Eddie Redmayne and Julianne Moore won Oscars for Leading Roles in the 87th Academy Awards. Both played characters who suffered from debilitating disorders: Redmayne's character had ALS (Lou Gehrig Disease), Moore's character had early-onset Alzheimer's. Director Richard Glatzer died from complications of ALS a few months after this movie's release.
The beach scenes were shot during tourist season. According to Tom Kalin, German nudists were the most common tourists at their location. They had to be wrangled out of some shots, to the consternation of the crew, and to Julianne Moore, whose daughter Liv was on set.
In an interview with the Daily Mail published July 12, 2008, Sam Green protested the film's portrayal of him as bisexual, and denied that Barbara and Tony Baekeland's relationship was incestuous. He commenced legal action against the filmmakers, which was still unresolved at the time of his death in 2011. As a member of Andy Warhol's circle, he is also portrayed in the film Factory Girl (2006).