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Married Life

Married Life

4.0 2
Director: Ira Sachs

Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Chris Cooper, Rachel McAdams


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After entering into a passionate affair with a much younger woman, an unhappily married man resorts to murder as a means of eliminating his wife in director Ira Sachs' period melodrama. Set in the 1940s, Marriage tells the tale of Harry (Chris Cooper) -- a man whose wife, Pat (Patricia Clarkson),


After entering into a passionate affair with a much younger woman, an unhappily married man resorts to murder as a means of eliminating his wife in director Ira Sachs' period melodrama. Set in the 1940s, Marriage tells the tale of Harry (Chris Cooper) -- a man whose wife, Pat (Patricia Clarkson), only wants sex. Smitten by the beautiful Kay (Rachel McAdams) but ultra-sensitive to his wife's feelings -- so sensitive that he can't stand the thought of breaking her heart -- Harry opts to poison his wife as a means of allowing the marriage to end with her pride still intact. Harry's scheme soon goes horribly awry, however, when after revealing the plan to his best friend, Richard (Pierce Brosnan), Richard too falls in love with the ethereal young beauty and sets into motion a cunning plan all his own. A serpentine tale of murderous deception, Marriage was co-scripted by director Sachs and screenwriter Oren Moverman.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The well acted but slight Married Life appears to be an excuse for lousy marriage jokes. Harry (Chris Cooper) tries poisoning sex-hungry Pat (Patricia Clarkson) in order to be free to marry his girlfriend, Kay (Rachel McAdams). Take his wife, please! The plot is as dull and unconvincing as it sounds. It's 1949 thoroughly -- from the Plymouths, Doris Day songs, and McAdams' Kim Novak platinum helmet to the film noir and domestic drama story elements threaded through the script. Director Ira Sachs' previous Forty Shades of Blue was a finely wrought character study. Married Life excels at the same, but is overlaid with a hokey story and strident attention to period artifice that feels belabored. Pierce Brosnan tries to sort this stylistic puzzle, narrating the story while playing Harry's playboy friend Richard. He navigates his scenes with a breezy confidence the others lack, as if he alone sees the levers of the narrative and knows which ones to pull. Given the ending, it's not clear if the film was supposed to be a nasty joke or a sweet one. Richard wonders if we build our happiness on the misery of others, and the film hints that the ideal married couple is as self-centered as any scheming bachelor. Married Life was featured in the 45th New York Film Festival and the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]

Special Features

Closed Caption; ; Commentary with Director Ira Sachs; Three alternate endings

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Pierce Brosnan Richard Langley
Chris Cooper Harry Allen
Rachel McAdams Kay Nesbitt
Patricia Clarkson Pat Allen
David Wenham John O'Brien
Sheila Paterson Mrs. Walsh
David Richmond-Peck Tom
Erin Boyes Becky
Elijah St. Germain Little Charlie
Terence Kelly Dr. Anderson
Timothy Webber Alvin Walters
Rebecca Codling Photo Store Clerk
Dolores Drake Ticket Taker
Malcom Boddington Well-Tailored Man
Carrie Anne Fleming Operator
Sean Tyson Policeman
Ty Olsson Policeman
Anna Williams O'Brien's Girlfriend
Kathleen Duborg Charades Player
Suzanne Ristic Charades Player
Mike Cook Charades Player
Fred Keating Charades Player
Dale Floyd Charades Player
Alex Stevens Charades Player

Technical Credits
Ira Sachs Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Scott Ateah Stunts
Heike Brandstatter Casting
Lindsay Bucknell Sound/Sound Designer
Peter Deming Cinematographer
Michael Dennison Costumes/Costume Designer
Carolyn Field Stunts
Steve Golin Producer
Affonso Goncalves Editor
Dickon Hinchliffe Score Composer
William Horberg Executive Producer
Susan Jacobs Musical Direction/Supervision
David Jacox Stunts
Avy Kaufman Casting
Sidney Kimmel Producer
Ken Kirzinger Stunts
Matt Littin Executive Producer
Hugo Luczyc-Wyhowski Production Designer
Alix Madigan-Yorkin Executive Producer
Gwendolyn Margetson Art Director
Carl Mason Asst. Director
Coreen Mayrs Casting
Oren Moverman Screenwriter
Jawal Nga Producer
David Nicksay Executive Producer
Gerald Paetz Stunts
Paul Rutledge Stunts
Adam Shulman Executive Producer
Geoff Stier Executive Producer
Bruce Toll Executive Producer
Damien Volpe Sound/Sound Designer
Brent Woolsey Stunts

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Married Life
1. Chapter 1 [2:14]
2. Chapter 2 [2:59]
3. Chapter 3 [3:10]
4. Chapter 4 [1:15]
5. Chapter 5 [1:07]
6. Chapter 6 [2:23]
7. Chapter 7 [:35]
8. Chapter 8 [1:06]
9. Chapter 9 [3:14]
10. Chapter 10 [3:29]
11. Chapter 11 [2:23]
12. Chapter 12 [2:18]
13. Chapter 13 [5:26]
14. Chapter 14 [4:15]
15. Chapter 15 [4:49]
16. Chapter 16 [1:08]
17. Chapter 17 [2:36]
18. Chapter 18 [2:01]
19. Chapter 19 [3:06]
20. Chapter 20 [6:09]
21. Chapter 21 [2:15]
22. Chapter 22 [4:45]
23. Chapter 23 [6:49]
24. Chapter 24 [3:05]
25. Chapter 25 [2:23]
26. Chapter 26 [5:42]
27. Chapter 27 [1:41]
28. Chapter 28 [7:59]


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Married Life 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
MARRIED LIFE will probably fare better in the DVD format where this at times disturbing view of marital status can be viewed in private rather than in the company of the throngs that resemble the characters depicted in this fine little film. Based on the novel 'Five Roundabouts to Heaven' by John Bingham and well adapted to the screen by Oren Moverman and director Ira Sachs, MARRIED LIFE is a dissection of the hallowed state of matrimony, and one that shows the creases and little holes that make so many marriages fail. it is set in the late 1940s, likely with the attempt to give some 'distance' to the plot, but the messages remain in comparing the tale to contemporary times. Narrated by perennial playboy bachelor Richard Langley (Pierce Brosnan), we are introduced to Harry Allen (Chris Cooper) who apparently has it all - big house, great job, sex-driven wife Pat (Patricia Clarkson), country home - but Harry has fallen in love with military widow Kay Nesbitt (Rachel McAdams). Harry respects and still 'loves' Pat, but finds in Kay the love he has felt missing from his marriage. He confides his desire to leave Pat to Richard who is surprised - until Richard meets the beautiful Kay. Not wanting to hurt Pat, Harry decides the only solution is to murder Pat so that he can then marry Kay: he researches poisons and buys a potion that he plans to place in Pat's ever-present 'digestive medicine' bottle. Harry and Kay continue their secret assignations in both Kay's home and Harry's nearby country home, but things begin to muddle as Richard falls for Kay, and Kay's attention shifts to Richard, and the devoted Pat is hiding her secret lover Tom (David Richmond-Peck). As the twists and turns surface, everything unwinds and the ending of the story comes as a surprise to everyone! The quartet of actors - Clarkson, Cooper, Brosnan, and McAdams - serve the story well and the flavor of the 1940s starts with superb opening credit images and carries through with the fine decors and attention to detail that don't seem to miss a beat in recreating the period. This is a difficult film to classify - it has comedy inherent in the absurdity of portions of the plot, it has drama in the core of the tale, and it has mystery as the surprises keep surfacing. The overall effect will be different for every viewer, depending on where in the marriage spectrum each viewer stands! Grady Harp