Marriage Story, a reflective and compelling depiction of martial breakdown, and the vitriolic absurdities therein, couldn’t have begun on a more delicate and elegiac note. The exquisite opening montage, through intimate voice-over soliloquays, portrayed what Charlie (Adam Driver), a highly-reckoned New York theatre director, and Nicole (Scarlett Johansson), a recognized stage actress, love about each other. Their marriage, however, are already past the point of no return, as Nicole moves to LA, along with their young son (Azhy Robertson), where she’s got a lucrative TV offer which might finally allow her to create an independent identity her own; and before long their divorce proceeding starts, necessitating coast-to-coast back-and-forth flights for Adam. The film has discernible influences of Bergman, including a direct nod to Scenes from A Marriage, and Woody too, who, in turn, always wore his Bergman influences on his sleeves; the stark (albeit luminous) photography, including conscious usage of close-ups and profiles, the elaborate fade-outs and the evocative organ-based score made that all the more perceptible. Be that as it may, it was also a quintessentially Noah Baumbach film centered on NYC’s throbbing culturally scene. The movie’s immersive arc wonderfully traversed the combative couple’s increasingly ugly separation – contributed in no small parts by Nora’s gold-digging divorce lawyer (Laura Dern); Charlie chose a surprisingly humane counterpart (Alan Alda) to start with, but eventually goes nasty too (Ray Liotta) – and finally ending on a quietly poignant note. It had an especially extraordinary, emotionally charged sequence roughly three-fourth into its length – a blistering, explosive argument, featuring astounding performances by Driver and Johansson (they were terrific throughout) – particularly in the way the emotional pitch kept rising until it reached an absolutely volcanic climax.
Director: Noah Baumbach
Genre: Drama/Marital Drama