Lantana director Ray Lawrence is back with his first film since 2006’s Jindabyne.
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22 Oct 2013 - 11:05 AM  UPDATED 25 Feb 2014 - 3:47 PM

Now that Terrence Malick is making films faster than he can title them, let us consider the rarefied ways of Ray Lawrence. The Australian filmmaker has made just three feature films in a long career, each distinctive in its DNA and artfully constructed: 1985's Bliss, 2001's Lantana and 2006's Jindabyne. Seven years on from the latter, and the 65-year-old is casting his fourth feature. The film, provisionally titled Rosa, is a sweeping romantic epic that unfolds across two continents and multiple generations when an Australian woman discovers a romance buried in her grandfather's past in Buenos Aires even as she is choosing between her husband and a younger man.

So far the film – an adaptation of the Lloyd Jones novel Here at the End of the World We Learn to Dance by Beatrix Christian – has lined up the Spanish star Elena Anaya (Room in Rome, The Skin I Live In) and the young Australian actress Emily Browning (Sucker Punch, Sleeping Beauty). The latter, who made such a memorable breakthrough as a teenager in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, has recently finished playing a troubled young woman who takes up songwriting in God Help the Girl, the directorial debut of noted Scottish musician Stuart Murdoch (Belle & Sebastian), and the romantic lead in the Roman volcano epic Pompeii opposite Kit Harington (television's Games of Thrones) for director Paul W.S. Anderson (the Resident Evil franchise).

Coup in Congo with Chiwetel
British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, who is at the centre of Steve McQueen's much praised 12 Years a Slave, will work with director Joe Wright (Atonement, Hanna) on a screen adaptation of a play they've already collaborated together for on stage at London's Old Vic theatre company. Aime Cesaire's A Season in the Congo is the story of Patrice Lumumba, who became the first post-independence president of the Republic of the Congo in 1960 before being deposed in a military coup and subsequently executed following reports of international interference. (There's a fine 2000 biopic, Lumumba, by Raoul Peck on the same subject.)

In brief
Olga Kurylenko (Oblivion) joins the cast of Russell Crowe's directorial debut, The Water Diviner, with Crowe playing a father who travels to Turkey after World War One to look for his sons who went missing during the Gallipoli campaign. And Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men) and Bryce Dallas Howard (The Help) are in talks to star in 2015's Jurassic World for director Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed).

First Armstrong biopic ready to roll
Veteran British director Stephen Frears (The Queen) appears to have gained the lead in the race to make a Lance Armstrong movie, overtaking J.J. Abrams, who is now deep into the Stars Wars sequels, and Jay Roach. Frears has already cast Ben Foster (The Messenger) as the drug cheat who righteously claimed seven Tour de France wins, and now he's added Chris O'Dowd (The Sapphires) as a dogged journalist, Guillaume Canet (Hunting and Gathering) and Jesse Plemons (The Master) to the ensemble.