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The Time Traveler's Wife (film)

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The Time Traveler's Wife (film)

The Time Traveler's Wife
Directed by Robert Schwentke
Produced by Nick Wechsler
Dede Gardner
Screenplay by Bruce Joel Rubin
Based on The Time Traveler's Wife 
by Audrey Niffenegger
Starring Eric Bana
Rachel McAdams
Ron Livingston
Music by Mychael Danna
Cinematography Florian Ballhaus
Edited by Thom Noble
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release dates August 14, 2009 (2009-08-14)
Running time 108 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $39 million[1]
Box office $101,229,792 (worldwide)[1]

The Time Traveler's Wife is a 2009 American romantic drama film based on Audrey Niffenegger's 2003 novel of the same name.[2] Directed by Robert Schwentke, the film stars Eric Bana as Henry DeTamble, a Chicago librarian with a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel randomly as he tries to build a romantic relationship with his love Clare, played by Rachel McAdams.[3]

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.[4] 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.[5][6] The film was released in theaters on August 14, 2009.[7]


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 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 a young 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 allows 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.



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.[11][12] 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.[13] 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."[14]

In September 2003, the studio hired screenwriter Jeremy Leven to write an adapted screenplay of the novel.[15] Directors Steven Spielberg and David Fincher briefly expressed interest in the project, though no negotiations took place.[16] In March 2005, director Gus Van Sant entered negotiations with the studio to helm the project.[17] The negotiations did not hold, and in November 2006, director Robert Schwentke was instead hired to take over the project.[16]

In January 2007, New Line hired screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin to rewrite Leven's script.[12] Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams were cast in April 2007.[3] Filming began in Toronto on September 10, 2007.[18] It was also shot in Hamilton, Ontario.[19] The film was originally planned for a fall 2008 release, but it was postponed with no official explanation from the studio.[4] 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."[5] The film was released by Warner Brothers on August 14, 2009.[7][20]


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.[21] 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
Length 55:02
Label New Line Records
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating 3/5 stars[22]
  1. "Es Ist Ein Ros" – 0:51
  2. "I'm You Henry" – 2:30
  3. "Meadow" – 3:19
  4. "How Does It Feel?" – 1:59
  5. "Diary" – 1:21
  6. "Train" – 1:43
  7. "I Don't Feel Alone Anymore" – 2:22
  8. "Love Will Tear Us Apart" – Performed by Broken Social Scene – 4:44
  9. "Married to Me" – 1:04
  10. "Home" – 1:36
  11. "Do You Know When?" – 2:09
  12. "Testing" – 1:04
  13. "Alba" – 2:33
  14. "I Never Had a Choice" – 2:58
  15. "Who Would Want That" – 2:29
  16. "I Left Him Sleeping" – 1:30
  17. "It's a Girl" – 2:58
  18. "Five Years" – 2:03
  19. "Try to Stay" – 1:40
  20. "New Year's Eve" 1:55
  21. "No Tracks in the Snow" – 1:48
  22. "See You Again" – 5:42
  23. "Broken" – Performed by Lifehouse – 4:47

Songs appearing in the film not included with the release of the soundtrack


Critical response

The film has received mixed reviews from critics.[23] 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".[24] 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.[23]

Box office

The film opened third behind District 9 and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, grossing $19.2 million on its opening weekend.[25] 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.[1]

Home media

The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on February 9, 2010.[26]


  1. ^ a b c "The Time Traveler's Wife (2004)".  
  2. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (August 21, 2009). "The Time Traveler's Wife"Movie Review: .  
  3. ^ a b c d Michael Fleming; Dave McNary (2007-04-17). "'"New Line finds its cast on 'Time.  
  4. ^ a b Justin Strout (2009-01-07). "Beyond The Cape". San Antonio Current. Retrieved 2009-01-23. 
  5. ^ a b Fred Topel (2009-03-27). "Time Traveler's Wife head held up Trek"How Eric Bana's shaved .  
  6. ^ Valby, Karen (2009-04-24). "Spotlight on Rachel McAdams".  
  7. ^ a b Sciretta, Peter (2009-03-12). "The Time Traveler's Wife Will Finally See Release in August".  
  8. ^ Borys Kit (2007-08-22). "'"Livingston married to NL's 'Wife.  
  9. ^ "The Time Traveler's Wife"Hollywood star on the rise Canadian actress Jane McLean hits the big screen in the upcoming drama . Retrieved August 15, 2009. 
  10. ^ Ellis, Suzanne (June 3, 2008) Actress Michelle Nolden Recalls 'Time Travelling' With Eric Bana, Toronto television station
  11. ^ Dave McNary, "Rubin rewriting 'Time'", Variety (January 2, 2007). Retrieved May 4, 2009.
  12. ^ a b Dave McNary (2007-01-02). "'"Rubin rewriting 'Time.  
  13. ^ "Interview: Audrey Niffenegger". Chicagoist. 2007-05-09. Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  14. ^ James Cowan, "Niffenegger's first book, and it's about time", National Post (December 3, 2003). LexisNexis (subscription required). Retrieved April 25, 2009.
  15. ^ Michael Fleming (2003-09-07). "Feud for thought".  
  16. ^ a b Borys Kit; Nicole Sperling (2006-11-01). "'"Schwentke finds time for NL's 'Wife.  
  17. ^ "Time Traveler's Wife"Van Sant Helming . 2005-03-17. Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
  18. ^ "Domestic film: In production".  
  19. ^ "Internet Movie Database – List of Films shot in Hamilton, Ontario". Retrieved 2008-01-25. 
  20. ^ Carl DiOrio, "Warners moves up 'Traveler's", The Hollywood Reporter (March 16, 2009). Retrieved May 4, 2009.
  21. ^ Dan Goldwasser (2008-12-09). "The Time Traveler's Wife"Mychael Danna scores . Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  22. ^ Clemmensen, Christian. "The Time Taveler's Wife".  
  23. ^ a b "The Time Traveler's Wife (2009): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  24. ^ "The Time Traveler's Wife Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  25. ^ Young, John (2009-08-16). conquers competition with $37 million"District 9"Box Office Report: .  
  26. ^ ASIN B001HN69C2, The Time Traveler's Wife (2009)

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