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As Time Goes By: Love Stories, like One Day, that Endure the Test of Time

Updated June 29, 2011

One Day tells the two-decade story of Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dex (Jim Sturgess). Like other films, from When Harry Met Sally to Brokeback Mountain, One Day recognizes how our relationships change and deepen over time. We look at 10 other great films of loves that go on.

Two for the Road (1967)
Scenes From a Marriage (1973)
The Way We Were (1973)
Annie Hall (1977)
Same Time, Next Year (1978)
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
Groundhog Day (1993)
Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
5x2 (2004)
Brokeback Mountain (2005)


Director Lone Scherfig's One Day follows its two protagonists, Dexter Mayhew (Jim Sturgess) and Emma Morley (Anne Hathaway), over the course of two decades, from their time as young, idealistic students to adults dealing with the full reality of their lives. Adapted from David Nicholls' best-selling novel of the same name, One Day, however, only shows us one day of their lives each year. They first meet as undergraduates at the University of Edinburgh in 1988, have a romantic encounter on July 15 – St. Swithin's Day – and, although they choose friendship over romance, pledge to meet up on that same day every year. The film charts Dexter and Emma's experiences, loves, hopes and relationships over the years as they find success and failure in equal measure – and, just maybe, each other. Like other films that look at the grand sweep of a relationship, One Day moves back and forth between the close-up and the long shot, the single day and the decades-long glance back, to fully comprehend the evolution of love. Like so many other films before it, from Ingmar Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage to Harold Ramis' Groundhog Day, from Rob Reiner's When Harry Met Sally to Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain, One Day understands that love takes time.




Screen Kisses: From The Kiss to One Day

Updated June 27, 2011

The electrifying kiss between Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess) in One Day inspired us to look back at other great screen kisses.

The Kiss of Cinema
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)
My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)
The Kiss of Cinema

The Kiss of Cinema

At the beginning of One Day, when recently acquainted Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess) turn to embrace and kiss on an empty Edinburgh street, the moment is mesmerizing. In all great kisses, like Alfred Eisenstaedt’s iconic “V-J Day in Times Square,” the moment feels at once fully present and frozen in time and memory. While kissing has been around (we hope) since time’s beginning, representing romantic kissing is a pretty recent affair.  Although there are notable exceptions –– like Giotto di Bondone’s 1266 “Legend of St Joachim, Meeting at the Golden Gate” –– the romantic kiss really started to pop up in paintings, sculpture and photography in the 19th and 20th century. In 1896, the kiss was first planted on the face of cinema. And there it found its greatest medium. From the moment when May Irwin and John Rice puckered up for Edison’s cameras onward, filmmakers have been trying to capture the perfect kiss, that moment of embrace, at once fleeting and forever remembered. A kiss may be still a kiss, but as we find out, some kisses are more memorable than others. 




The Romantic Locations of One Day

Updated June 23, 2011

From Scotland to Northern France, One Day’s 20-year saga visits some stunning locations.

Edinburgh: Arthur's Seat
Paris: Café le Neamours
France: The Landscape of Brittany
France: Dinard
Paris: 11th Arrondissement
Paris: Canal St. Martin
London: Floridita / Metza
London: Hampstead Heath Lido
London: The Lady Chapel in Westminster Cathedral
London: Rio Cinema


In director Lone Scherfig's romance One Day, Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess) meet in Scotland in 1988, on the day they graduate from Edinburgh University. For the next nearly two decades, the two find their lives interwoven in ways they could never have imagined when they parted on an Edinburgh street for the first time. Their journey through life takes them to London, Paris, and elsewhere, and the places they meet tell us a lot about who the characters are and what is happening to them. Here we chart out a map of Emma and Dexter's adventure by looking at the locations where their story unfolds.




People in Film | Patricia Clarkson

Updated June 17, 2011

The New Orleans-born actress finds a way to make every film she’s in better.

Patricia Clarkson: An Essential Character
Between New Orleans and New York
For Yale And Theater
Character Actor And Beyond
The Queen of Sundance
Big Films, Small Films, Character Part, Film Star
Patricia Clarkson: An Essential Character

Patricia Clarkson: An Essential Character

Lone Scherfig’s romance One Day focuses on the emotional ups and downs between Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess), a young couple who meet as students and friends in 1988 and end as something so much more years later. But while Emma and Dex are the film’s focus, other characters, like Dexter’s mother Alison Mayhew (Patricia Clarkson), are essential to the story and to the couple’s future. In some ways, Clarkson’s character provides the film’s moral center, if not simply its moral that “one day” is all we have. In One Day, Clarkson adds psychological depth and emotional color to the film, without in anyway detracting from the main drama. It’s a role that Clarkson has perfected –– a character actor that is essential to the film.




Artists Using Film, from Dali to Mills

Updated June 16, 2011

Mike Mills, the writer/director of Beginners, started as graphic artists. Many other artists have turned to film to expand and evolve their vision.

Mike Mills as Artist and Filmmaker
The Artist as Film Camera
Andy Warhol: Hollywood as Subject
Andy Warhol: Film as Concept
The Artist Takes on Moving
The Artist Takes on Moving
Mike Mills as Artist and Filmmaker

Mike Mills as Artist and Filmmaker

For a medium described as “moving pictures,” the relationship between film and the visual arts has never been a fluid or direct one. While the theater produced many of film’s early great directors, and literature its storylines, a relatively small percentage of visual artists have made the transition from their studios to Hollywood’s — or, even, just to some form of independent production. Still, the history of film would not be complete without noting the artists — and art movements — who have placed their expressive stamp on cinema. Today, artists like Steve McQueen, Sam Taylor-Wood, and Matthew Barney make compelling cinema that is very much an outgrowth of their visual art. Beginners director Mike Mills is an artist and graphic designer, and his composed approach to visualizing systems and relationships carries over from his print work to his dramatic storytelling.  But just as importantly, film itself has been a subject for artists as their work naturally treats the dominant image machine of the 20th century. Below is a brief look at some of the ways in which visual artists have ventured into, commented upon, and treated as their canvas the world of video and film.




Los Angeles for Beginners

Updated June 01, 2011

Beginners not only writes a poignant postcard to contemporary Los Angeles, but maps out a personal landscape for writer/director Mike Mills.

Los Angeles According to Mike Mills
Richard Neutra Lovell Health House
Biltmore Hotel, 506 S Grand Ave
Elysian Park
Los Angeles County Art Museum (LAMCA), 5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Glendale Narrows
Tacos Arizas, Sunset and Logan
Cosmopolitan Book Shop, 7017 Melrose Ave
Billboard, Alvarado and Sunset
Los Angeles According to Mike Mills

Los Angeles According to Mike Mills

In Mike Mills’ Beginners, Oliver (Ewan McGregor) deals with a new love, Anna (Mélanie Laurent), and the fact that his father, Hal (played by Christopher Plummer), is coming out of the closet at age 75. That all this happens in Los Angeles is not just a coincidence of production. Mills, who lives in Los Angeles, maps out in Beginners a personal geography of the places that define and endear him to LA. But these locations also identify the characters themselves –– where they live, what they like, how they love. To help understand Mike Mills’ Los Angeles a little better, we asked the filmmaker to highlight some of the real spaces in his film and tell us what they mean to him.