HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Boss Level
My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To
Edge of the World
PTU
Superdeep
Insignificance
Treasure City
Piccadilly
Parallel
Invasión
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
Homewrecker
State Funeral
Army of the Dead
Initiation
Redoubt
Dinner in America
Death Will Come and Shall Have Your Eyes
   
 
Newest Articles
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
   
 
  Marriage Story Wasting Their Time
Year: 2019
Director: Noah Baumbach
Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, Laura Dern, Alan Alda, Ray Liotta, Julie Hagerty, Azhy Robertson, Merritt Wever, Martha Kelly, Robert Smigel, Sarah Jones, Mark O'Brien, Brooke Bloom, Matthew Shear, Tunde Adebimpe, Annie Hamilton, Rich Fulcher
Genre: Comedy, Drama, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) and Charlie (Adam Driver) have been married around ten years, and have a son named Henry (Azhy Robertson) together. When asked to list the things they love about one another, the write out lists that include a surprising amount of good points, surprising because they have been asked to pen them by a marriage therapist to make sure they know why they are divorcing. It is at Nicole's insistence, for she harbours resentment about Charlie's short affair when they were going through a previous bad patch, but more than that, she feels stifled by his dominance in her career: they both work in the theatre, and he has directed her many times...

Marriage Story seemed to be its writer and director Noah Baumbach seeking atonement for the behaviour that split up his first marriage to actress Jennifer Jason Leigh, which brought in all sorts of uncomfortable elements where you wondered if you were being asked to judge a couple in a work of fiction, or the real life circumstances that had inspired it. Without wishing to go through someone else's dirty laundry in public, Baumbach did not emerge from his split, resulting in his later marriage to star Greta Gerwig, exactly smelling of roses, and you could detect a need for his Charlie character to be more of the victim in the relationship than Nicole, if indeed they were both surrogates.

Then again, this was not a documentary, and an artist can use parts of their experience to feed into their work that does not follow into a carbon copy of those experiences, yet there was a sense of "Sure, I walked out on my wife, but what about meee?!" about the way this unfolded over the course of a very thorough two hours and a quarter. Here the point was this couple were having a divorce without the same justification to themselves that we, as outsiders here, cannot perceive in quite the same way. They were purposefully flawed to have the audience shift allegiances throughout, though the overall effect would more likely be you would pick your side early on.

Most people tended to blame Nicole for the break-up, much in the same way its obvious precedent Kramer vs Kramer would side with Dustin Hoffman's emotionally flailing husband. While that 1979 film was accused of pure soap opera under the guise of serious drama, Baumbach tried to head that summation off at the pass by interweaving allusions to Ingmar Bergman's relationship dramas through his plot, as if that association would bolster his case for paying attention to a pair of, let's face it, pretty privileged people. Mention Bergman in an American comedy-drama and it would not be Ingmar who immediately sprang to mind, however: you would be comparing Marriage Story to Woody Allen instead, and not always flatteringly since he had cornered the market in that material many decades before.

Indeed, one comparison was Allen's Husbands and Wives, one of his most scathing projects made when his own relationship sailed into some very choppy waters, but with its plentiful conversational scenes, maybe Baumbach more resembled the efforts of Henry Jaglom, the most obvious Allen imitator of the past decades. That was not necessarily a good thing, though this director was able to allow his actors breathing space to create accomplished performances within a situation that could have been seriously constricting: there was not one bad role reading, and support from the likes of Laura Dern, Alan Alda and Julie Hagerty were well-rounded even if they did skirt caricature (this was apparently humorous too). Dern in particular had a fine speech about the perception of wives vs husbands stemming from a conservative Christian morality that was hard to disagree with, but the fact this pair could have weathered their problems and still be loving and together was blatant early, and made this a slog to get to somewhere you reached an hour and a half before the credits rolled. Music by Randy Newman.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5581 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: