Marriage Story (2019) – Review

As the award season approaches, Marriage Story presents us with a thought provoking, insightful and empathetic look at a couple, Charlie (Adam Driver) and Nicole (Scarlett Johansson), who are struggling to get through a marriage breakup, while trying to protect their eight-year-old child, Henry (Azhy Robertson). One of the most emotionally draining films of the year, for sure, that is currently streaming on Netflix.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Director: Noah Baumbach
Writers:  Noah Baumbach
Starring: Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson

It’s fair to say that this was a movie in which the plot was relatively straight forward and for some, extremely close to home. Charlie and Nicole were the two main characters going through an apparent, straight forward divorce, until legal aides begin twisting the knife and causing more problems for the family – more so for Charlie, who was faced with the prospect of losing his family when Nicole announced her intention to take their child away from their home state. This one is certainly a bleak look into the reality of certain divorces, especially when money and children are involved and the filmmakers did a great job of capturing this in film format.

Although the writers make a solid effort to portray Nicole as a victim throughout, it was extremely difficult to side with her, but at the same time, you can understand viewers that did. Another strength of the film.

It was awkward and difficult to watch at times, as the pair would often clash (without the use of lawyers), letting emotion get the better of themselves, and both actors did tremendously well from an emotional standpoint.

Granted, I am no Scarlett Johansson super-fan, but I am prepared to go out on a limb and say this is the single finest performance of her career. Whether you’re supporting her or whether you’re against her, she plays the role brilliantly from start to finish and deserves all the award nominations coming her way. Adam Driver was no slouch either – he put in an emotional yet stern performance and for most of the flick, you found yourself being extremely sympathetic towards him, as previously mentioned.

If you like a slow build of a movie that will tug on the heartstrings, this could be the one for you. There are several long monologues (that some would argue outstay their welcome) but all in all is a worthy watch.

“You shouldn’t be upset that I fucked her. You should be upset that I had a laugh with her!”

Charlie – Marriage Story

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