Marriage Story (2019) A Review

A truly Oscar winning performance from both Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, make this one of the most eagerly anticipated Netflix releases of the year. 


DIRECTOR:  Noah Baumbach

STARRING:  Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, and Laura Dern

SCREENPLAY:  Noah Baumbach

GENRE:  Drama, Comedy

RUNTIME:  136 Minutes

★★★★ 4 Stars  

Movies about marriage struggle and divorce are never really engrossing, sitting on the edge of my seat film for me.  If anything, they are usually a chore, with a lot of emotional baggage and a tone that takes itself far too seriously.  Marriage Story is none of those things.  

Nicole and Charlie are getting a divorce.  This isn’t a spoiler, its plain from the get go.  But they want to try and do it as amicably as possible to allow them both to live their separate lives, but also be a part of their son’s life as well.  But as it sometimes does with divorces, things get nasty very quickly, and Nicole and Charlie have to try and overcome the things that are brought to light, for the sake of their son.

Marriage story is a very humanising look at divorce.  Neither character is portrayed as villain, both are shown to be responsible, caring adults, who on occasion, fuck up.  Just live everyone else.  It takes time to show that sometimes, divorce isn’t as simple as two people simply not loving each other anymore.  And that the things that come to light during a divorce case can be twisted so out of proportion, that they aren’t even recognisable any more. This very real look at divorce is what makes this film so endearing.  Nicole and Charlie are relatable.  You root for them.  You want them to work it out.  And it was their relationship and the chemistry between the actors that kept me watching.

The director has also done a great job of not making the whole film doom and gloom and drama.  There are actually some very choice funny scenes in this film, that really lighten the tone of the whole thing.  The visit from the house inspector to see Charlie and Henry spend time together.  I was laughing a whole lot during that scene.  So although the film does carry a serious message, and deals with some heavy topics, it was a wise decision to lighten it up, it saves the audience from getting to weighed down by the subject matter.

Both Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver are favourites to get Oscar Noms for their performances here.  And to be honest, I would not be surprised if that were the case.  The scene in Charlie’s new house where they literally end up screaming at each other, has them run through almost every emotion known to human kind and ends on a very tender note.  Their performances in this one scene alone are enough of a standout for me. 

Not my usual brand of entertainment at all.  But really so pleased I gave it a shot.  Marriage story has a huge seal of approval from me, I urge you all to at east give it a fair shot.

Marriage Story us Available on Netflix in the UK Now.  


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