Daughter of Jules

Bella’s mom isn’t a burnout like in the books. Jules Stewart, Kristen Stewart’s mother and a 30-year Hollywood veteran, has pieced together a feature film that debuts at Cannes. It just happens to fall into the crime genre. And at our first glance, it looks like a dilly of a flick.

K-11 is the title, named after the L.A. County Jail cell block where the film is set. Casting prisoners as your heroes is edgy enough, but Jules Stewart takes it an extra step – an extra leap, even – further.

You can give this credit to the Stewart ladies: They don’t shy from fringe material.

K-11 focuses on the fringe by telling tales from the transgendered, transsexual and homosexual inmates. I’m all for art that wires our heartstrings to the unconventional, and hope the courage of this project pays off. With the talent involved, it’s a toss-up.

Goran Visnjic is the only real name of repute attached to this jailhouse oddity. Goran’s my favorite Croatian actor, but that’s not saying a whole heap of a lot. All kidding aside, his acting is solid as Balkan granite, but he’s been in some dogs before.

Every other name attached to K-11, Kristen Stewart aside, has a default silhouette on IMDB. You really can’t get Vegas odds on this kind of project – just go with a knee-jerk, place your faith and wish them the best. LGBT crime flicks get an extra star to their rating in my book, simply for guts, distinctiveness, and empathy. But my tastes aren’t the best cultural barometer when it comes to ticket sales.

So now I have fingers crossed on either hand for the Stewart ladies. For Kristen, On the Road could flock Bella fans to one of my favorite literary forces of spiritual liberation, the Beat Generation. It could prove dry and esoteric, and fall on its face. And K-11 could be a fascinating study of a demimonde that many Americans would prefer locked away. Or it might wind up as an overreach that fails to grasp an insensitive audience.

Bonne chance, femmes Stewart.