At the age of 21, Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson, Anna Karenina) discovers he can travel in time. Tim’s father (Bill Nighy, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) tells his son that the men in his family have always had the ability to travel through time. Tim can’t change history, but he can change what happens and has happened in his own life.
The idea for About Time came from a conversation that director Richard Curtis (Pirate Radio, Love Actually) had with a friend about what they would do if they were told that they had only 24 hours left to live. “We both decided that we’d want a very normal day at home with the family, doing the things you would normally do,” recalls Curtis. “I thought it was an interesting observation, and the next step was how I would be able to incorporate this into a movie. It would have to be about someone who could manipulate their final day or manipulate their life in some way to enable them to come to that conclusion. That’s when I thought about time travel.”
Producer Nicky Kentish Barnes adds that she admired the unorthodox narrative put forth by the film’s writer/director. She says, “About Time is very autobiographical in a sense; it’s bits of Richard’s life all put together in a beautiful and well-crafted story. The story is very emotional; we had grown men crying on reading the script. It is a slight, sort-of-magic realism with the time-travel aspect, but it adds to the emotional content rather than feeling that it’s taking you out of the story.”
Lindsay Duncan, who play’s Tim’s mother, echoes other cast and crew through her commending of Curtis’s style: “Richard gets to your heart. You do cry when you read his scripts; you cry about falling in love, and you cry about people’s pain, as well. This film is all about everyday things that people deal with: living their lives, loving people, wanting people and suffering from the loss of loved ones.”
As a side note, actress Rachel McAdams — who plays Mary, the woman with whom Tim falls in love, marries and starts a family — is getting to be an expert in the area of films involving time travel. This is the third movie in which she plays the love interest of a time traveler. The previous two are The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009), in which she plays the titular wife to Eric Bana’s character, and Midnight in Paris (2011), where she played the fiancée of Own Wilson’s character.
About Time is available starting Feb. 4 on Video On Demand. Check your cable system for availability.