Cast: Harrison Ford, Blake Lively, Michiel Huisman, Amanda Crew
Director: Lee Toland Krieger
Genre: Drama, Romance
Running Time: 110 minutes
Synopsis: In The Age of Adaline, Blake Lively stars as Adaline Bowman, a beautiful young woman who ceases to age after a mysterious near-fatal accident. For almost eight decades, immune to the ravages of time while others grow old, Adaline leads a solitary life, never allowing herself to get close to anyone who might reveal her secret. But a chance encounter with charismatic philanthropist Ellis Jones reawakens her passion for life and love. When a weekend with his parents threatens to uncover the truth, Adaline makes a decision that will change her life forever. Co-starring Game of Thrones' Michiel Huisman and acclaimed actor Harrison Ford, The Age of Adaline is a stylish, sweeping romance.
The Age of Adaline
Release Date: April 16th, 2015
'Tell me something I can hold onto forever and never let go." – Adaline
Born near the turn of the 20th century, Adaline Bowman never dreamed she would live to see the beginning of the 21st, until one seemingly magical moment saves her from death and grants her eternal youth. At the age of 29, Adaline stops aging and experiences life as no human being has before.
This remarkable twist of fate sets her on an unparalleled journey that spans decades. She has experienced life and love through the global transformations of two World Wars and the freewheeling 1960s to the conveniences of present day. Carefully concealing her secret from everyone but her aging daughter, Adaline manages momentous changes with grace, until a past relationship collides with a modern-day chance for love and threatens to expose her extraordinary history.
Actress Blake Lively, who plays Adaline Bowman, knew she had found an enchanting adventure and timeless love story the first time she read the script. "I couldn't put it down," she says. "It read like a beautiful novel. The story is romantic, poetic and unique."
The actress was also excited to find an original story told from a woman's point of view. The idea of a woman who experiences so much, so deeply, during one of the most diverse centuries in human history intrigued Blake Lively. "Her life spans a hundred years, it crosses many different eras,"
the actress says. "Over that time, Adaline goes through love, loss, pain and joy."
Producers Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi of Lakeshore Entertainment recognised the screenplay's potential immediately. 'Everything about this script appealed to me," says Tom Rosenberg. 'It is a true romance, which you don't see very often. The film is about love, why it's valuable to age and why it's essential to die. Without that, life loses its meaning."
Although it starts with a fantastical premise, The Age of Adaline quickly gives way to an artful and astutely observed trip through time. 'It falls into the category of magical realism," says Gary Lucchesi. 'There is a lot to be said for an original story well told. Tom and I thought this was absolutely fantastic. At this point in our lives as filmmakers, when we see something that is unique and original, we respond to it."
A large part of the films unique point of view is in its nuanced portrayal of love in all its forms, says Blake Lively. "There are different kinds of love stories within the movie," she continues.
"There's the modern and apparent male-female story. There's a more complex love story that rests in Adaline's past and is brought to life again in her present. There's also a deeply touching story of love between mother and daughter. Adaline's life of love is such a beautiful journey."
Even though the story has elements of fantasy, it is told in a simple, human fashion - which was another attraction for the actress. 'It's very much a character piece," she says. 'It is quite dramatic. We address some pretty heavy ideas and really reach for the heart."
The film's director, Lee Toland Krieger, made a splash in Hollywood with his previous features, The Vicious Kind and Celeste and Jesse Forever. Krieger had read The Age of Adaline screenplay for the first time a few years earlier and it stayed with him. 'The essential theme of the film was so attractive," he says. 'It is the story of a woman who has been rendered ageless by an accident. The only person who knows her secret is her daughter, who is now in her 80s. A meeting with a young man unlike any other man she's ever met slowly pulls her out of her hermit-like existence."
'I had never read anything that focused on the beauty of growing old," he continues. 'The world we live in is so consumed with youth and vanity. I thought this was a very touching idea." Lee Toland Krieger won the producers over with a fully realised vision for the film he wanted to make. 'I could tell he was a real artist," says Tom Rosenberg. 'The more I got to know him, the more I saw that he is a gentleman as well. His preparation was astounding."
'I had watched his two movies and was very impressed," adds Gary Lucchesi. 'We talked through the script and his ideas and we were more impressed. There is nothing more exciting for me than meeting somebody I don't know and thinking, this guy could be really special."
The director was so interested in taking the helm of this modern fairy tale that he prepared a seven-minute 'mood reel," a compilation of video clips and images to illustrate his ideas for presenting the story visually. 'My two other movies did not have period elements or special effects, while this has both," he explains. 'The mood reel touched on how I wanted to approach all the visual aspects of the film, and how the theme would be expressed through the alchemy of the film's aesthetics."
Lee Toland Krieger shared the 'mood reel" with the filmmakers, 'It assured us that he had the sensitivity and the artistry we needed," says Gary Lucchesi. 'He reminds me of Sam Mendes or Anthony Minghella. There's a painterly quality to his movies. He loved the material and felt very confident he could pull it off."
It also convinced Blake Lively that he was the right director. 'It was so powerful," says Blake Lively. 'I wanted to jump in and live in that world. His vision was unique, emotional and provoking. His passion for this project carried all of us throughout."
Although the film visits many time periods, the story is squarely focused in the present. 'It's not a procedural where in the '20s, this happened and in the '30s that happened and so on," says Gary Lucchesi. 'It's a big-idea movie about what it might feel like not to age. Adaline is at an ideal age for her entire life. You would think that would be the greatest thing in the world"to look the best you will ever look, to be intelligent and fully formed and never age a day. But as Adaline sees her own child mature and grow older, she begins to wish she could have taken that journey as well."
Blake Lively says the film is unlike any she's ever seen in its exploration of that idea. "It's about love and loss and what they mean if you were able to live forever," she says. "Is that a gift or is it a curse? I walked away from Adaline's story thinking that life happens exactly the way it's supposed to. To live life surrounded by the people you love, to come and go with them, that feels like the perfect order to me."
The Cast Of Adaline
The role of Adaline Bowman required the kind of presence that few young actresses have today, says Lee Toland Krieger, a combination of understated elegance, a thoroughly modern sense of style and the wisdom that comes from a life lived fully. 'It was critical that whoever played Adaline looked like she was in her 20s, but could carry herself with a century of experience," says the director.
Acting in film and television since she was eight, Lively starred in the wildly popular television series Gossip Girl and appeared in high-profile movies including The Town and Savages.
Her uncommon grace and self-possession add to the image of a woman who has lived an extraordinary life, according to Tom Rosenberg. 'We needed somebody absolutely modern who was also a little bit of a throwback to other eras. There aren't many people who have that as well as the acting ability to pull off this role, but going back in time with Blake Lively feels seamless."
'All of us were excited to see what Blake Lively could do in a leading role," says Lee Toland Krieger. 'Even at 27 years old, she's very sophisticated and carries herself with a kind of poise that few women her age do."
The actress admits it was a challenging role, but an extremely rewarding one that allowed her to delve more deeply into a character than she ever has before. 'I had to play so many women within one. Adaline lives through such different time periods, but she can't be a fractured woman. She is smart enough to evolve and change with the times, yet she is always the same person."
To find the right speaking style for each period in her life, Blake Lively worked with renowned dialect coach Elizabeth Himelstein, who has worked with Oscar®-winning actors Frances McDormand (on Fargo), Kathy Bates (Delores Claiborne), Nicole Kidman (Cold Mountain) and Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels' The Butler), among many others. 'Liz Himelstein is amazing," says Blake Lively. 'She really helped me tune in on the different vocal quirks of each era."
For decades, Adaline has lived with her head down for fear that her eternal youth will attract the wrong type of attention. 'She has a quiet life," Blake Lively says. 'She works in a library. She lives in an apartment in Chinatown in San Francisco. Every 10 years, she moves on to a new city and cycles back again decades later. She is always changing who she is – her name, appearance, job, identity. In order to have that anonymity, she never allows herself to become too close to anyone."
Her life begins to open up after a chance meeting with Ellis, a dynamic young entrepreneur, played by Michiel Huisman, who sweeps her off her feet. 'To watch this terribly private, reserved woman collide with somebody as full of energy as Ellis…it's magic," Blake Lively says. 'Ellis is always in a good mood, bouncing around the room. Adaline is very much a recluse. He has to be able to break through her defenses."
Michiel Huisman, who is Dutch, has seen his career burgeon in the last few years, taking on roles in the television series Treme, Nashville, Orphan Black and Game of Thrones, as well as playing opposite Reese Witherspoon in Wild.
'We were looking for somebody who could match Blake Lively "she's formidable," Tom Rosenberg says. 'Michiel Huisman is somebody you can imagine Adaline really falling for. It takes somebody with a tremendous presence to carry that off and he's got that."
Krieger also wanted to make sure that the character"a good-looking tech millionaire"didn't come off as a smug, nouveau riche hustler. 'Michiel Huisman brought a genuine sense of humility to the part that was crucial," says Lee Toland Krieger. 'It is inherent in who he is. The guy is six-foot-two, insanely handsome and he couldn't be sweeter or more self-effacing. The character of Ellis doesn't take himself too seriously. You can imagine him as a gawky kid who struck it rich almost by accident and is just now beginning to come into his own."
The love story between Adaline and Ellis was irresistible for Michiel Huisman, and he found the unusual premise attractive. 'It deals with our fascination with the possibility of eternal life in a very original, down-to-earth way," the actor notes. 'When I read the script, I loved the idea of flying through time with Adaline and I hope that's something that the audience will enjoy as well."
A wealthy and successful businessman, Ellis has decided to devote his life and considerable fortune to making positive changes in the world around him. 'Lee Toland Krieger and I were on the same page when it came to Ellis," says Michiel Huisman. 'He is a guy with emotional depth and an old soul. That is one of the reasons he and Adaline connect. She contains the wisdom of her hundred-plus years in the body of young woman. He's 30-something but he has an old sensibility. He commits himself fully to what he cares about, but he never takes himself too seriously."
Working with Blake Lively, along with Harrison Ford, Ellen Burstyn and Kathy Baker, kept him on his toes creatively, says Michiel Huisman. 'I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to work with this amazing cast. Blake gives a lot, her timeless beauty works very well for Adaline but apart from that, she's a great actress and she nails the role."
Harrison Ford plays Ellis's father, William, a college professor. 'Harrison Ford was the first and only choice to play William as far as I was concerned," says Lee Toland Krieger. 'We needed someone who brought real intelligence to the role and was clearly a heartthrob in his day. Harrison Ford has always been great playing an academic, but he also captures the ethereal side of William."
Blake Lively admits she was a little nervous to meet the Oscar® nominated actor. 'Maybe I should not have watched the Indiana Jones trilogy before shooting. He is a brilliant actor, and true personal hero."
The script's whimsical premise paired with its down-to-earth approach to Adaline's miraculous life caught the actor's fancy. 'This is very different from anything I've done before," says Harrison Ford.
'It's one of those movies that is about being transported into a fantasy, but played very realistically. It's a very clever construction. It was a delight to work on an ambitious movie that has a magical thinking to it. The audience is taken to an extraordinary world, but not the world of high-tech science fiction. It has roots in everyday life plus just enough magic to excite your imagination and open your heart."
The film's leading lady made a lasting impression on the Star Wars star. 'She works very hard at what she is doing and is terrific in the part," says Harrison Ford. 'As an actor, she's fully prepared, she's inventive, she's patient and she's very generous with the other actors."
Harrison Ford's character is celebrating his 40th wedding anniversary when his son brings home a girl who looks, sounds and acts exactly like a woman he was in love with 45 years earlier. 'William is a scientist," says the actor. 'He knows there's no realistic way this can happen. His wife, played by Kathy Baker, thinks he's pining for this long-ago romance."
Harrison Ford has special praise for Kathy Baker, whose work he says he has admired for many years. 'As a couple with 40 years of marriage behind them, they had to have a bond and a familiarity and a history," he says. 'Kathy Baker was terrific in helping make that part of the story come alive."
Kathy Baker shared Harrison Ford's sentiment. 'The Age of Adaline was a dream job for me. I played Harrison Ford's wife of 40 years, and because he is the generous and legendary actor that he is, we were able to find the necessary nuances in our characters' relationship from our first day of work. Harrison Ford is fun and funny and smart and professional and witty and wise, and I was very lucky to have the opportunity to work with him. The film is beautiful to look at and is full of romance and magic; I am looking forward to sharing it with our audiences."
Until Adaline meets Ellis, the only long-term relationship she has allowed herself is with her daughter Flemming. Flemming is now in her eighties, creating a poignant juxtaposition between the ageless mother and a daughter nearing the end of her life.
"What Adaline finds with Ellis is very powerful," says Blake Lively. "But the most powerful thing of all is the love that she has with her daughter, Flemming. I believe that Adaline chooses to let Ellis into her life because she's about to lose the greatest love of all – her daughter. That's very painful. Adaline's instinct – because of her daughter's old age – is to withdraw even further from love, but Flemming tells her it's better to have love and loss than to have not loved at all."
Academy Award® winner Ellen Burstyn plays Flemming. 'Ellen Burstyn is one of the finest actors to have ever graced the screen," says Krieger. 'Working with an actress of her pedigree was such a privilege. She brought such gravitas to the role of Flemming. As the only character that knows Adaline's secret, there was this subtle undercurrent of sadness within her. Ellen Burstyn was masterful in letting those veiled elements simmer just below the surface in many scenes."
Ellen Burstyn's first appearance in the film sets the stage for the pair's unusual relationship. 'Flemming greets Adaline at a restaurant and says, -hi, Mama, happy birthday,'" Ellen Burstyn says.
'That's quite a moment for the audience to witness. It was fun to imagine having a mother younger than myself. Once I got into believing in the fiction, I found myself acting like a teenager. It wasn't intentional, but Blake Lively has a kindliness that is very maternal, and we developed that in the moment."
'Blake Lively is a lovely actress," continues Ellen Burstyn. 'She has a certain quality that speaks of a kind of depth. She's not a superficial girl and you can see that in her performance. It helps the movie that she doesn't have a look that is associated with one particular period. She can easily fit in from early 1900s through today. Although she doesn't age physically, the character does live many years and takes on some wisdom."
Ellen Burstyn considers the idea of never growing old to be interesting, but perhaps not for her. 'I'm sure a lot of people have considered the possibility of what it would be like to stay at the age where you looked and felt your best. In this story, it turns out that it's not quite as appealing an idea as it would seem at first. The audience will enjoy imagining what it would be like to live forever, and come away from it feeling that it's not necessary. One lifetime really is enough."
Rounding out the cast is up-and-coming Canadian actress Amanda Crew, whose previous roles include Charlie St. Cloud (opposite Zac Efron) and the Emmy® winning HBO series Silicon Valley. As Ellis's sister Kikki, Crew joins the family as they gather to celebrate her parents' anniversary and meet Adaline, her brother's new love. 'The script is so unique and goes beyond the timeless romance story we have already seen. Adaline's love story is infused with magical elements. As a result of these circumstances in her life, we get to see how Adaline faces the nuances of this seemingly fantastical notion of -living forever,'" says Amanda Crew. 'And Lee Toland Krieger had this beautiful vision for the story that is as visually stunning as it is written."
The Fashions Of Adaline
The Age of Adaline meticulously moves through the 20th century, recreating visual highlights from each decade with researched images and objects, including fashions that evoke past and present in equal measure. From sumptuous formal gowns to everyday work clothes, everything Adaline wears was carefully selected and designed by costume designer and Academy Award® winner Angus Strathie and his team with an eye toward both fashion and storytelling.
In Lee Toland Krieger's eyes, Angus Strathie may have had the toughest job on the movie. 'He created 50-some looks for Blake Lively," says the director. 'We weren't a small indie but for our budget there was a lot to do. Beyond the principle cast, he had to make sure we had authentic wardrobe for every background performer in the film. He was tireless in getting every details of ever era correct – even on the days we had fifty or sixty extras in period wardrobe."
The Age of Adaline is an epic piece for a designer, acknowledges Angus Strathie. 'It has a long and complex storyline with many characters. The story takes place over almost a century. I was asked to define each of those periods, as well as the moods and emotions of this character through that time."
Working closely with Blake Lively and Lee Toland Krieger, Angus Strathie developed a concept that kept Adaline connected to her past, but anchored in the present. To do that, they dressed her in timeless pieces that reflect the sensibility she has cultivated for over a century. 'We wanted a retro feel to all her clothes to emphasise that Adaline is an old soul," says Angus Strathie. 'She appears contemporary, young and lovely, but she has the essence of someone who has been here for a hundred years. She hasn't stopped buying clothes. When she does, she picks things with an eye toward the clothes she grew up with. She always looks smart, but not flashy."
To create a character that was beautiful and ageless, but had been around for 100-plus years, Lee Toland Krieger used his grandmother as an inspiration. 'All of her wardrobe is contemporary, but still has a touch of '40s, because that's when she was coming of age. That's her touchstone for what's en vogue. 'It ended up being an effective way of communicating something essential about Adaline," he adds. 'A woman of her generation would want to look elegant and put together, but she would never look like a garish woman trying to attract attention. A woman who was born in 1908 wouldn't do that."
From jewellery to handbags to coats, Angus Strathie ran with the idea that Adaline had a closet full of clothing that she had acquired during her long lifetime. 'Incorporating those vintage pieces into her contemporary look gives her an individual style," he says. 'For a date with Ellis, she starts with a jacket from the 1920s"a Bohemian, very individual piece. She wears it with a sweater from the 1960s and a contemporary skirt. Her shoes are from the '50s or '30s and the handbag was '40s. Mixing styles became Adaline's personal look. She draws from all of her time on earth and she gets a sense of security from her wardrobe."
One piece in particular shows up twice in the story, a deep red column dress that calls to mind a formal gown from the 1940s. Adaline wears the dress on New Year's Eve in both that decade and this one. 'We had to find a dress that was going to service two periods," the designer explains. 'One is very identifiably the 1940s where we see her celebrating life and flirting with sailors. She has to look gorgeous, but she also has to wear that dress again on New Year's Eve 2014 and not look out of place. We looked at authentic '40s gowns, took the elements that best suited Blake Lively and made a dress that is slightly retro and nostalgic."
Blake Lively appreciated the juxtaposition of classic and contemporary fashions. 'I liked the fact that she's dressed a little bit like an old lady," she says. 'She's much more of a particular kind of conservative than most young women in San Francisco."
It was Blake Lively's idea to include a number of classic turtlenecks in Adaline's wardrobe, says Angus Strathie. 'And it was a good idea. It aged her in a good way by making her look a little conservative and covered up."
Adaline's wardrobe is also a way of showing the passage of time. 'The hemlines and the shapes tell a story that starts in the Edwardian era," says Blake Lively. 'As women's roles in society change from 1908 to now, you really get to see the social changes in her clothing, her hair and her make-up. Because of that, Adaline has an incredible and incredibly informative wardrobe. I can't imagine her going to a local mall to shop when she has the pieces she does. I was so honoured to be able to work with such a brilliant mind to tell her story through costumes, Angus Strathie. The costumes he created for Moulin Rouge! along with Catherine Martin are my favourite costumes ever seen in a film."
A woman known for her fashion, Blake Lively had an image of Adaline's wardrobe in her head even before she was cast in the film. "I schemed my way into the film, I think," the actress says.
"For my meeting with Tom Rosenberg I picked a dress that I thought was very Adaline-like. It reminded me of a dress my mom had; dusty blue with delicate, faded white polka dots. I felt like Adaline when I put it on. Tom Rosenberg told me later, 'when you walked in, I said, that's Adaline.' My scheme worked!"
The actress was as intimately involved with selecting the production wardrobe for her character, says Gary Lucchesi. 'We went with a look that is very much of today, but reflects the past. She brought a lot to the movie in terms of her taste level."
Blake Lively is the current face of the Gucci fashion house, and the company provided recent designs that are reminiscent of the '40s, '50s, and -60s, as well as a custom gown for Blake Lively to wear in a critical scene, and they co-designed - alongside costume designer Angus Strathie - the gown she wears at the New Year's ball. "A great deal of what I wear is Gucci," she says. "They have been such a great supporter of the film. My favourite piece is probably the final custom dress. I'm a magpie, so when I see sparkles... that does it. It's a golden gown with distinct black beaded embellishments. It showcases a very different woman from the Adaline you meet in the beginning with the thick, woolly turtlenecks and the grandma shoes. The shift in dress helped to tell her story. The significance of the piece made it that much more beautiful."
Hair and make-up completed the transformation that wardrobe began. "Those elements contain so much information," Blake Lively says. "Adaline is always drawing from that which she's learned from the past, but trying to present it in a contemporary way so as to not stand out. Our hair and make-up team, Monica Huppert and Anne Carroll, created such elegantly defined looks. They pulled images from tons of books and stuck with the colors, shapes, styles and techniques unique to each era. At a certain point in time, there were only four foundation colors and seven lipstick colors. They searched for those products and would then build around those. Their designs were born in authenticity which helped to visually convey Adaline's vast history."
'Creating an authentic look can be as simple as changing the shape of the lip or the way an eye is shadowed," Blake Lively says. "I felt like a different person every time I was in a new hair or makeup style. Monica Huppert and Anne Carroll's detailed work made it much easier for me to step into each time period."
The women behind the design of a century's worth of elegant and understated looks, head make- up artist Monica Huppert and head hair stylist Anne Carroll have worked on films as diverse as zombie romance Warm Bodies, super hero epic X-Men: The Last Stand and highintensity action film Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, but they had never faced a challenge quite like this. To create the series of polished and period-perfect looks that help establish Adaline's journey through the ages they took inspiration from vintage magazines, old books and photographs, as well as classic movies.
'We tried to offer a look that spoke to the everyday woman of each decade," says Anne Carroll. 'There aren't any fancy movie-star hairstyles. Adaline lives as normal a life as she can, always trying to blend in to the aspects of daily life around her."
From a fashionable 1920s bob at her wedding to a casual fishtail braid in the contemporary scenes, Adaline is always coifed in a style that captures the era without calling attention to itself. 'We had a wonderful time finding the character of Adaline with Blake Lively while testing the hairstyles from all the periods," Anne Carroll says. 'My personal favourites were Adaline's New Year's Eve looks in both the 1940s and the present day. They are both long and styled in waves, but they are completely distinct from one another. In the 1940s, her hair is almost sculpturally styled, while in the present day, it's loose and flowing over one shoulder."
Monica Huppert says putting together the right look for a character is always a collaborative process between hair, make-up and the costume designer. In this case, the star was more than happy to work closely with the team. 'The beauty of working with Blake Lively is that she isn't afraid to try things," says Monica Huppert. 'If anything, she pushed me to take things further. She always wanted to make things right for the character."
Blake Lively wanted Adaline to have a hint of the old-fashioned about her, which Monica Huppert agreed was right on the money. 'It had to be more than just playing dress-up in different eras," she says.
'We had to make her a real person, so whatever year she is in, she still possesses the grace and elegance of a well-bred woman born at the turn of the century. The changes we make through the years are very subtle. We used some icons of the various eras as general reference," she continues. 'But movie stars then and now have make-up artists and wardrobe stylists on call. Adaline isn't Hollywood-style glamorous, so we had to do a lot more research to create an authentic and sophisticated, but down-to-earth image for her.
A self-described 'make-up nerd," Monica Huppert collects authentic period cosmetics and drew on her vintage stash for additional inspiration, keeping many items in the make-up trailer for reference.
'That came in especially handy for matching authentic period colours to modern products," she says. 'The intensity of the colours used way back when is rarely found in today's products. To keep Adaline's personal style consistent, I used the same colour palette throughout but I wanted just the right shades and tones for whatever year we were shooting in. For example, for Adaline's 1945 look, I added a bit of ruby-coloured lipstick on her cheeks to get the right feeling."
She particularly loves Adaline's 1929 make-up and hair. 'The 1920s had a pretty yummy look," Monica Huppert notes. 'Rounded, slightly sad-looking brows were in fashion, as well as crimson cupid bow lips. It really changes Blake Lively's appearance completely. The images are treated to remind you of black and white or sepia-toned photography, which meant I could really push the make-up as they did on the gorgeous icons of the time, like Clara Bow and Louise Brooks. Foundations back then were mostly powder and had a limited colour range, so Blake Lively's skin tone is totally different in those scenes. Usually you work so hard to match the natural skin, so it was fun to purposely make someone the wrong colour."
The sheer number of different looks needed was overwhelming initially, Huppert admits. 'We spent an entire week doing tests with Blake Lively in full hair and make-up, so when we started filming, everything was mapped out. The shooting schedule was tight and some days she would need to change her look several times, so we really had to be ready."
The objective in all of the film's design elements is to reflect the changes in Adaline as time goes by. 'As her perspective on life evolves a bit, the look gets a bit warmer and brighter," says Lee Toland Krieger. 'Her apartment in San Francisco in the beginning of the film is relatively cold and shot in a somewhat clinical matter. By the time we come to midpoint of the film, it becomes warmer and a bit looser."
Lee Toland Krieger brought in cinematographer David Lanzenberg, with whom he has worked exclusively for the past seven years, to help create the film's signature visuals. A former fashion photographer, David Lanzenberg balanced highly developed technical skill with an eye for beauty.
The director chose to eschew handheld camerawork in favour of a smoother shooting style to give the film an ageless look and provide a unifying factor through the film's many flashbacks to earlier time periods. 'I told David Lanzenberg I wanted to shoot in a very classical manner," he says. 'We decided to shoot with anamorphic lenses because they knock down your depth of field, which allowed me to soften some of the hard edges that you get when shooting digitally. There's a lot more dolly work than I've done in the past, but very little Steadicam as Steadicam felt incongruous with the vignettes from the 30s, 40s and 50s. We tried to be very graceful and elegant all the way through to make sure that the period vignettes made a seamless transition into the rest of the movie."
Lee Toland Krieger researched his subject matter exhaustively and came to set with detailed notes on how he was going to film. 'He knew exactly what shots he wanted to have," says Gary Lucchesi. 'He even wore an armband, like some NFL quarterbacks wear, that have all the plays. Lee had his shot list on it every day."
The enormous visual and historical scope of the film required a great deal of research, according to production designer Claude Paré. 'Luckily, when we sat down together, Lee Toland Krieger and I were in synch about the visual references. For example, we both wanted a warmer palette once Adaline meets Ellis in the story. We treated each of the period vignettes in post to make them authentic to the era. We even considered the correct camera speed for the various periods."
'Each of the period vignettes has a unique feeling," says Lee Toland Krieger. 'For example, for the '50s scenes, we wanted that classic Technicolor three-strip process look – prime colours with loss of saturation. We use films like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire as inspiration." Claude Paré understood right away that Adaline's apartment documented her life story, says Lee Toland Krieger. 'It needed to look as if someone had collected these pieces over a century. At the same time, she had been on the run, so her home is spare enough that she can pick up and take off quickly. I loved the way he was able to make things look beautiful but lived in."
Every object in every scene was extensively documented, according to Claude Paré. 'We wanted to make all the period pieces exquisite, like little diamonds. They all have their individual texture."
Although many of the historical references are subtle, a great deal of attention was paid to getting them right. The costumes, the cars, and even the typefaces on the newspapers were carefully researched to make sure they were absolutely accurate to the period.
The producers believe that the meticulous preparation, epic yet intimate scope and impressive performances make The Age of Adaline a movie like no other. 'I think that we are in a time in film where originality counts," says Gary Lucchesi. 'I don't think anyone is going to come to our film and say, well, I've seen this before. Audiences are hungry for good stories, especially if they pack the kinds of surprises this does. Our director has a unique point of view and he's created a visually stunning movie. Blake Lively gives the performance of her lifetime. She and Michiel Huisman are perfect together. Harrison Ford plays a role that's more vulnerable and human than he's done before. I hope audiences watch this movie and, say, -God, that's a really good movie.'"
The Age of Adaline
Release Date: April 16th, 2015