Marriage Story is Noah Baumbach’s latest film. It has a total of six Oscar nominations. The film has been nominated for the Academy Award in the following categories: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Actor for Adam Driver, Best Actress for Scarlett Johansson, and Best Supporting Actress for Laura Dern. It was released on Netflix in December 2019.
The audience learns of Charlie and Nicole. They’re a long-time married couple who have made their lives in New York. Bonus? They’re going through a divorce. The film shows just how ugly the process is. The movie shows the lives of two people who once loved each other and how the process goes from amicable to pure hatred. Marriage Story is tense and heartbreaking from the very beginning. From the way it’s written, to the way its acted out, you can tell that this movie is very personal. Noah Baumbach has explained that it’s inspired by his life.
Noah Baumbach’s script was easily one of my favorite ones of the year. The writing was impeccable. I got to understand both perspectives, Charlie’s and Nicole’s. Through both sets of eyes I empathized and understood why the divorce is happening, what behaviors caused the marriage to become toxic. It’s incredibly painful but also beautiful. It’s very smart writing and during each rewatch, you find something new.
The faultless screenwriting is beautifully complemented by the directing. Since the plot is about Charlie and Nicole separating, the director made the choice to always show Charlie and Nicole literally separated by something. There’s always a physical barrier between them. They are never standing next to each other. To me, that was absolutely brilliant and one of the best directing of the year. The editing was also breathtaking, it made you feel as if you were part of the story. It was a perfect combination that made the story have a huge impact.
The acting also elevated the entire movie, especially Adam Driver’s. If Joaquin Phoenix wasn’t the obvious frontrunner, Adam Driver would be my pick. At first, we’re led to believe that he always has a calm demeanor, until he snaps. The build-up to that scene is what caused it to have the impact it had. While I think that Adam gave the best performance, the rest of the cast was incredibly talented as well and worthy of every accolade. By now, it’s pretty clear that Laura Dern is going to win the Oscar for Supporting Actress and so far it seems to be the only one it will win.
I’m still disappointed that this movie wasn’t recognized in the directing category, if they wanted to nominate all men directors then, at least, recognize a good one! Baumbach’s directing was what made Marriage Story the impactful movie it was. It was amazing in many aspects. It probably won’t be recognized for that. Instead, it’ll be remembered as that movie where Kylo Ren and Black Widow argued in that one scene that looked bad because everyone saw it out of context. Marriage Story deserves better than that.
Now, watch the trailer, watch the film and make your own opinion!