Noah Baumbach delivers a masterpiece with a stunning, gut-wrenching and hilarious tale of love, heartbreak and letting go.
The film follows Nicole and Charlie, two successful people in show business, who get embroiled in a nasty divorce that threatens their family’s well-being.
Marriage Story is perfect. I might even go as far as to say it’s the best film I’ve seen in at least the last two years. What makes it as good? It’s hard to put into words what this film does to you emotionally without having experienced it yourself, but I can try: not a single film this year (yet) has pushed these boundaries emotionally as this one manages to, delivering excellent scene after another with impeccable craftsmanship, one that Baumbach has been developing with his earlier films and that comes to full fruition here with his masterpiece. It feels as organic as any of his other films, with an added touch of sadness and wonder that sets it apart from other dramas of today. It has hilarious scenes too, and that’s the beauty of it: it never feels like an acted work, instead, you truly feel like you’re watching a “day in the life” scenario with real people interacting.
In perhaps one of the best scenes put in film of the decade, and one that becomes an instant classic, Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson shine as never before, showcasing talent not often seen in today’s landscape. It’s largely thanks to Baumbach’s incredible script that develops these three-dimensional with great care, but Driver and Johansson take the film to another level in unexpected ways. Both of their performances are stunning and I wouldn’t be surprised if I don’t see better ones for the rest of the year. Laura Dern, as always, is hilariously amazing as Nicole’s lawyer and a perfect role for her, and the same can also be said for Alan Alda and Ray Liotta in their greatest roles in a long time.
It’s about halfway through the film that it hits you: Baumbach has crafted a film for the ages, one that is so captivating to watch that it surprises you at every turn and takes your breath away. It wrecks you emotionally before giving some hope and depth into what the characters might do next, while never being obvious or redundant. Baumbach takes great care in the details and is subtle with every element, trusting the audience’s intelligence. Don’t miss this one out.
Marriage Story comes out in select theaters on November 6th and on Netflix on December 6th.