Drew Barrymore Indie queen or Silver Screen Director?

Drew Barrymore is proving not to be just a leading lady but also a director for her début film Whip It. Barrymore has more and what an impressive start.

The film based on Shawna Cross’s novel ‘Derby girl’, Is about a small town teenage girl Bliss Cavendar, played by Ellen Paige who longs to escape her mothers wish to be a pageant queen and joins the women’s roller skating derby.

This début shines light on Drew Barrymore’s intentions as a producer, as she did not use her extensive film connections to make a blockbuster movie.

Her film company ‘Flower Films’ gives you an inkling that much like her personality, the films she is yet to direct and produce will have a hippy, care free, independent vibe. And after seeing Whip It, it’s clear she is coming into her own and set to blossom.

Although Whip It involved big stars such as Juliette Lewis and of course Drew Barrymore, she managed to create a somewhat laid back feel to the movie setting it in a sleepy town and involving what could be called a niche sport.

Laid back in this instance is a good thing as it lacks the usual dose of highly strung teenagers and materialistic needs in what is a coming of age comedy. Instead she scrapped any razzle dazzle to seemingly not overshadow the underlining messages and empathetic humour towards its characters.

Whip It is never too in your face, has an old school indie soundtrack and although the budget was a reported 15 million, this was probably put aside for the well established cast members, which, at the end of the day, got the film recognised.

These elements gave Whip It more of an independent feel, almost as if Ms Barrymore was an unknown independent film maker (with famous friends) who is just starting out. Thus making it effortlessly cool and a refreshing change from the predictable, glossy chick flicks we often see on the big screen.

Proving she is not messing about, Drew Barrymore is getting right back in to the directors chair to direct a modern sequel to the wizard of Oz called Surrender Dorothy which she was originally set to star in.

The story follows the original Dorothy’s great great granddaughter on a similar adventure written by Zach Helm (Stranger than Fiction). This remake is indeed following in the footsteps of recent remakes of old tales like Alice in Wonderland (Tim Burton) and fellow actors Leo Dicaprio’s Red riding hood along with a few more wizard of oz themed projects in the running.

It seems there is a trend of bringing these old favourites back to life and Drew Barrymore has followed suit. There’s no news on the grapevine of how Barrymore plans with this project, so it’s hard to determine how her second shot at directing is going to go.

It really depends whether she’s going to keep going on the same (yellow brick) road producing cool indie flicks which relates to modern day or whether she’s going to click her heels and rope her godfather and special effects wizard, Stephen Spielberg in to lend a helping hand!

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