“Marriage Story” is coming soon to Netflix. This drama is written and directed by Noah Baumbach, and stars Scarlet Johansson and Adam Driver as a couple going through a divorce. The story examines with a very intimate detail, their relationship, their building of a family, what led to it falling apart, and the new lives they attempt to form. This was a movie that surprisingly connected to me. I think what stood out the most to me about this story-line, other than it being carried by two phenomenal performances from Johansson and Driver. Was the grounded path it took. Not to forget excellent supporting roles from Laura Dern, Ray Liotta, Julie Hagerty and Alan Alda.
This is a heavy drama, but the emotional intensity was never melodramatic. It’s very pure and equally raw which allows the dramatic themes hit much stronger. The issues this couple face can and does happen to people. The progression of them trying to find a new normal, while still coping with the stress of the past was authentic. And without ever skewing into theatrics or forced dynamics it felt like a peek into normal lives, not like watching performers reading lines. The direction was perfect for the tone with a fly-on-the-wall technique to the framing of scenes that gives the impression of observing this broken relationship, as opposed to simply watching actors playing roles.
Something that could not have been accomplished without the spectacular effort from Driver and Johansson. They capture a chemistry with one another that is so effortless they feel like the married couple they portray. With the layers of history that comes from that. The minimalist style to the editing allowed the dialogue to stretch out much longer and it gave the opportunity for Johansson and Driver to pour their souls into these characters. Johansson is Black Widow. Driver is Kylo Ren. Yet here, they were simply Nicole and Charlie. Maneuvering through a divorce, coping with their own emotional triggers and dealing with the interference of attorneys who have their own agendas.
These situations evolve with authenticity and it’s purely a credit to their skill in being able to disappear into a role of any size. Life is often unpredictable, and this narrative plays out like real-life. There were many layers and factors involved in making Charlie and Nicole fall in and out of love. How this story explores the life they had together, and the emotional impact of forming a new relationship for the sake of their son was intriguing to see evolve. Would they get back together? Continue through with the divorce? Would they be able to reach amicable conclusions? Would they be able to reform their love to remain civil with one another, without actually being with one another?
There were many different directions the script could’ve taken and with that realistic progression I mentioned, it was difficult to assume anything about their outcome. This made the movie grab onto my heartstrings without ever feeling like that was the intention, and I highly recommend it. Even if you aren’t huge into drama’s there is a natural atmosphere of real-life here that will compel you to see it through. Going in, you will know nothing about Charlie and Nicole, and when the film concludes they will feel like part of your life because of the vulnerability Driver and Johansson capture through their character performances.
CHECK OUT A VIDEO REVIEW OF MARRIAGE STORY FROM THE SILVERSCREEN ANALYSIS