A Netflix Original Picture, Written and Directed by Noah Baumbach.
Marriage Story is a great film in a year of great films, and it’s so good that it stands out as one of the very best. It is an intimate look at a divorce, but it’s also an examination of undying love, parenting, art, and life. Noah Baumbach has crafted something beautiful here.
The screenplay is easily one of the best of the year, with every conversation feeling entirely natural in a way that they rarely do, and every character move feels both inevitable and shocking. The very personal, painful moments of a divorce between two people who deep down love, and don’t want to hurt each other, is horrific to watch play out, but the film is also tinged with beauty.
The single camera setup used here adds a real sense of intimacy to the film and makes us feel like we are really there with the characters, and it also paints a fascinating picture of both New York and LA (although the repeated comment about ‘space’ in LA is hilarious).
The supporting cast is really good, and I love Laura Dern and have seen a lot of awards buzz for her. However, whilst she is very good, I do not feel this is a performance where she should win her Oscar, but there’s absolutely no denying what an amazing actress she is. Ray Liotta and Merritt Wever are stand outs in a supporting cast that do what a supporting cast should, allow for its leads to thrive.
Driver and Johansson will likely be powerhouses throughout awards season, and rightfully so. Baumbach makes his actors follow the script down to every detail, and it is to the actors credit that the scenes feel so natural. Some of the long takes in this film are so electric that it is impossible to take your eyes off the screen, and an argument between Driver and Johansson at the end of the second act is one of the best and most devastating scenes of the year, and will be great for its leads Oscar reels.
This is a startling piece of cinema and another feather in Netflix’s cap, as they have a sensational year and look like the frontrunners overall this awards season. Love lives forever…
Rating = 4.5/5