later “slapped that
thing on my car dashboard, I was so into it.” For all that, getting cast
as the pic’s complex, flamboyant Marylou — the love interest of both
Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty — led her right back to Jack
Kerouac’s now canonical text.

They aren’t the only actresses with
recent occasion to catch up on Great Books required reading. With Barks,
Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried passing around Hugo’s weighty tome
between “Les Mis” takes, Helena Bonham Carter would have had time to
switch to Dickens in anticipation of Miss Havisham in “Great
Expectations.” And soon, scores of Oprah’s Book Club fans will decide
whether Keira Knightley meets their image of “Anna Karenina.” …

Read the rest of Verini’s piece here, then check out the rest of the coverage:

Eye on the Oscar: Actress Preview
Better-half roles balance support with strength | A will to live when the odds prove overwhelming | Sundance ripple effect pays off