Tag Archives: “Land of Steady Habits”

Westport: A Town Of “Darkness And Pain”

Last week, I posted a story about “Land of Steady Habits.”

The movie — based on 2001 Staples High School graduate Ted Thompson’s debut novel about a Westporter seeking something beyond his soul-crushing marriage and job — has just been released by Netflix.

The New York Times‘ A.O. Scott gave it a strong review yesterday, calling it “unpredictable and fresh.”

He begins:

The American suburb is zoned for ambivalence. Neither city nor country, suburbia — at least in the imagination of too many novelists, filmmakers and songwriters to count — yokes affluence to alienation. Beyond the well-kept lawns and hedges are seething hives of adultery, anomie and addiction. These pathologies may not actually be more common along the commuter rail lines than anywhere else, but there is an imposing body of literature that insists otherwise.

He adds of director Nicole Holofcener: “The darkness and pain haunting Westport are more pronounced …than the melancholy and quiet rage that figure in Ms. Holofcener’s other movies.”

Fortunately, that “darkness and pain” refers to the film, not life in our actual town.

I think.

(For the full New York Times review, click here. Hat tips: John Karrel and Fran White)

 

Ted Thompson’s “Land Of Steady Habits”

In 2014, Ted Thompson’s 1st novel was published.

“The Land of Steady Habits” follows Anders Hill. In his early 60s and seemingly comfortable in Fairfield County, he suddenly abandons his career and family for a new condo and a new life.

It doesn’t happen the way he expects, of course. But that makes the debut book from the 2001 Staples High School graduate so intriguing.

The novel earned its author comparisons to Updike and Cheever. Now it’s been made into a Netflix movie.

Ben Mendelsohn (“Rogue One”) plays the lead. Edie Falco (“Sopranos”) and Thomas Mann also star, while Nicole Holofcener (“Enough Said”) directs.

“The Land of Steady Habits” premieres at the Toronto Film Festival this month.

Here’s the trailer — with a special nod to Thompson’s home town.

It features a shot of Main Street.

(Hat tip: Kerry Long)