Here Manilla dreamcasts an adaptation of her new novel, The Patron Saint of Ugly:
Unabashed bribe: The first person to get The Patron Saint of Ugly into Tim Burton’s and Wes Anderson’s hands will get a dozen cannoli. Seriously. I love their movies. I love their humor and quirkiness, their tilted sadness. I particularly loved Burton’s treatment of one of my all-time favorite books: Big Fish. I love Anderson’s wonderfully weird exploration of family dynamics in The Royal Tenenbaums. The Patron Saint of Ugly is such a quirky, funny, sad, tragic, irreverent, holy book, that it’s begging for Burton’s or Anderson’s vision. Cannoli, everyone. A dozen of them delivered right to your door.Visit Marie Manilla's website.
We’re also going to need a skilled make-up artist, since the main character, Garnet, has a body covered in port-wine birthmarks that look like a map of the world, the landmasses shifting over time as a result of environmental upheavals and the land-grabbing, fall-out of wars.
For the cast…
Child Garnet: Abigail Breslin…if we could put her in a time machine and send her back to childhood. She was fantastic in Little Miss Sunshine.
Adult Garnet: Jennifer Lawrence. She’s already an irreverent smartass—just like Garnet!
Nonna Diamante, Garnet’s Sicilian grandmother: June Squibb. I adored her in Nebraska.
Marina, Garnet’s Barbie-esque mother, the epitome of beauty whose looks have done more damage than good: Nicole Kidman would fit the lovely bill.
Angelo, Garnet’s ever-shrinking father who can’t seem to earn the respect of his wife or father: Jason Schwartzman. He’d get to sport a righteous pompadour…plus he’s already worked with Wes Anderson!
Grandpa Ferrari, Angelo’s brutish father: Danny Devito would be perfect, and he’s just the right size.
Grandmother Iris, Marina’s aristocratic, martini-swilling, snob of a mother: The divine Anjelica Huston, of course.
Betty, Garnet’s buxom, slightly ditzy, gum-smacking aunt with a lazy eye and a heart of gold: Helena Bonham Carter…plus she’s already worked with Tim Burton!
Nicky, Garnet’s bookish brother who is too pretty for his own good: Macaulay Culkin…if we could slip him into the same kid-reverting time machine with Abigail Breslin.
Writers Read: Marie Manilla.
The Page 69 Test: The Patron Saint of Ugly.