Casting the all-American Anne Hathaway as the very British Emma already made headlines when Lone Scherfig started shooting on her adaptation of David Nicholls' bestselling novel "One Day".
Now it's finally here, the film about Emma and Dexter whose lives and friendship we follow over 20 years on the exact same day every year, July 15, and according to trade magazines The Hollywood Reporter and Screen, both Anne Hathaway and Lone Scherfig deliver strong performances.
A little magic
The Hollywood Reporter even believes that Lone Scherfig has "performed a bit of magic" in 'One Day' which is adapted to the screen by David Nicholls himself.
"Someone along the way — Scherfig? — gave him some killer notes for he has considerably improved the story from his novel" and made "each character more likeable and less bedraggled. You actually now root for them to hook up and wonder (as you do in the novel) what takes them so long."
Scherfig has managed to orchestrate "each short segment so the episodes flow smoothly together, making it feel of a whole rather than disjointed bits with costume changes," The Hollywood Reporter comments, calling the film "a contemplation on friendship and love that is in direct contrast to the wham-bam-thank-you-m’am of many screen romances."
Thumbs up to accent
Screen calls "One Day" an "honest and moving adaptation" about two people that "help bring out the best in each other."
Screen also points to Lone Scherfig's ability to juggle the story's special structure. "It is to Lone Scherfig's credit that restraint is the key word when it comes to presenting the transition of years ... There is no emphasis on outlandish hairstyles or dodgy clothes, and no simplistic use of musical anthems."
"It is a relief that (Hathaway's, red.) accent is a success," Screen notes referring to the heated debate on how the American actress would handle the character of Emma from Yorkshire. "Hathaway is quite splendid in a complex role, dovetailing perfectly with Jim Sturgess," the latter named by The Hollywood Reporter as "the new Hugh Grant," though without Grant's "fussy mannerisms".
Trade magazine Variety applauds the two main characters and Lone Scherfig who has directed with "customary snap and polish", although to Variety the structural conceit of the story "proves more reductive than expansive".
Interpreter of British culture
The Hollywood Reporter notes that "Lone Scherfig is fast becoming one of the foremost interpreters of British culture".
The Danish director won great acclaim, including three Academy Award nominations, for her previous feature film "An Education", which takes place in the sixties in England.
"One Day" i coproduced by Random House Films and Focus Features and opens in Danish theatres on 29 September.