The Time Traveler's Wife (film)
|The Time Traveler's Wife|
|Directed by||Robert Schwentke|
|Screenplay by||Bruce Joel Rubin|
|Based on||The Time Traveler's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger
|Music by||Mychael Danna|
|Edited by||Thom Noble|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|August 14, 2009|
|Box office||$101.2 million (worldwide)|
The Time Traveler's Wife is a 2009 American romantic drama film based on Audrey Niffenegger's 2003 novel of the same name. Directed by Robert Schwentke, the film stars Eric Bana as Henry DeTamble, a Chicago librarian with a paranormal genetic disorder that causes him to time travel randomly as he tries to build a romantic relationship with Clare Abshire, played by Rachel McAdams, who would become his wife.
Filming began in September 2007, originally in anticipation of a fall 2008 release. The film's release was postponed with initially no official explanation from the studio. McAdams later noted that the delay was due to additional scenes and reshoots that could not be completed until the season at their outdoor location matched previously filmed footage, and Bana had regrown his hair following his work on the 2009 film Star Trek. The film was released in theaters on August 14, 2009.
In the early 1970s, Henry DeTamble is in a car accident that kills his mother but which he survives by inadvertently time traveling back two weeks. Moments later, Henry is helped by an older version of himself who has also traveled back. Unable to control the timing or destinations of his traveling, Henry finds himself drawn to significant people, places, and events in his life but is incapable of changing events beyond the minor differences his presence creates.
In 1991, Henry meets Clare Abshire in the library where he works. She is overjoyed to see him although he is actually meeting her for the first time. Clare explains that she met Henry's future self when she was a child, and that he informed her then that they would meet in the future, which is happening at the moment. Since childhood, Henry has been Clare's best friend and visited her. When Clare turned 18, which is two years before their meeting at the library, the older Henry kissed Clare, leading her to realize that he is romantically involved with her in the future. They begin a relationship, which is challenged by Henry's disorder. His sporadic time traveling is further complicated by the fact that he arrives at his destination completely naked. From an early age, he has learned how to pick locks and must steal clothing to survive his travels. Among his getaways are many visits to young Clare. From present-day Clare's diary, he gets a list of dates when he visited her, and gives those to young Clare so that she can be waiting for him with clothes. Falling in love, Henry and Clare eventually marry, though he actually time travels away before the ceremony and an older version of himself arrives in time to step in, though his altered appearance confuses guests.
Henry's disappearances allow him to win the lottery by having the numbers in advance, but his disorder takes a toll on his relationship with Clare. It also makes having a child with Clare seemingly impossible, as Henry's genes cause their unborn fetuses to time travel. After numerous such miscarriages, Henry has a secret vasectomy to end their suffering. Soon after, Clare gets pregnant one last time – by a visiting younger version of Henry – and carries the baby full-term. Henry travels forward in time before the child is born and meets their daughter, Alba, as a preteen; she tells him that she is a time traveler, too, but has increasing control over when and where she travels. She tells Henry that he will die when she is five-years-old, a fact that Henry hides from Clare. Alba's pre-teen self, who ultimately tries to prepare her younger self for Henry’s death, visits Young Alba sporadically. A devastated Clare soon discovers what is to come. Later, Henry time travels and is accidentally shot by Clare's father while hunting elk. Henry returns in time to die in Clare's arms. Some years later, a younger Henry later visits Alba and Clare, giving Clare hope that he will visit again, but he tells her not to spend her life waiting for him, hoping this encounter would provide a proper closure between them.
- Eric Bana as Henry DeTamble, a Chicago librarian
- Alex Ferris as Young Henry DeTamble (age 6)
- Rachel McAdams as Clare DeTamble (née Abshire), an artist
- Brooklynn Proulx as Young Clare Abshire (ages 6 and 8)
- Ron Livingston as Gomez, Clare and Henry's friend and Charisse's boyfriend
- Jane McLean as Charisse, Clare's best friend and roommate
- Stephen Tobolowsky as Dr. David Kendrick
- Arliss Howard as Richard DeTamble, Henry's father, a professional violinist
- Hailey McCann as Alba DeTamble (ages 9–10), Henry and Clare's daughter
- Tatum McCann as Young Alba DeTamble (ages 4–5)
- Michelle Nolden as Annette DeTamble, Henry's mother
- Maggie Castle as Alicia Abshire, Clare's younger sister
- Fiona Reid as Lucille Abshire, Clare's mother
- Philip Craig as Philip Abshire, Clare's father
- Brian Bisson as Mark Abshire, Clare's brother
The film rights for Audrey Niffenegger's 2003 novel The Time Traveler's Wife were optioned by Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt's production company Plan B Entertainment, in association with New Line Cinema, before her work was even published. Niffenegger stated in an interview that as she was writing the book she had thoughts of how a film version of the book would appear. When asked about the prospect of her novel being turned into a film, Niffenegger said, "I've got my little movie that runs in my head. And I'm kind of afraid that will be changed or wiped out by what somebody else might do with it. And it is sort of thrilling and creepy, because now the characters have an existence apart from me."
In September 2003, the studio hired screenwriter Jeremy Leven to write an adapted screenplay of the novel. Directors Steven Spielberg and David Fincher briefly expressed interest in the project, though no negotiations took place. In March 2005, director Gus Van Sant entered negotiations with the studio to helm the project. The negotiations did not hold, and in November 2006, director Robert Schwentke was instead hired to take over the project.
In January 2007, New Line hired screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin to rewrite Leven's script. Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams were cast in April 2007. Filming began in Toronto on September 10, 2007. It was also shot in Hamilton, Ontario. The film was originally planned for a fall 2008 release, but it was postponed with no official explanation from the studio. When asked about the delay, McAdams said, "We wound up doing a reshoot, and Eric was the holdup ... He had to shave his head for a different role, for Star Trek, I think. ...We did an additional scene in the meadow, so we were also waiting on the meadow to look the way it did [the first time we shot]. So we were waiting on the seasons. Basically we were waiting on nature and Eric's hair." The film was released by Warner Brothers on August 14, 2009.
The score to The Time Traveler's Wife was composed by Mychael Danna, who recorded his score with the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Ocean Way Studios during the fall of 2008. The trailer featured the song "Broken" by Lifehouse, which is in the film and the promotional music video. A television commercial for the film featured the song "Show Me What I'm Looking For" by Carolina Liar, although it was not included within the soundtrack. The film also features a cover of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" performed by Canadian indie rock band Broken Social Scene.
The official motion picture soundtrack was released as a download on August 11, 2009 by New Line Records. A CD version was released by Decca Records, but is generally only available from vendors outside the US.
Music from the Motion Picture
|The Time Traveler's Wife (Music from the Motion Picture)|
|Soundtrack album (Digital download) by Mychael Danna|
|Released||August 11, 2009|
|Label||New Line Records|
- "Es Ist Ein Ros" – 0:51
- "I'm You Henry" – 2:30
- "Meadow" – 3:19
- "How Does It Feel?" – 1:59
- "Diary" – 1:21
- "Train" – 1:43
- "I Don't Feel Alone Anymore" – 2:22
- "Love Will Tear Us Apart" – Performed by Broken Social Scene – 4:44
- "Married to Me" – 1:04
- "Home" – 1:36
- "Do You Know When?" – 2:09
- "Testing" – 1:04
- "Alba" – 2:33
- "I Never Had a Choice" – 2:58
- "Who Would Want That" – 2:29
- "I Left Him Sleeping" – 1:30
- "It's a Girl" – 2:58
- "Five Years" – 2:03
- "Try to Stay" – 1:40
- "New Year's Eve" 1:55
- "No Tracks in the Snow" – 1:48
- "See You Again" – 5:42
- "Broken" – Performed by Lifehouse – 4:47
Songs appearing in the film not included with the release of the soundtrack
- "Show Me What I'm Looking For" – Performed by Carolina Liar – 4:00
- "Clocks" – Performed by Coldplay – 5:07
- "Gone to Earth" – Performed by American Analog Set – 7:03
The film has received mixed reviews from critics for the same reasons as the novel, praising the characterization of the couple, applauding their emotional depth; others criticized the melodramatic style and the plot as emotionally trite. Based on 130 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, The Time Traveler's Wife has a 37% approval rating from critics, with an average score of 5.1/10 saying, "Though it may satisfy fans of the novel, The Time Traveler's Wife's plot's contrivances and illogical narrative hamper its big screen effectiveness". Metacritic, another review aggregator which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, gives the film an average score of 45 based on 29 reviews.
The film opened third behind District 9 and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, grossing $19.2 million on its opening weekend. Grossing $101,229,792 worldwide (over $63,000,000 of which was grossed in the United States) on a $39,000,000 budget, the film was a financial success.
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