The Time Traveler's Wife
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Time Traveler's Wife, The (DVD)
What if you suddenly, unpredictably and uncontrollably traveled through time? Life can be harrowing for a time traveler, but in this romance about the victory of love over age and time, life is even more challenging for The Time Traveler's Wife. Clare (Rachel McAdams--Wedding Crashers, The Notebook) has been in love with Henry (Eric Bana--Troy, Munich) her entire life. She believes they are destined to be together, even though she never knows when they will be separated: Henry is a time traveler--cursed with a rare genetic anomaly that causes him to live his life on a shifting timeline, skipping back and forth through the years with no control. Despite the fact that Henry's travels force them apart with no warning, and never knowing when they will be reunited, Clare desperately tries to build a life with her one true love.]]>
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The film is by Robert Schwentke, a well respected film maker, and well known. In two hours he tells the story of Henry and Clare. Clare is played by Rachel McAdams, who has prepared this role with an Oscar level proffesionalism. Henry is played by Australian actor (with a flawless American accent) Eric Bana. At age six, Henry survives a car accident that kills his mother. It also triggers a neurological malfunction which causes him to jump time-only within the span of his life- with no warning and no control. He meets and falls in love with Clare. Though because her time is linear and his is not, an already deeply in love Clare sees Henry in a library and overwhelms him with the thrill of finally seeing him. She knows him because he has been visiting her since she was six, helping to guide her, so she is ready and waiting for him. Henry knows things about their future and tries his best to protect Clare, but Henry's life is hard and frustrating, always anxious to get back to her. The editing, make-up and acting through their wedding is remarkable. In that one day we see Henry as young as 23 and as old as 41. When Henry goes, leaving Clare to wait, sometimes for years, his clothing remains behind, losing shape and weeping to the floor. It's a visual that beautifully reflects the let down that Clare feels. Henry appears, naked, at another time, in all kinds of weather, immediately facing the challenges of being an outlaw.
When they have a child (who has inherited this genetic code but has more control over it) Henry takes her aside and quietly tea hes her to cope- from lock picking to how to learn WHEN she is. No more details are needed except to tell you this is a story about the challenges involved in a relationship. There are both disadvantages and advantages to this malady and they are explored without taking away from the purpose of the film: love.
Some may call this a "date movie" but their eye isn't as good as mine. There are details to this film that put it on a level far above a "chick flick" or a "sci-fi geek" film, despite having elements of both.
The film score by Mychael Danna, is glorified in the hands of Nicholas Dodd, who did the orchestrations and conducted. The music is used to maintain a thread of story line when Henry jumps from 1987 to 2002; then musical idony and foreshadowing is clever and abundant. Again, many won't notice the music.
An autumn pasture is an integral setting and the colors of that set are used through the film, like a painting.
This is a subtle film and well made so the millions of remarkable details blend together to wash over us and gently lead us along with the story. It works: at no time do we wonder, "How did they DO that?" or, "Great make up cause three seconds ago he had no gray hair and wasbclean shaven". Nothing is overdone so nothing breaks the spell.
Is this a remarkable piece of art? No. But we don't always want to see "The Hours" or "Silence of The Lambs" or "Sophie's Choice." Sometimes we want to be able to converse without a lump in the throat or a recurring image of a dry well in a basement. Buy the film. You do need to seek out the details and enjot the discoveries that multiple viewings will bring.
I begrudgingly watched the movie and found that I loved it, totally related and cared about Henry, Clare, Alba and cast and it even made me cry. I won’t spoil it but I will say that the movie cut and edited parts from the book and made this a great story! This is a case where the movie trumps the book.