Marriage Story has an incredible sense of openness about its nature, begging for acceptance, begging for understanding, pleading for resolution
Tugging at the heartstrings in the most emotionally brutal of ways, often reserved only for death in the world of film, Marriage Story makes divorce seem as if it were the most distressing episode anyone could experience. Hosted by the most excellent Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, the break up of Charlie and Nicole feels deeply personal, and awfully close, with a tear across the family becoming increasingly distressing and heartbreaking as the story moves towards its final moments.
Married with just one child, Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) takes her young son Henry to Los Angeles to stay with her mother, leaving husband Charlie (Adam Driver) back in New York to continue the direction of his theatre production. With an already volatile situation rising, Charlie visits during his break, only to be served with divorce papers upon arrival.
Great cinema has an unrelenting ability to make an audience feel. Feel in a way often only reserved for real life drama; issues within an immediate family or friends per say. But Noah Baumbach’s directorial influence has made Marriage Story so effortlessly emotional, it can only be described as exceptional.
With an opening based on the imperfect explanation of the marriage, laying every card on the table as if it were the end of one game and the opening of another, Marriage Story has an incredible sense of openness about its nature, begging for acceptance, begging for understanding, pleading for resolution. The nature of the story is empathetically heartbreaking, and Baumbach makes that clear from the opening moments, while simultaneously offering ‘love at first sight’ for the relationship Charlie and Nicole have brought their son into.
Offering a story filled with moments of ‘action and consequence’, Charlie’s inability to hide his emotions becomes his endless downfall, but the love Adam Driver creates around that, his ability to offer empathy to an audience is unparalleled, and truly becomes Marriage Story’s biggest instigator of longing and desperation. He is genuinely incredible as he continues to better every performance he films with the next one. No matter his age, he is Hollywood’s true rising star.
Eternally beautiful and longingly difficult to watch, Marriage Story is Noah Baumbach’s masterpiece in both direction and writing, allowing Driver and Johansson to truly act, in the most theatrical sense of the word. Holding dear its impossibly well created characters, Marriage Story is 2019’s most beautifully emotional feature.
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