As of now, it’s no surprise that Noah Baumbach is known as one of the most talented filmmakers in terms of both directing and scriptwriting. He is quite admirable when it comes to having emotional stories, compelling characters, and well-written dialogue in his features. Once again, his new movie Marriage Story wonderfully showcases all those aspects. When you hear the premise for the first time, don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s just a generic romance film. Baumbach elevates the comedy-drama style of filmmaking into something truly memorable, unique and heartbreaking.
It stars Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson in the lead roles of Charlie and Nicole who have decided to officially end their marriage with one another. As it goes on, it really focuses on these people trying to move on and live their new lives, while also taking care of their son Henry (Azhy Robertson). They’re also getting ready to go to court and settle their divorce once and for all with their lawyers. The audience gets to see both sides of these two characters, and it’s an intriguing way to show that no one is perfect when it comes to being in a relationship.
The entire cast brings outstanding performances, and everyone has their moment to shine on screen. Driver and Johansson have incredible chemistry with each other, which simply shows their remarkable talent as versatile performers that are able to do more than one genre of cinema. Even Azhy Robertson who plays their son is quite charming, and his character arc keeps developing as the movie goes on. The director knows it’s important to see these people grow as you’re watching the film from start to finish.
Supposedly, Baumbach’s screenplay is based on his actual divorce with his ex-wife, and you can tell he has been heavily inspired by his own life experience in order to tell this story because of its emotional depth. He does a fantastic job in making sure the audience will connect with both Charlie and Nicole, while also brilliantly showing that it’s a stressful life after you decide to officially call a divorce.
What’s also impressive about Marriage Story is that it manages to find the right balance of drama and humour. It’s a heartbreaking film, but it’s still engaging to watch as long as you have a great script and relatable characters to keep the tone consistent throughout. Only one scene does compromise Johansson’s character a little bit, but it’s not that big of an issue. Even with a sad premise, it never loses heart.
To sum it up, Marriage Story is one of the best films that have been shown at this year’s edition of the Festival du nouveau cinéma. If you love compelling dramas that have a sad yet relatable story, this is for you! Noah Baumbach is a clever filmmaker who is able to come up with some smart dialogue, great characters, and phenomenal acting performances, and that deserves to be praised!