Kirsten Dunst managed to silence any and all critics in one fell swoop with Melancholia, a performance that earned her the Best Actress award at Cannes, along with some Oscar talk here and there. Thus, she’s in a pretty exciting stage of her career, one in which she’s being offered more serious fare that allows her to play characters, not just a device to advance the plot.

While conducting an interview with TOH, Dunst announced another “adult” character that she’ll be taking up: A part in Red Light Winter, a Scott Rudin-produced film written and directed by Adam Rapp, based on his own play, that will have her star alongside Mark Ruffalo and Billy Crudup. Those two actors make it promising enough, but a synopsis from ThePlaylist only further increases my curiosity, as it follows “two thirty-something New Yorkers who go to Amsterdam to rekindle their friendship and get away from the break-ups and illnesses that have taken over the lives, only to have everything change after a run-in with a Red Light district prostitute.”

It’s said that Dunst will probably star as the prostitute, Christina; Ruffalo and Crudup would therefore play either Matt or Davis. Anyway, it sounds as though there’s the potential for strong drama; The New York Times calling it “a frank, graphic story of erotic fixation and the havoc it can wreak on sensitive souls” is a boost in confidence.

Yet, in a weird way, I’m not wholly concerned with how the film at hand will turn out — I’m merely interested in seeing Dunst land more material that, as I’ve said, will treat her like an actress. Simply playing a prostitute doesn’t automatically make a film serious — or even good — but this is a far cry from where we saw her only five years ago, and that’s beyond thrilling.

What do you think of Red Light Winter as a starring role for Dunst? Do you have any thoughts on the material in general?

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