About Time —- no, it’s really ABOUT FAMILY

About Time is a film with a nifty plot device, time travel, but make no mistake, this is a heart-warming story about family.

Within the perfect running time of 123 minutes, the director wisely allows time for the audience to get to know the film’s charming and eccentric characters and for the actors to express some nuance of each personality within the frenetic pace of the film.  Using the time travel ploy, scenes are replayed multiple times with subtle changes in the outcome.  This creates a space for the actors to reveal more about their relationships and presents the audience with a way to experience each character from a new perspective.  Richard Curtis, who also directed Love Actually and Four Weddings and a Funeral, obviously knows that births, deaths and marriages are good plot devices in About Time, he uses time travel AND dramatic family milestones to showcase some wonderful performances by his remarkable cast.

 Has Bill Nye ever been given such a wonderful role as the time-traveling, novel-loving father?  And what a brilliant turn by the young Irish actor, Domnah Gleeson!  From a few bit parts in films and a memorable role in the Harry Potter series (as Bill Weasley–the older, dragon-riding brother of Ron), Domnah Gleeson is Tim.  He’s in every scene and with his remarkable, expressive face (and ginger hair), he draws us in and makes each experience seem real.

This is a great film to bring the whole family to…though there is a quick sex scene and a few adult situations, so stick to the teens and older crowd.  This is a great film for you to bring your dad!  About Time is a rare film that showcases a father’s love for his family and a wonderful father/son relationship.  There is true pathos here and if some scenes are a bit twee, the characters are so fully-fleshed out and realistic, so it’s easy to forgive.

Rachel McAdams, in her third time-traveling film, is a not glamorized but instead, wins the boy through charm, intelligence and good humor…and there’s even a scene where Tim is tempted by a blond beauty and runs home to his true love; Rachel’s character.  A detail that made me smile; this is a woman who loves to sleep–really loves to sleep!  A film that celebrates family and sacrifice, and entreats you to live each moment as fully as you can…this film is a real charmer!

Rating: 4 cups of tea

Bechdel Rating: There are a few discussions among the female cast members that are about friendship and life goals but the focus is mainly on the relationships. A-

Additional interesting tidbits from imdb:

Rory towards the end of the film is reading the book ‘Trash’ which is Curtis’s next film (Curtis wrote the screenplay for both Trash and About Time)
This is the third movie in which Rachel McAdams stars as the love interest of a time traveler. The previous ones were The Time Traveler’s Wife, in which she played the titular wife to Eric Bana’s character and Midnight in Paris, in which she played the fiancée of Owen Wilson’s character.
Zooey Deschanel was originally cast as Mary but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts and Rachel McAdams was cast.
Richard Griffiths‘s last movie.
Shipped to theaters under the code name “Cupboard”.

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