Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Ellen Cooney's "The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances"

Ellen Cooney is the author of A Private Hotel for Gentle Ladies and other novels. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker and many literary journals. She has taught writing at MIT, Harvard, and Boston College, and now lives in Maine with her dogs Andy, Skip, and Maxine—who are each, in their own way, rescues.

Here Cooney dreamcasts an adaptation of her new novel, The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances:
My novel takes place at a mountaintop sanctuary for rescued dogs. It has more characters on four legs than on two, so liking dogs is automatically a requirement for anyone who wants to do a movie. It’s about healing abuses of the past, and how people who harm animals are basically scum. The book comes with a sense of humor too, along with a hardcore belief in making connections with each other and “being real.”

My dream director? I’m not thinking along the lines of Eight Below or any other “dog movie.” I’m thinking: Sofia Coppola. So what if there’s nothing in her work (so far) that has animals, and my novel isn’t in another country, or California? She has a style all her own, sensitive and strong at the same time. She takes chances. She’s humane. She’s does amazing things with light and most of all, everything she does has a feel of being genuine. I think she’d do a wonderful job bringing to the screen the story of the main character, Evie, a young woman in recovery from drug addiction who wants to work with abused, rescued dogs.

My dream Evie? Ellen Page of Juno. The other human main character, Mrs. Auberchon, is a fifty-year-old old staffer at the animal sanctuary who “pretends” she’s a stern, awful toughie and no one’s friend. She would be: Frances McDormand.
Visit Ellen Cooney's website.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Ellen Cooney & Andy, Skip, and Maxine.

--Marshal Zeringue