A teaser for HBO miniseries Scenes From a Marriage was released on Thursday. The series, starring Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain, is said to be a “reimagining” of 1973 Swedish miniseries of the same name created by the iconic writer-director Ingmar Bergman.
The original series charted the breaking up of the marriage between a wealthy couple, reconciliation and then a true realisation of their irreparable differences.
The HBO series explores the original’s “love, hatred, desire, monogamy, marriage, and divorce” through the perspective of an American couple.
The premise does sound similar to Noah Baumbach’s acclaimed 2020 movie Marriage Story, which had referenced the original Swedish version, but knowing HBO, the take on a marriage being destroyed is going to be unique. There will certainly be comparisons.
Hagai Levi, who is also behind another intimate examination of an unraveling marriage The Affair, is behind the update.
The teaser does not reveal much in terms of the plot. We see Isaac’s character singing a lullaby to his daughter as Chastain’s character smiles fondly. We know this marital bliss is not going to last.
The series looks good, and we are just hoping not only does it turns out to be a nuanced, sensitive portrayal of a beleaguered marriage, it also does enough to set it apart. At least HBO has the cast sorted, as both Isaac and Chastain are accomplished performers who have proven that they can handle complex roles.
The official synopsis reads, “Adapted from Ingmar Bergman’s 1973 Swedish classic, and starring Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain, Scenes from a Marriage re-examines the show’s iconic depiction of love, hatred, desire, monogamy, marriage, and divorce through the lens of a contemporary American couple.”
Scenes From a Marriage comes out in September.