Scenes from a Marriage trailer

Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) and Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) previously played a married couple in 2014’s under-seen thriller A Most Violent Year, and now they’re reuniting to star in Scenes from a Marriage, an HBO limited series based on the acclaimed 1970s version from master filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. The first trailer for the new iteration of the story has arrived, and it looks like a handsomely made drama that gives Isaac and Chastain the chance to flex several different groups of acting muscles. Check it out below.

Remaking a Classic

The original Scenes from a Marriage was a six-part television miniseries written and directed by Ingmar Bergman, the beloved filmmaker behind The Seventh Seal, Persona, Fanny and Alexander, and many more. The show focused on a ten-year period in the marriage between Marianne (Liv Ullmann) and Johan (Erland Josephson), and a year after it aired on Swedish television, Bergman edited it down into a film. The film version was not eligible for Academy Awards, but it went on to be an incredibly influential piece of work, notably providing a benchmark of quality against which Richard Linklater measured his Before trilogy starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. Film critic Roger Ebert called Scenes from a Marriage “one of the truest, most luminous love stories ever made.”

The original film is currently streaming on HBO Max and The Criterion Channel, and the television version is also streaming on Criterion. This new iteration will be written, directed, and executive produced by Hagai Levi (The Affair).

New Casting

When this remake was first announced last year, Isaac was reportedly going to co-star with Oscar winner Michelle Williams (Venom). But Williams was ultimately replaced by Chastain, and as much as I like Williams as a performer, I feel like Chastain is secretly a more interesting choice for a part like this.

That’s not me dissing Williams, by the way: in fact, the reason I think Chastain will be more interesting to watch here is because I think there might be a slightly higher level of difficulty for her when compared to Williams, who we’ve already seen do top-tier drama akin to this in movies like Blue Valentine and Manchester by the Sea. Chastain has been excellent in several great movies, but this will be her first big TV role since she broke out in 2011, and I’m looking forward to seeing if she and Isaac bring out the best in each other again on screen.

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