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Marriage Story

Noah Baumbach’s latest film is about the crumbling of a marriage and the pains of divorce. I was completely blown away by the film. First, it portrays equally both sides of the divorce, which you don’t see too often; both husband and wife are treated sympathetically with all of their strengths and faults. It also digs into its messiness and how all of the things that didn’t work in the marriage come to the surface in unexpected ways. The screenplay is amazing. Adam Driver (Charlie) and Scarlett Johansson (Nicole) give the very best performances of their careers and probably the best portrayals ever of divorce. Every scene they are in is powerful. There is one scene during which the two of them get into an argument that is of such intense emotional power that one wonders from where they channel that kind of energy and rage. Laura Dern is exceptional as Nicole’s compassionate yet self-interested lawyer; my prediction is that she will walk away with the Best Actress Awards for this performance. Driver and Johansson deserve all of the acclaims they are getting for the film. The film gets a huge thumbs up from me and is among my favorites of the year. I don’t think the combination of great acting and razor-sharp screenplay can get much better than this. (2019; 5 Stars).

About Gary Burkholder

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