The 2008 movie The Time Traveler’s Wife featured Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams as Henry and Clare, newlyweds struggling to deal with his inability to stop disappearing into different times and places without warning. They move into a big brick house after winning $5 million in the lottery (his time traveling does have some advantages). Let’s take a look:
They filmed most of the movie in Toronto, but the story was set in Chicago.
In an interview, Production Designer Jon Hutman said he was told to create a New Orleans-style house for the characters to live in that would have some kind of walled courtyard.
They found a house in Toronto that had the courtyard and the style they wanted and shot a few scenes outside of it. Most of it was recreated on a soundstage, though. The interiors were all sets.
This is one of those movies that I had no interest in seeing, really, but I got so many requests to feature the house that I finally broke down and watched it this week.
I have to say it was better than I expected, but the mood was unrelentingly dark and gloomy (two things I don’t particularly like in movies–I always prefer light, bright, happy, and funny). You can definitely see that somber tone reflected in the sets.
The kitchen has a back staircase and rustic fireplace.
Hutman says, “For someone who travels through time, you want to have a house that has a burnished, timeless quality, like a ship that has sailed around the world. The set was pretty delicious.” You can watch the full interview on Making Of.
Henry & Clare’s Bedroom:
Christmas looked good in this house. What a tree!
Some of the scenes with Henry and his daughter Alba were heartbreaking, like when she tells him to sing to keep from disappearing…but he vanishes anyway.
The Time Traveler’s Wife was based on the bestselling 2003 novel by Audrey Niffenegger. Anyone read it? Apparently they changed quite a few things, but don’t they always?
Clare’s Art Studio:
I thought Rachel McAdams was the perfect Clare.
Another good “house movie” she starred in was The Notebook, which I wrote about several years ago:
I recently added bigger and better photos of the houses featured in that movie, including some historic black and white pics that a reader sent me. It’s fascinating to see how “Noah’s house” looked a hundred years ago: The Real Houses from The Notebook.
Those of us who love great movie houses love Jon Hutman, the creative mind behind other faves I’ve featured, like It’s Complicated, Something’s Gotta Give, and The Holiday. All 3 of those movies are among my Top 10 Most Popular Posts each month.
(Most pics are screenshots from the movie, but the production stills were taken by Alan Markfield for Warner Bros. Studios.)