Marriage Story (No, not mine)
The other night I watched the massively acclaimed Netflix movie Marriage Story by filmmaker Noah Baumbach and starring Adam Driver and Scarlet Johansson.
I had heard a lot of great things about this film from a lot of sources I hold in high regard, both personal and professionals. Based on the talent involved alone I had it on my list of things to watch and almost every day since it’s release I’ve thought about it.
The thing that held me back from it until now is knowing the rough premise and the effectiveness Baumbach has in really making his characters come alive and hitting hard with the emotions in his movies.
The premise of the film, while not a direct comparison at all to my life really, hits close to home as it is the story a couple in their early thirties going through a divorce.
That was why I knew I really had to be in the right frame of mind to sit down and watch this one. It deserves the complete attention of anyone watching it and I couldn’t give it that idly.
I had a feeling that despite it not being the easiest or most comfortable movie for me to watch that I would really enjoy it though and boy oh boy was I right!
Marriage Story is incredible.
The performances are stellar across the board, not just from the two leads, who deserve every award they’re nominated for this season, but from the supporting cast too; Laura Dern, Alan Alda, Ray Liotta, hell even Julie Hagerty who I don’t remember seeing in anything since ‘What Sbout Bob?’ are all outstanding.
It’s pretty amazing that Johansson and Driver started in Avengers Endgame and The Rise Of Skywalker respectively last year and were both justifiably praised for their performances in those films but the best work of either of their careers were just around the corner, sneaking in at the end of the decade on Netflix.
I don’t want to take anything away from Noah Baumbach in this either. His writing and direction is outstanding. Every scene feels like a scene from a play, from the framing of the camera to the blocking and positioning of the players within it. I don’t think it is any sort of coincidence that the characters in this story are a stage actor/director and a film star turned theatre actress.
As I try to do with any review I write I am purposefully trying to avoid talking about any plot points or developments and just trying to entice you to check the film out for yourself.
What I will say about the story though is that, while I can’t relate exactly as their were no kids or careers to complicate my divorce, everything about this story feels completely accurate and raw; the good, the gross, the joy, the viciousness, the love and the hurt.
I think everyone is going to come away from Marriage Story with a different opinion on the characters, their flaws and their qualities and I’m sure it will… I hope it raises questions and discussions in couples who watch it together. And I do think that this is a film you should watch with the person you’re with if you think that that is the person you want to spend your life with. Talk about it afterwards too. I know it’s easy for me to say that now as a single divorcee, but I would urge you to do that. Even if the outcome is that you just thought it was a good/bad movie and didn’t have anything else to take away from it, your partner might and that is a conversation worth having.
It feels like Friday night to me right now as I’ve got tomorrow off. Three day weekends are awesome! Thanks for indulging me on this one. I really enjoy writing reviews and I’m trying to get better at it by doing it me. Constructive feedback is always welcome and y’all know where to find me.
Check back tomorrow for whatever I come up with then!