SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE, the new Netflix series based in Ingmar Bergman’s classic of the same title from 1973, has gotten tons a press for having full frontal male nudity. Don’t bother watching it for that as that passes in an instant. What it does provide is a great opportunity to watch actors at their prime who are given every opportunity a ‘Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em’ exploration of a relationship.
Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac are not only stars, but Executive Producers on this project should be a contender for film performance awards. Hagai Levi conceived, adapted, and directed the project, has he switched the genders from the original, but it matters little. Now it is a wife who while seemingly in a happy marriage, has an affair and leaves her husband and daughter behind.
Over several years, we follow these two as they spoon and spar and the audience – like the characters – keeps coming back for more. Who wins the debate? Monogamy, or open relationships? Parenting or a solitary life? Commitment, or friendship? A vignette at the top or bottom of each episode reminds us that we are watching a movie being made. A thrilling, minimalist score (Evgueni Galperine and Sacha Galperine) adds a much-needed break from the intensity of the relationship.
SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE may be best suited for people in long-term relationships as it may provide great fodder discussion. It has been reported that the divorce rates soared in the year after the original aired in Sweden.