THE AGE OF ADALINE
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 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
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, Lanzenberg balanced highly developed
technical skill with an eye for beauty. The director chose to eschew handheld camerawork in favor 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 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."
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 Lucchesi. "He even wore an armband, like some NFL
quarterbacks wear, that have all the plays. Lee had his shot list on it every
The enormous visual and historical scope of the film required a great deal of
research, according to production designer Claude Pare. "Luckily, when we sat
down together, Lee 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 Krieger. "For
example, for the '50s scenes, we wanted that classic Technicolor three-strip
process look - prime colors with loss of saturation. We use films like Gentlemen
Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire as inspiration."
Pare understood right away that Adaline's apartment documented her life
story, says 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 Pare.
"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 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 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.'"
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