2019 | Drama | 136 minutes | In English | Available on Netflix (November 6, 2019)
Successful playwright/director Charlie and his actress wife Nicole decide to part ways. Her work is on the West Coast and he’s in charge of a theater group on the East Coast. They have one child and you know there’s going to be a bloody custody battle. The premise sounds simple and familiar. But the process each undergoes during the divorce is psychologically harrowing. Nicole is represented by tough-a-nails attorney, Nora, while Charlie hooks up with Jay, a loud-mouth lawyer and the more affable Bert Spitz. Charlie and Nicole painfully grapple with a relationship that went sour.The exchanges between Charlie and Nicole are often both brutal and heartbreaking. And yet, the conclusion Baumbach probably wants to convey is that Marriage Story is less about the process of divorce as it is about surviving it.
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 98%
- Metacritic Score: 94
Toronto International Film Festival: Runner-up- Grolsch People’s Award
Centerpiece Selection at the New York Film Festival and the BFI London Film Festival
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MARRIAGE STORY is the Noah Baumbach movie we’ve been waiting for. It’s better than good; it’s more than just accomplished. After ten features, released over a quarter century of filmmaking, this, at long last, is Baumbach’s breakthrough into the dramatic stratosphere. At once funny, scalding, and stirring, built around two bravura performances of incredible sharpness and humanity, it’s the work of a major film artist, one who shows that he can capture life in all its emotional detail and complexity—and, in the process, make a piercing statement about how our society works.
Divorce is described in Noah Baumbach’s masterful MARRIAGE STORY as like a death without a body. Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver have both been remarkable before, but this is a new career watermark for both, repaying Baumbach’s trust in them with emotional and complex work. MARRIAGE STORY feels much more compassionate and understanding of human fallibility—the product of a mature, masterful filmmaker. What comes through in every frame of this film is that Baumbach loves Nicole and Charlie. And we come to care about them a great deal too. When we say goodbye to this pair, we hope that they both find happiness, reaching for life after the death of divorce.
A personal story from the filmmaker boasts a pair of devastating performances from Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson that rank as their very best. The power of MARRIAGE STORY stems from the way it transcends the simplicity of its premise, with writer-director Noah Baumbach matching the material for his most personal movie with filmmaking ambition to spare. The brilliance of the movie lies in how it starts from a familiar place, then sneaks into transcendence.
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