Director Niki Caro has made a refreshing habit out of casting women in starring roles for films which offer Hollywood’s finest the chance to sink their teeth into something meaty. Whale Rider made a star of Keisha Castle-Hughes. Silkwood-lite North Country bagged its star Charlize Theron a second Oscar nomination. Who next?
Looks like Caro is remaining steadfast to female visibility in Hollywood, as her next film The Zookeeper’s Wife now has the almighty Jessica Chastain attached to star. Adapted from Diane Ackerman’s novel by screenwriter Angela Workman, The Zookeeper’s Wife is the true account of the brave efforts of the Warsaw Zoo zookeepers during the Nazi invasion of World War II.
Jan and Antonina Zabinski set about rescuing hundreds of Jews during the invasion by hiding them in animal cages and several in their home. Antonina Zabinski kept a number of animals alive as well, creating a well oiled human-animal commune while her husband Jan operated as part of the resistance.
Considering that every actress Caro has directed has either been nominated or won an Oscar there could be a chance here for Chastain to bag the Best Actress award which she should have won this year for Zero Dark Thirty (what?! Jennifer Lawrence was brilliant – but her role was too brief!)
The role of Antonina Zabinski has a ton of juicy potential for Chastain to get her gnashers around. A true story, human tragedy, animals in peril (which includes hyena pups – cue the masses blubbing over that before they get upset about actual human devastation) and overcoming adversity. Check, check, check. Sounds to us like the Oscar is already in the bag.
We’re very excited about Jessica Chastain as The Zookeeper’s Wife.
Way more than The Astronaut’s Wife. That was a bit of a letdown wasn’t it?