Academy Award winning screenwriter Diablo Cody is taking a shot at directing with the upcoming film Paradise. Cody described the film as “a non-cynical movie that would inspire positivity”. The story revolves around a young conservative Christian woman (Julianne Hough) who survives a terrible plane crash, but then suffers a crisis of faith. She goes to Las Vegas, where she indulges in a more liberal lifestyle meeting characters played by Octavia Spencer and Russell Brand. Nick Offerman plays Hough’s overbearing father.
As a fan of Jennifer’s Body and especially Young Adult (my favorite Diablo Cody screenplay to date) I am very excited for this film. I’m not necessarily familiar with all of the actors, and Russell Brand wouldn’t exactly be my first choice, but I trust Diablo to have written a fitting role for him. I’m curious to see what visual style she choses. Cinematographer Tim Suhrstedt photographed some great and good-looking films and these stills are definitely colorful.
Diablo worked with some great directors (namely Jason Reitman) and it looks that she learned a lot. Hope this film has more to offer than a good script. However if the script turns out to be the best thing about the film, I’m still going to be pretty satisfied. Also, I have a hard time believing the film is not going to be cynical. I would also be disappointed if that turned out to be the case. It might be a function of me being judgmental, but with a premise like that, the result almost has to be something cynical, at least to a certain degree.
Here are a couple stills and a lovely picture of Diablo behind the camera.