Monday, October 03, 2011

1631 - The Time Traveler's Wife

This is a re-watch from after having read the book - feel free to search for my previous thoughts. 

All you need to do to understand the difference between good and bad acting is watch the first scene between Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana.  She is phenomenal.  You believe in an instant that she is head over heels in love with this man, that she is experiencing a miracle by seeing him here.  And he… is dead.  And it's not just about situation he's in and he's aloof - he's just… not good.  Not charming, not interesting, nothing.  It should be the moment where the lover's meet and you want them to be together, and the only reason you do is because you like her.  Let me get this straight - I don't dislike Eric Bana - but he's not well cast here - it's a shame, really.

Having now read the book, this is a crappy adaptation.  That sounds harsh.  There's a lot of stuff that's here in the movie just because it was there in the book.  The book has this thread where Clare is a terrible cook, and near the end Henry teaches her how to cook.  In the book there is a scene where we watch her seemingly learn how to cook.  And it's absolutely meaningless due to the fact that there is absolutely no context.  Most of the film is like this.  And he spends a lot of time talking about how he can't change the things that are meant to happen, yet he can't change anything, and yet he can somehow rig the lottery?  Again, the film is full of these inconsistencies. 

The worst part about this film is that it's not really about anything.  I'm not sure why we're supposed to care about this relationship.  It has a lot of ideas but doesn't lock down onto anything that you can grasp to.  It gives itself these big emotional moments, but nothing clings and it just feels like they're well photographed as opposed to well maenad.  It's a gorgeous looking film, but a crane shot doesn't do anything for me if I don't give a damn.

Both the book and the movie set up a premise that they just don't know what to do with and both, sadly fall short.  The only real reason to watch this, I think, is Rachel McAdams.  I praised her at the top and I'll do it again.  She's fantastic here, it's just a shame that she wasn't given a bit more to work with.

1 comment:

Screenwriting Spinster said...

I loved the book, and was disappointed by the movie. But McAdams was lovely.