Bob Richardson Takes Painterly Approach To Filming ‘Eat Pray Love’

By Bob Fisher Bob Richardson, ASC had just finished shooting ‘Shutter Island’ and ‘Inglorious Basterds’ back to back when his agent asked if he had read ‘Eat Love Pray.’ Richardson responded that he had read and “immensely enjoyed” the book. That was the first step on a journey which took the cinematographer to practical locations in New York, Italy, India and Indonesia, shooting scenes for a film based on the book that Elizabeth Gilbert wrote about a period in her life.

‘Eat Pray Love’ was Richardson’s first collaboration with director Ryan Murphy who wrote the script. Julia Roberts was cast in the leading role. The story begins in New York City, where Gilbert is happily married and at the beginning of a promising literary career. She and her husband discuss adding another dimension to their lives by raising a family. Gilbert decides that she isn’t ready to be a mother and begins a search for happiness.

Richardson has earned Oscars for ‘JFK’ and ‘The Aviator’ and other Academy Award nominations for ‘Platoon,’ ‘Born on the Fourth of July,’ ‘Snow Falling on Cedar’s and ‘Inglorious Basterds.’ It’s no surprise that he took a painterly approach to augmenting moods and the sense of place and time which takes audiences on an emotional journey.

“I was fascinated by Liz’s story,” he says. “It’s an intensely penetrating portrait of a time in her life.”

Richardson used composition, camera movement, colors, light and shadows to visually punctuate the emotional twists and turns in Gilbert’s life as she travels, meets and interacts with people in different parts of the world. ‘Eat Pray Love’ is scheduled for summer release by Columbia Pictures.

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