Sarah Polley is somebody in “Nobody”


Sarah Polley, one of the most gifted actors and
filmmakers of her generation, just began filming in
Brussels for Mr. Nobody, an intriguing sci-fi
fantasy by Belgian filmmaker Jaco van Dormael and
co-starring Jared Leto.

The plot is described

as having something to do with chaos theory, the
“butterfly effect” and the exigencies of existence,
and the last mortal man contemplating his past life
and lost marriage. Whatever. We’ll go with anything if
it turns out well, which is always a long shot, if I’m
up on my latest chaos film theory.

Polley was the darling of the international film
festival circuit with her recent film Away From Her,
featuring perhaps the best performance of Julie
‘s career. The film, widely considered one of
the year’s best and available on DVD in September, is
an astonishing achievement for Polley, who both wrote
the screenplay and
directed. Here’s the trailer: readers might remember Polley best from
Exotica, in which she starred with fellow Canadian and L Word waif
Mia Kirshner, but truly obsessed fans are still
recovering from the impenetrable 2001 fantasy No Such
, which featured another favorite, Helen
. This train wreck of a film must have served as
a sort of disaster-preparedness drill for Polley as an
aspiring director.

A Polley film I love is Michael Winterbottom‘s The
, a western retelling of Thomas Hardy’s The
Mayor of Casterbridge
. The cinematography and feel
reminds me strongly of Julie Christie’s great McCabe
and Mrs. Miller
, and features unforgettable
performances by Polley and Nastassja Kinski (note to
self: might be a nice time to program a little Julie
Christie film festival via Netflix — maybe Petulia,
Dr. Zhivago
and The Secret Life of Words, which also
features Polley).

Polley is also playing Abigail Adams, daughter of John
and Abigail Adams (Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney) in
HBO’s upcoming, well, John Adams. I’m looking
forward to sharpening my snark teeth for this one, if
it turns out anything like the 1984 miniseries George
. Anyone here old enough to remember that
gaseous gem with Barry Bostwick, Patty Duke and Jaclyn
Ah, the joys of being 14 years old and
titillated by watching Jaclyn Smith playing George
Washington’s mistress. Simpler, geekier times!

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