Sunday, September 25, 2016

Michelle Brafman's "Bertrand Court"

Michelle Brafman is the author of Washing the Dead. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in The Washington Post, Tablet, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Slate, Lilith Magazine, the minnesota review, and elsewhere. She teaches fiction writing at the Johns Hopkins University MA in Writing Program and lives in Maryland with her husband and two children.

Here Brafman dreamcasts an adaptation of her new novel, Bertrand Court:
Of course, I’d be thrilled to see Bertrand Court made into a movie, but I’d be equally happy to for Netflix or Amazon to morph these linked stories into something delicious and binge-worthy. Think of a series with the tension and emotional complexity of The Americans and the premise of Knots Landing or Melrose Place, where all of the characters are connected via a common space, in this case a suburban Washington, DC cul-de-sac.

Bertrand Court will only work as an ensemble series with a large cast, so I’ll tackle the bigger parts first. I’ll start with Hannah, the volatile, hormonally challenged, emerging matriarch of the Solonsky family. Lizzy Caplan would make a heck of a Hannah Solonsky because they share a strength and crazy intensity that ripples beneath their perfect diction and birdlike frames. Hannah’s husband Danny calls for an actor with Paul Rudd’s stock good looks, affability, and ever-present sense of irony. Sandra Bullock could easily play Amy Solonsky, Hannah’s artsy sister, the self-proclaimed family fuck-up who in fact holds the tightest grip on reality. I’d cast Paul Giamatti as Eric Solonsky, Hannah and Amy’s genetically pudgy, unconventionally brilliant brother who marries Maggie Stramm, the ex-cheerleader who would never have given him a second glance in high school. The insufferable Maggie (played by Julie Bowen) marries Eric to bug her mother and prove that she’s neither anti-Semitic nor shallow. Truly, she’s not. The unapologetically exuberant Amanda Peet could play Hannah’s best friend, Becca Coopersmith, a seeker who throws herself into pole dancing and women’s drum circles. She’s wed to the dreamy and devoted Adam Kornfeld who might have contracted gonorrhea from one of the many characters who sleeps with Phil Scott, the Bertrand Court Lothario and sexy ugly photographer who can tap souls, but only through his viewfinder (played by a young David Caruso). As for Adam, who does dreamy, devoted, and unlucky better than Mark Ruffalo? He’ll be thrilled to learn that he’s in.
Visit Michelle Brafman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue