Thursday, September 8, 2011

What I Saw: One Day (84th Oscar Race)

What I Saw: One Day

One Day is a smart romantic drama which follows two characters across a period of twenty years. That strategy works, making the audience feel emotionally attached to the characters in a way that romantic comedies seldom achieve. There is something about watching a lifetime unfold that draws you in, and makes you feel a deeper connection to the characters that overcomes the puppy love that normally fills the big screen. In a year when audiences have been subjected to both No Strings Attached and Friends With Benefits, it is nice to have a will-they-or-won’t-they movie that is for adults.

Some reviews have commented on the necessary coincidences implied through the script--claiming that if the major events of one’s life always happen on the same “one day’ each year, you’d think that you would pay more attention. But I didn’t find this to be a major problem. Unlike The Time Traveler’s Wife, where playing with time was an important plot device, One Day’s conceit is really only a set piece that allows the story to emerge. There are only two or three moments where the events would be major enough for a normal person to remember the date. In most other cases, the story reflects a stage of the couple’s relationship or a mood or phase that they happen to be passing through, with the audience happening to drop by to see it reflected in a phone call or a missed connection.

Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess are fine in their respective roles, and Patricia Clarkson is wonderful as a caring mother. The movie features a score by Rachel Portman and an original song by Elvis Costello, but to be honest I couldn’t understand what he was saying and had to look up the lyrics once I got home. I thought that they did a good job of aging Sturgess throughout the film, but for Hathaway all I noticed was that they took off her glasses, changed her hair, and gave her more costume changes than she had at the Oscars.

Oscar Chances:

Again, August release dates make it hard for movies to pick up any real Oscar steam, but I do have this film on the long list for several categories:

Adapted Screenplay: David Nicholls (currently ranked 14)
Lead Actress: Anne Hathaway (currently ranked 20)
Original Score: Rachel Portman (currently ranked 22)
Best Director: Lone Sherfig (currently ranked 26)
Best Picture (current rank 34)
Supporting Actress: Patricia Clarkson (currently ranked 34)
Costume Design: Odile Dicks-Mireaux (currently ranked 36)
Song: Elvis Costello for Sparkling Day (currently ranked 37, but will probably move up in my next set of predictions.)
Art Direction: Mark Tildesley and Dominic Capon (currently ranked 40)
Cinematography: Benoit Delhomme (currently ranked 43)
Lead Actor: Jim Sturgess (currently ranked 45)

A note that the difference between Hathaway and Sturgess’ chances reflects more upon their relative fame and the different types of roles for which Hollywood rewards actresses and actors. Within the confines of the movie itself, I felt like their performances were pretty equal.

My Lamb Score: 3 out of 5 Lambs
What is a lamb score? Click HERE to learn more.
Read more of my reviews HERE.


  1. Great Review! Sturgess and Hathaway are fun to watch together, but the rest of the film just feels like a gimmick that was done wrong, and brings nothing new at all to the conventions of the romantic drama.

  2. Thanks Dan. I did enjoy it, and found it original enough, but maybe I just haven't seen very many romantic dramas?
    Thanks for checking out my review!