There is going to be SO MUCH breakup media coming out of this pandemic. And there will be some romantic stories to be told, but I predict the vibe of post-pandemic storytelling will be overwhelmingly about the meltdown, not the meet cute. Case in point: Oscar Isaac and Michelle Williams are going to star in a new adaption of Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes From a Marriage, about a couple going through a breakup in the 1970s. The original miniseries starred Liv Ullman and Erland Josephson, and was based on Bergman’s own life, including his breakup with Liv Ullman (imagine if Noah Baumbach had the stones to cast Jennifer Jason Leigh in Marriage Story and you have Scenes From a Marriage).
I’m not saying this adaptation is coming BECAUSE of the pandemic, but it will fit right into the inevitable post-lockdown landscape of breakup stories. Why am I so sure everything will be breakups after the lockdown? Because I’ve seen a sh-t ton of break-ups happening during the lockdown. Half the couples in my life have split up in the last three months. Quarantining alone sucks, but I think going through a breakup right now is probably worse. Just all that extra stress, you know?
Anyway, Oscar and Michelle’s new miniseries is coming from Israeli filmmaker Hagai Levi, creator of BeTipul, which was remade in the US as In Treatment. He also co-created The Affair, so he is no stranger to writing the dynamics of a marriage in crisis. Scenes From a Marriage is the kind of story that can be meaningfully revisited every generation as attitudes toward coupledom, divorce, and co-parenting continually shift, though we DID just have Marriage Story and it IS the same basic idea. At least we can look forward to the inexorable slew of GIFs of Oscar and Michelle dramatically screaming at each other that this miniseries produces.