MARRIAGE STORY (2019), A Somber Review

Marriage Story movie review

MARRIAGE STORY is Academy Award nominated filmmaker Noah Baumbach's (The Meyerowitz Stories, Mistress America) incisive and compassionate look at a marriage breaking up and a family staying together. The film stars Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver. Laura Dern, Alan Alda, and Ray Liotta co-star.

Marriage Story starts out with both Charlie (Driver) and Nicole (Johansson) in seperate monologues about how great their other half is. The first act is following them through how great their lives are, but then, how suddenly, Nicole realizes how their union is more about him than them, and she consults a divorce lawyer (Dern). That in turn, forces Charlie to have to get a lawyer, Alda and Liotta are the lawyers.

As the story goes, the middle act is about the lawyers hacking out the details, with our divorce participants just along for the ride.

The latter half of the second act and the third act focus on Charlie and Nicole trying to work it all out around their child, their achor that keeps them connected through it all.


This film got Driver and Johansson Academy Award nominations and they execute their roles wonderfully. Almost to a fault of traumatizing.

The first act is a wonderful immersion in a marriage and the sudden failing of it, while the second act digs hard into the dirty aspect of divorces and divorce lawyers, where our two spouses start out amicable but the lawyers make it ugly to the point of no return.

The third act is where all the lawyer sessions and court battles settle out.


If you've ever been through a divorce, this one will hit you close to home, watching the lawyers ramp shit up to make it ugly all around for everyone.

Driver and Johansson deliver on the developing nature of happy spouses hitting that threshold wher it's just not right any more.

Dern, Alda and Liotta play divorce lawyers.  Dern is delicious to hate as a divorce lawyer, holy crap, what an arrogantly wonderful lawyer she makes.

Also is more of an old-school, sort of absent-minded divorce lawyer but Liotta plays the logical, heavy hitting, expensive lawyer. He's more digestible while Dern is easy to hate.


All in all, it was an engaging movie, considering how upset it made me in the  initial stages of the divorce.

If you're up for a great dramatic film, this one will fill the bill for sure.

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