Monday, April 1, 2013

The Lottery - the movie

When my daughter read The Hunger Games I asked her if she knew about Shirley Jackson's short story "The Lottery." She said she had never heard of it. I found it in a collection of short stories and suggested that she read it. She deemed it "creepy" and wondered why I suggested she read it. "You did see the connection with The Hunger Games, right?" Well, yes, she had. But the story was creepy. As if Suzanne Collins' dystopian novel was just another Young Adult teen angst story.

I remembered watching a made-for-TV movie based on "The Lottery" sometime before my daughter was born, and searched for it on Netflix, I found it listed, but not yet available, with an "unknown" date. I put it on my "Saved" list and hoped it might show up sometime. It finally did, and my whole family sat down to watch together. In this adaptation, Keri Russell plays Felice Dunbar the innkeeper's daughter in the fictitious town of New Hope, Maine (where something evil is afoot). Felice also happens to be a school teacher, as well as the town librarian. The library, which is only open in the summer is small, but has a "good selection". I wonder if it includes Shirley Jackson's work?

For a made-for-TV movie, this was a pretty good psychological thriller. And it certainly busts some librarian stereotypes. Russel's character is not only multi-dimensional, she is hot!

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