Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett has rightly been acclaimed for her work in front of the camera, but now she’ll step behind the camera for a change. The Oscar-nominated actress is set to make her feature directorial debut with The Dinner, a psychological thriller based on Herman Koch‘s novel of the same title. Oren Moverman (The Messenger) is writing the script. Hit the jump for plot details and more.

Deadline got the scoop. The Dinner will be produced by Cotty Chubb, who produced the Dutch adaptation Koch’s book, and executive produced by Eva Maria Daniels and Olga Segura. No casting has been announced, and it’s unclear whether Blanchett plans to star in her own film.

Here’s the official synopsis of the 2009 book (via Amazon):

An internationally bestselling phenomenon: the darkly suspenseful, highly controversial tale of two families struggling to make the hardest decision of their lives — all over the course of one meal.

It’s a summer’s evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse — the banality of work, the triviality of the holidays. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened.

Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children. As civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple show just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.

Tautly written, incredibly gripping, and told by an unforgettable narrator, The Dinner promises to be the topic of countless dinner party debates. Skewering everything from parenting values to pretentious menus to political convictions, this novel reveals the dark side of genteel society and asks what each of us would do in the face of unimaginable tragedy.

While The Dinner marks Blanchett’s first time helming a film, she’s racked up directing experience on the stage. She’s been a co-artistic director of the Sydney Theatre Company for the past several years, and has directed David Harrower’s Blackbird and Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking there.

Meanwhile, her acting career is as hot as ever. She received some of the strongest praise of her career for her remarkable turn in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, and will appear later this year in George Clooney’s Monuments Men and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. She’s now working on Cinderella, directed by Kenneth Branagh.

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