A new adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes From A Marriage is coming to HBO from Israeli filmmaker Hagai Levi. It was originally supposed to star Oscar Isaac and Michelle Williams, but then Williams had to drop out and Jessica Chastain stepped in, reuniting the A Most Violent Year co-stars. We don’t talk about A Most Violent Year enough. It’s really good, and Isaac and Chastain are a GREAT screen couple. Going from Michelle Williams to Jessica Chastain is a lateral move—they’re both excellent actors—but we do get to see Isaac and Chastain together again, which is fun. The first trailer for Scenes From A Marriage has arrived and it is NOT fun. In fact, it kind of looks like a horror movie?
It’s the nervy string music and Oscar Isaac whisper-singing and all the shots of people looking worried and/or upset. It’s understandable, your marriage is melting down, OF COURSE you’re worried and/or upset. But it ALSO kind of looks like you think your spouse might be a secret alien or monster or possessed by a demon, maybe! That shot of Oscar Isaac brushing his teeth while Jessica Chastain turns away from him is especially creepy. First of all, teeth are inherently suspicious because they’re the only part of our skeletons we can see, and we pay people to routinely touch our skeletons, which NO ONE enjoys but somehow remains a thing we HAVE to do as responsible adults, but really it just seems like our skeletons have somehow tricked us into participating in some kind of skeleton kink we’re not aware of. Skeletons are not to be trusted!
Secondly, Isaac looks like he is watching to make sure his façade hasn’t slipped and his wife doesn’t realize he is really an alien scout from Zargon-9, here to set the stage for an invasion, or a serial killer, or some other kind of monstrous being. Does she suspect? What does she know?! I will calmly massage my skeleton with this tiny brush and try to determine if my cover is blown. I get it, this is going to be a Serious Drama about Sadness and the Broken Promises Of Love in which Great Actors Act Greatly, but whoever cut this trailer definitely made it look like a horror movie. A classy A24-type horror movie, for sure, but a horror movie all the same. Like if it turns out that grandma is worshipping a demon, or their vacation retreat is run by a Scandi death cult, or the monster in the basement is just a representation of mental health, I wouldn’t be surprised.