The Time Traveler's Wife (M)

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner14/08/2009

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 107 mins

Impressively directed and extremely moving, this is a hugely enjoyable romantic drama that's remarkably faithful to the book, thanks to a terrific script from Bruce Joel Rubin and superb performances from Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana.

What's it all about?
Based on the novel by Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler's Wife stars Eric Bana as Henry DeTamble, who discovers he can travel through time when, as a young boy (Alex Ferris), he mysteriously disappears from the car and reappears at the side of the road seconds before his mother (Michelle Nolden) dies in a car crash. Moments later, his future self (Bana) appears beside him and tells him he has a rare genetic anomaly that means that, throughout his life, he will travel in time at moments of stress, but without any control over where he'll go.

Years later, Henry meets a young woman named Clare Abshire (Rachel McAdams), who tells him that although this is the first time he's met her, she has known him all her life, because in Henry's future, he visits her as a little girl. The pair fall in love and begin the relationship Clare has always known about, but will Henry's constant disappearances allow them to live anything resembling a normal life?

The Good
Bana and McAdams are both excellent and there's genuine chemistry between them, ensuring that the romantic moments push all the right buttons. There's also strong support from Arliss Howard (as Henry's father), Stephen Tobolowsky (as Henry's doctor) and Ron Livingston as Gomez, Henry's best friend.

Bruce Joel Rubin's excellent script is careful to lace the drama with moments of humour and is also remarkably faithful to the original novel, though there's a slight tweak to the finale that makes dramatic sense and works better than the ending in the book. Similarly, the time travel effects are both subtle and extremely well done, working all the better for being underplayed.

The Great
The film would make a great double bill with the thematically similar Benjamin Button, since both films present an intriguing spin on the romantic staple of star-crossed lovers.

Worth seeing?
The Time Traveler’s Wife is a hugely enjoyable, brilliantly acted and extremely moving romantic drama that won't disappoint fans of the novel. It also packs a powerful emotional punch. Highly recommended.

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The Time Traveler's Wife (M)
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Content updated: 11/12/2019 08:44

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