Writer and director Hagai Levi's decision to show Jessica Chastain as herself before getting into character distracts the audience, says Shirley Li. "For one, the on-set sequences date the show as a pandemic-era production," says Li. "Two, in trying to universalize his central couple’s experience, Levi seems to misunderstand what makes relationship dramas resonate. Given how many of these stories amount to a series of painful fights, viewers have to be persuaded to stick around. The couple must sell their particular circumstances and define their once-passionate history to give the story stakes. The dialogue in the original Scenes was so realistic, and the performances from Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson so believable, that the series’ popularity is suspected to have led to record-high divorce rates in Sweden (though the myth is impossible to prove)." ALSO: Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain fail to convincingly demonstrate that they're portraying a real couple.
TOPICS: Scenes From a Marriage, HBO, Hagai Levi, Jessica Chastain, Oscar Isaac