Posted Nov 06 2019

Marriage Story - This Movie Tragically, Sadly, Hilariously Rocks

Dir: Noah Baumbach

Starring Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, Laura Dern, Alan Alda, Ray Liotta, Wallace Shawn

Baumbach’s latest may well be another of his unflinching depictions of failing relationships, but it is his saddest, also his funniest, and features at least two remarkable awards-worthy performances.

Johansson and Driver are the husband and wife in this Marriage Story, facing up to the throes of impending divorce, and neither have ever been better. She’s a neglected actress, he a self-centred New York theatre director, both working together and both having lost sight of each other. And so, despite their years together and their young son, they fall apart. And it’s deeply sad. But also remarkably funny – especially when the divorce lawyers – a brilliant combo of Laura Dern, Ray Liotta and Alan Alda – start to stick their oar(s) in.

Moving between laugh out loud funny to simple and very genuine heartbreak, Baumbach navigates the unpleasantness and, at times, the pure absurdity of falling out of love with someone who once meant the world to you.

People move on and this film understands and communicates the nature of that in a realistic fashion – without ever missing a good gag along the way.

Some of it is brutal, some of it is just ridiculously funny. Most of it is just sad, and little bits of it will leave you feeling enhanced.

Except to see both Driver and Johansson, Randy Newman’s delicate score and – definitely - the brilliantly well observed and deeply felt screenplay (if not more) in the awards conversation as these things progress.

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