Tag: Rachel McAdams
Taglines: A new funny film about love. With a bit of time travel.
The night after another unsatisfactory New Year party, Tim’s father (Bill Nighy) tells his son that the men in his family have always had the ability to travel through time. Tim can’t change history, but he can change what happens and has happened in his own life—so he decides to make his world a better place… by getting a girlfriend. Sadly, that turns out not to be as easy as you might think.
Moving from the Cornwall coast to London to train as a lawyer, Tim finally meets the beautiful but insecure Mary (Rachel McAdams). They fall in love, then an unfortunate time-travel incident means he’s never met her at all. So they meet for the first time again—and again—but finally, after a lot of cunning time-traveling, he wins her heart.
Tim then uses his power to create the perfect romantic proposal, to save his wedding from the worst best-man speeches, to save his best friend from professional disaster and to get his pregnant wife to the hospital in time for the birth of their daughter, despite a nasty traffic jam outside Abbey Road.
But as his unusual life progresses, Tim finds out that his unique gift can’t save him from the sorrows and ups and downs that affect all families, everywhere. There are great limits to what time travel can achieve, and it can be dangerous too. About Time is a comedy about love and time travel, which discovers that, in the end, making the most of life may not need time travel at all.
Love, Family and Time Travel
The genesis for About Time ignited from a conversation that Curtis had with a friend about what they would do if they were told that they had only 24 hours left to live. “We both decided that we’d want a very normal day at home with the family, doing the things you normally do,” recalls Curtis. “I thought it was an interesting observation, and the next step was how I would be able to incorporate this into a movie. It would have to be about someone who could manipulate their final day or manipulate their life in some way to enable them to come to that conclusion. That’s when I thought about time travel.”
Curtis says that About Time is an evolution for him, as his early work very much focuses upon the relationships among friends. He shares: “Four Weddings is, in many ways, as much a film about friendship as it is about love. There were a lot of friendships in Love Actually as well.” Naturally, Curtis’ interest in human dynamics evolved as he grew older. “With my mum and dad passing away within the last five years, and with my children all growing up, I am a family man most of all. This film has as much to do with a brother and sister, a father and mother as it has to do with love. And, of course, when two people fall in love, they are finally going to turn into a mother and a father, and you see that happening during the course of the film.”
The comedy reunites Curtis with Working Title producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, for the eleventh time in 25 years. Remembers Bevan: “We did our first film together in 1983 called The Tall Guy. All of Richard’s films have a lot of familiarities, but are always breaking new ground. The authenticity of a Richard film is that it will make you laugh, cry and think. About Time returns to the ‘Curtisian’ world in the same vein as Love Actually, Notting Hill and Four Weddings and a Funeral, but this feels more grown-up and more reflective. He set out to make a movie to reflect on the good and bad things in life and to make you appreciate what’s in front of you.”
Although Fellner finds it difficult to believe that they’ve spent a quarter of a century creating work together, he’s similarly impressed by his longtime friend’s evolution as a filmmaker. He notes: “Richard never settles for good. He pushes himself as an artist to best his previous work, and audiences respect that drive. His stories are so deeply personal, so intimate that it’s impossible not to be drawn into them. I appreciate that he finds humor in the pathos of our everyday experiences and makes the humdrum extraordinary.”
While love and family were integral in the creation of Curtis’ vision, the time-travel aspect would make scripting a very calculated endeavour. Curtis was careful to make sure rules were in place for Tim and his Dad as they travel through time, so as to make the film’s concept less fantasy and more endearing. So, what exactly are those rules? The first is that time travel may not happen before a man in this family is 21. The second is that one must go into a small dark place—such as a cupboard, closet or wardrobe—clench his fists and think of the specific time, date, place and address of where he wants to go. The third is that he can only go to an event in his own past that he can remember; he can’t go into the future or way back into history. The fourth? Every decision he makes will have ramifications on his future.
Producer Nicky Kentish Barnes adds that she admired the unorthodox narrative put forth by the film’s writer/director. She says: “About Time is very autobiographical, in a sense; it’s bits of Richard’s life all put together in a beautiful and well-crafted story. The story is very emotional; we had grown men crying on reading the script. It is a slight, sort-of-magic realism with the time-travel aspect, but it adds to the emotional content, rather than feeling that it’s taking you out of the story.”
With the shooting script locked, Curtis and his producers set about the exciting task of finding a young couple who could give voice to his words, along with a set of family and friends to populate this unique world.
Feeling Loved Up: Casting About Time
From the start, the producers and casting director FIONA WEIR knew performer Domhnall Gleeson would be ideal for the role of the time-traveling Tim Lake. However, he did quite shock them upon introduction.
In the midst of filming Anna Karenina, Gleeson arrived at a meeting with Curtis, sporting a head of long hair and bushy beard. Laughs Curtis of the meeting: “At first, Domhnall was very difficult to cast. He turned up with this enormous orange beard, and he looked like a 35-year-old Russian autocrat. It was hard for me to imagine what he actually even looked like, but in the end it was an easy decision. He has a lot of the qualities I most love in an actor and actually has them as a human being. He has doubt, high spirits and optimism, and he is very funny.”
His rugged exterior aside, producers were keen on the Irish actor joining the production as their lead. Compliments Bevan: “Domhnall is a brilliant young actor and has the ability to be extremely dramatic and very funny, which is a very unusual combination.” The producer didn’t mind that his lead, heretofore best known for his pivotal role in the Harry Potter series, was an unorthodox choice. Bevan continues, “It’s refreshing to see a new face playing a lead in a Richard Curtis film—a different face and not a posh boy—he gives the film a whole different feel.”
The minute About Time begins, audiences see Tim as a normal guy. He’s a slightly confused, but very likeable hero, who is going through his life with the same level of confidence the majority of ordinary people can muster. “You love Tim’s character from the beginning,” reflects Kentish Barnes. “You want him to succeed when he meets the love of his life.”
When Gleeson first read the script, he laughed aloud, which he took as quite the promising sign. Reflects the performer: “It was sweet relief reading the script. It had so much to say about a way of living your life that I found valuable and beautiful. That was Richard’s introduction to the film for me, and that was what I tried to keep close to my heart while we filmed.”
With Gleeson on board the production, filmmakers moved forward in casting the role of Mary, the young American woman with whom Tim falls in love, marries and starts a family. Because of Rachel McAdams’ busy schedule, the filmmakers weren’t certain she would be able to join the production. Little did they know, however, that she adored the script.
Curtis was thrilled that an actress of McAdams’ caliber had signed onto the film. He muses: “Rachel is someone, who every time I’ve seen her in a film, I have melted with this sense of comfort and love. We were certainly lucky to get her.”
Bevan agrees that McAdams was absolutely perfect for the role, commending: “Rachel has that great girl-next-door quality. She has the beauty, the humor and the wit, but she also has the ability as an actress to make whomever she is playing against look equally as great.”
McAdams recalls what drew her to the part: “I enjoyed the script immensely and loved what it was about. It was quite moving with a very simple, but so meaningful moral of the story, and I loved all the characters. I knew that signing onto a Richard Curtis film was just a good package deal; he does these things so well. He is very generous with his spirit and brings so much of himself to the project.”
The performer appreciated that the expatriate was as complex as her on-screen love, sharing, “Mary’s got this funny mix of confidence and total insecurity. But then she meets Tim, and she just blossoms. He ushers her in the direction she was meant to go in, and the puzzle pieces fit, finally.”
For the seasoned young performer, working with Gleeson was a surprising joy. She enthuses: “It’s been wonderful to watch Domhnall transform from the younger Tim to the older Tim. He has this endless energy for physical comedy, and his comedic timing is impeccable. He always seems to find humor. Domhnall is so grounded, so rooted in the character, and he makes everything matter.”
Her leading man, Gleeson, returns the kind words: “Rachel brings this gorgeous honesty to her character. She’s very funny, and she brings something that is pure and uncomplicated in the best possible sense. It was joyous being on set with her all the time.”
In casting the role of Tim’s Dad, filmmakers turned to a veteran of Curtis’ films: much-feted performer Bill Nighy, first introduced in a Curtis role as a washed-up rocker in Love Actually. “Tim’s Dad is a strange synthesis of a lot of people I’ve met,” explains Curtis. “There’s a lot of my feeling about my father in the role, and it was a fun idea to have Bill play the part. To cast a friend you actually love in that part was a great pleasure.”
Directed by: Richard Curtis
Starring: Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Margot Robbie, Domhnall Gleeson, Lydia Wilson, Vanessa Kirby
Screenplay by: Richard Curtis
Production Design by: John Paul Kelly
Cinematography by: John Guleserian
Film Editing by: Mark Day
Costume Design by: Verity Hawkes
Set Decoration by: Liz Griffiths
Music by: Nick Laird-Clowes
MPAA Rating: R for language and some sexual content.
Studio: Universal Pictures
Release Date: November 8, 2013
Taglines: No backstabbing. Just business.
Passion is a French-German-Spanish-British erotic thriller film co-written and directed by Brian De Palma, starring Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace. It is the English-language remake of Alain Corneau’s 2010 thriller film Love Crime, but with the ending greatly altered. The film is an international co-production between France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The film was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 69th Venice International Film Festival.
Christine, an advertising executive, is attempting to gain professional and romantic power over her up-and-coming subordinate, Isabelle, as revenge for her affair with Christine’s lover, Dirk. Christine does everything in her power to ruin Isabelle’s reputation and relationships, and also tries to fire Isabelle’s secretary, Dani. Because of these events, Isabelle seemingly becomes emotionally destitute and develops an addiction to prescription drugs.
After Christine is found dead, Isabelle is arrested and confesses to the murder while in a drug-induced trance. Desperate to prove her innocence, Isabelle shows the police that she has an alibi on the evening the murder took place. Dirk, having been drunk after being rejected by Christine, is arrested after a scarf with Christine’s blood on it turns up in his car. Isabelle is freed and Dirk is charged with the murder despite his denials.
At the climax, it is revealed that Isabelle had murdered Christine all along, and set everything up to convince everyone that she was having a nervous breakdown while framing Dirk for the crime. Dani, who secretly is in love with Isabelle, reveals that she had captured Isabelle on video with her cellphone at various moments during the night of the murder. Dani then tries to blackmail Isabelle into becoming her lover.
That night, Isabelle has a strange dream where she strangles Dani after being seduced by her, but not before Dani sends the incriminating video of Isabelle to the investigating police detective. Suddenly, Christine’s twin sister appears and strangles Isabelle from behind with a bloodstained scarf. The next moment, Isabelle wakes up in her own bedroom from her nightmare only to face a new one with Dani laying dead at the foot of her bed.
About the Production
The offices of a prominent multinational corporation is the setting for this story of a power struggle between two contemporary women. Isabelle has unlimited admiration for her direct superior, Christine, a woman well-schooled in the ways of power. Christine enjoys holding sway over Isabelle, leads her one step at a time and ever more deeply into a game of seduction and manipulation, of dominance and servitude. The game is played for keeps, and there is no turning.
From screenwriter / director Brian De Palma (The Black Dahlia, The Untouchables, Scarface), Passion stars leading-actress Rachel McAdams (Midnight in Paris, The Vow) and the talented Noomi Rapace (Prometheus, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo). Based on the 2010 French thriller Love Crime, Passion tells the enthralling story of a deadly power struggle between two women in the dog-eat-dog world of international business.
Brian De Palma returns to the sleek, sly, seductive territory of Dressed To Kill with an erotic corporate thriller fueled by sex, ambition, image, envy and the dark, murderous side of PASSION. The film stars Rachel McAdams (Midnight In Paris, Sherlock Holmes, Mean Girls) and Noomi Rapace (Prometheus, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) as two rising female executives in a multinational corporation whose fierce competition to rise up the ranks is about to turn literally cut-throat.
As the maze-like story begins, Christine (McAdams) — a gorgeous, powerful executive at an international ad agency in Berlin — is searching for a killer idea to impress her bosses, helped by her clever but naive protege Isabelle (Rapace). Isabelle admires Christine’s polish and devotion to her work and Christine feeds on Isabelle’s admiration. But when Isabelle comes up with a brilliant viral marketing idea that wows the client, it is Christine who gleefully takes the credit.
Thus begins what starts out as typical office back-stabbing — or “just business,” as Christine explains it — yet soon turns into something ferocious and primal. As Christine and Isabelle jockey for power, a cat-and-mouse game of scheming — professional, sexual and ultimately homicidal — erupts between the two women. But as they become more and more entangled in each other’s ambitions, desires and dreams, who will be the greater manipulator, and who will have the final revenge?
With his trademark mix of wit, melodrama and lush cinematic style, De Palma peels back the layers of a spiraling murder mystery that is as full of jet-black humor and villainous fun as it with doubts and suspense. For deep beneath the icy, cool veneer of modern life and work, De Palma playfully exposes a realm where the wildest passions rage.
Directed by: Brian De Palma
Starring: Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace, Karoline Herfurth, Paul Anderson, Rainer Bock, Benjamin Sadler
Screenplay by: Brian De Palma, Nathalie Carter, Alain Corneau
Production Design by: Cornelia Ott
Cinematography by: José Luis Alcaine
Film Editing by: François Gédigier
Costume Design by: Karen Muller Serreau
Set Decoration by: Ute Bergk
Music by: Pino Donaggio
MPAA Rating: R for sexual content, language and some violence.
Studio: eOne Films
Release Date: September 7 2012 (Venice), February 13 2013 (France), May 2, 2013 (Germany)
Neil (Ben Affleck) is an American traveling in Europe who meets and falls in love with Marina (Olga Kurylenko), an Ukrainian divorcee who is raising her 10-year-old daughter Tatiana in Paris. The lovers travel to Mont St. Michel, the island abbey off the coast of Normandy, basking in the wonder of their newfound romance. Neil makes a commitment to Marina, inviting her to relocate to his native Oklahoma with Tatiana. He takes a job as an environmental inspector and Marina settles into her new life in America with passion and vigor. After a holding pattern, their relationship cools.
Marina finds solace in the company of another exile, the Catholic priest Father Quintana (Javier Bardem), who is undergoing a crisis of faith. Work pressures and increasing doubt pull Neil further apart from Marina, who returns to France with Tatiana when her visa expires. Neil reconnects with Jane (Rachel McAdams), an old flame. They fall in love until Neil learns that Marina has fallen on hard times. Gripped by a sense of responsibility — and his own crisis of faith — he rekindles with Marina after another trip to France. She returns with him to Oklahoma, resuming her American life. But the old sorrows eventually return.
Written and directed by Terrence Malick, TO THE WONDER is a romantic drama about men and women grappling with love and its many phases and seasons — passion, sympathy, obligation, sorrow and indecision — and the way these forces merge together and drift apart, transforming, destroying and reinventing the lives they touch.
Working once again with the cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (THE NEW WORLD, THE TREE OF LIFE), and a team of gifted collaborators, Terrence Malick has concocted a deeply moving visual language intermingling love, nature and spirit — “all things work together for the good,” as one character in TO THE WONDER proclaims — that ranks among his most personal and heartfelt works.
About the Production
Academy Award-nominated director Terrence Malick is renowned for making brilliant and unique works using unconventional storytelling methods. His latest film, TO THE WONDER, is no exception. The film presents to the audience something more than a conventional romance or crisis of faith. As in his previous film THE TREE OF LIFE, juxtaposing one family’s evolution with the creation of the cosmos, the journey that plays out in TO THE WONDER illuminates the emotional and spiritual depth of its characters as they change and grow over time.
In each of Malick’s films, from his early features BADLANDS and DAYS OF HEAVEN to his more recent work THE THIN RED LINE, THE NEW WORLD and THE TREE OF LIFE, human characters struggle to find a connection between nature and spirit — from the physical world that surrounds them to the more intangible depths of the soul. How characters navigate these two realms simultaneously is revealed less through dialogue and other conventional means of cinematic exposition than through pure emotion or feeling — as though the viewer were experiencing a world through a character’s eyes.
In the same way that the combat drama THE THIN RED LINE asked “What is this war in the heart of nature?,” or the historical epic THE NEW WORLD examined the birthing pains of a nation in the coming together of two disparate cultures, the romance at the heart of TO THE WONDER grapples with love and loss on similarly dualistic levels. Like the dramatic cloisters of Mont St. Michel that rise up to the sky in the film’s rousing opening minutes, suggesting a realm somewhere between heaven and earth, or reality and fantasy, Malick again establishes a unique sense of place — one that can be mapped in the physical world, but which can also be accessed through more esoteric channels like the human heart.
The filmmakers chose the town of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, to provide the earthly backdrop for TO THE WONDER’s epic story of love, longing and spiritual questioning. Much of the town’s character remains intact thanks to the largely preserved buildings erected in the early 20th century, including the famous Price Tower designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1956. But Bartlesville has also yielded to the modern age, with its low-slung ranch homes and industrial machinery associated with the small city’s lifeblood, the oil business.
“Terry is a philosopher, so a lot of his imagery has to do with his ideas, and I think he found something important in the starkness of those homes (and buildings),” says Academy Award nominated production designer Jack Fisk. “The city became a character in the story,” explains producer Nick Gonda. “Through the hospitality of the people of Bartlesville, Terry was able to interact with his surroundings much like he works with actors, letting its inherent qualities emerge. As a result of that, we were able to work in the way that Terry has dreamt of working for many years.”
Beyond the town’s limits, the open spaces and natural beauty of the American West act as a reminder of the rhythms and cycles amid which our human struggles and aspirations may appear only as mere details on a vast canvas. “The color palette of this region is stunning,” says TO THE WONDER location manager John Patterson, of the Oklahoma countryside where much of the film was shot. “It almost seems like it’s made for this film, made up as it is of browns and yellows and beautiful sky and clear open spaces.”
The small-town feel in Oklahoma is intensified by the contrasting Old World (and other- worldly) setting on Mont St. Michel, the island off the coast of Normandy, France. As the story opens, Neil and Marina are at the height of their romance, basking in the sun on a beautiful, rocky beach on Mont St. Michel, which is known in France as the Merveille, or “Wonder.” A top destination of pilgrims and tourists, the Merveille is best known for its abbey and cloisters. Monks in search of remote solitude have lived on the island since the sixth century.
“The film feels to me like more a memory of a life than a literal story in real time of someone’s life, the way movies more commonly are,” says Ben Affleck, who plays TO THE WONDER’s central figure, Neil. “This pastiche of impressionistic moments, skipping across the character’s life and moving in a nonlinear way, mirror, in my mind, the way one remembers one’s life. It’s a little hypnotic and you’re a little bit in a daze. It’s more fluid than real life is.”
To achieve this quality, Affleck and his fellow cast members immersed themselves in Malick’s imagined world. The director guided them toward classic works of fiction, art, music and cinema to foster the mindset and understanding of their characters. Many didn’t know what the film would ultimately be about or how the final product would turn out, as Malick leaves himself room to accentuate the movie’s core themes during post-production. Malick’s cast members say they will miss the experience when they move on to more traditional projects. “He’s always giving leeway and room for you to make up your own mind, which is really lovely,” says Rachel McAdams, who plays the role of Jane, a woman who tempts Neil with the promise of a different kind of love.
Malick and Affleck have known each other for many years, and the film’s lead actor insists that Malick has been spinning the story that ultimately became TO THE WONDER for more than a decade. Affleck has often sought advice and mentoring from the more experienced filmmaker, including recently when both were in post-production on their own projects.
Affleck was pleased when Malick asked him to join the cast of TO THE WONDER. “I’m a great admirer of Terry, like everyone else,” he said. Affleck had planned to take time off to spend with his family after finishing his own film THE TOWN, but felt he couldn’t turn down a chance to work with Malick. “I learned more in the seven weeks on TO THE WONDER this movie than I’ve learned in my entire life working with other directors,” Affleck admits.
To prepare, Affleck read works by Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and F. Scott Fitzgerald. He also watched movies starring Gary Cooper to shape the character of the earnest and thoughtful Neil, whom Affleck describes as the “silent center” of TO THE WONDER. “The wonderful thing about talking about a movie with Terry is that he has such a rich, full mind, and so many frames of reference, that the conversation weaves in and out of a lot of different areas, like music and philosophy and religion and art and other drama, history and other movies, novels in particular, literature,” Affleck says. “This is a guy who’s orienting his approach to filmmaking in the deepest tradition of the arts.”
For Affleck, the character also has resonances with Shakespeare’s Hamlet, as his inability to decide on a course of action threatens to cause his undoing. In Affleck’s view, TO THE WONDER depicts Neil as he discovers his true self, and the film asks viewers to consider the obligations they have to each other and to the world that go beyond selfish interests.
To the Wonder
Directed by: Terrence Malick
Starring: Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Javier Bardem, Olga Kurylenko, Charles Baker, Romina Mondello, Tatiana Chiline
Screenplay by: Terrence Malick
Production Design by: Jack Fisk
Cinematography by: Emmanuel Lubezki
Film Editing by: A.J. Edwards, Keith Fraase, Shane Hazen, Christopher Roldan, Mark Yoshikawa
Costume Design by: Jacqueline West
Set Decoration by: Jeanette Scott
Music by: Hanan Townshend
MPAA Rating: R for some sexuality / nudity.
Studio: Magnolia Pictures
Release Date: April 12, 2013