So Sam Raimi is making a movie out of Dennis Lehane’s 2008 novel The Given Day. You know Raimi from the Spider-Man movies, the Evil Dead movies, and Darkman, but wait: you think of those as horror or fantasy movies, but all of them feature well-drawn characters and stories that revolve around the characters.
Raimi also did the character-driven A Simple Plan and For Love of the Game, so I’d say he has what it takes to do justice to the book. At least I hope he does. Lehane is a wonderful writer, and The Given Day, set in Boston during the police strike of 1919 , is rich in character and story — the kind of book you want somebody to make a movie out of, but only if they do it right.
There have been a few movies made out of Lehane’s novels. I had some things to say about the most recent, Shutter Island, and a couple of other movies before Reading the Screen switched from being a column to a series of blog posts.