Her kinship still appears to lie with Dogme moviemakers and their embrace of the unpredictable and dismissal of lighting, props, and costumes (just try to picture a Pretty Woman-style shopping orgy working within those guidelines). "[Dogme] gives me a confidence that I can work on much lower budgets, so I enjoy the luxury of having a higher budget," she says with a chuckle. "With this film I felt so fortunate that we could get that many period cars and that many music tracks and that caliber of actors in bit parts, so I really feel grateful, because I'm not used to it. This is the biggest budget I've ever had."
Scherfig sounds genuinely humbled, giving off just a glimmer of the young woman that once had to scrape together state funding for her debut, The Birthday Trip (1990). "With [One Day] — even the crew would talk about it as we shot it — we felt privileged to work on a film that had the ambition of being nuanced, in a year when a lot of films had to make money."
Filming love in the cold climate of the Great Recession has been less of a challenge after An Education, and Scherfig's not ready to leave Europe yet. She's set to direct Music and Silence, based on the novel by Rose Tremain, which brings together an English lute player and a Danish servant in the court of Christian IV of Denmark. But after that, America looms in the horizon: namely, a mafia project with Jessica Biel set in New York's Lower East Side in the '60s. "I know I'd like to do genre," she exclaims. "It'll been great to do something that's even more cinematic, less character-based, more technical, and more plot-oriented. You won't be seeing a romantic comedy!"
ONE DAY opens Fri/19 in Bay Area theaters.