Marriage Story (2019), directed by Noah Baumbach, is a film about a marriage breakdown rather than about marriage itself. The movie follows the divorce proceedings of Charlie, a brilliant theatrical director, and Nicole, an actress. At the same time, the situation of the characters is miserable, painful and humorous.
We see that Charlie (Adam Driver) and Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) Barber’s marriage is falling apart and going through a divorce. He is the director of a small but renowned theatre group in New York City. She gave up a potential acting career to become his lead actress. Henry, their son, is 8 years old.
Charlie is now regarded by Nicole as being egotistical and careless about her work. She moves to Los Angeles with Henry, where she begins filming a television pilot. Nicole hires the accomplished Nora Fanshaw (Laura Dern), even though they had agreed not to use attorneys, and files for divorce. After being shocked, Charlie responds by hiring Bert Spitz (Alan Alda). Whether the family resides in Los Angeles or New York will determine the outcome of the custody dispute, and during the court process, all of the couple’s grievances are brought to the surface.
As the story progress, we see love turn into hatred. The climax does convey a sense of acceptance and love moving on.
This film does a fantastic job of showing how raising a child between two unhappy people eventually results in a divorce and a custody battle. A shared custody arrangement may not always work out for some couples. I love how this film shows how they resolve the issue.
The focus of Marriage Story is on Charlie’s divorce experience, purposefully hiding Nicole’s viewpoint and driving forces for significant portions of the story. The couples’ struggles, pain, and extreme measures during divorce are all depicted in the film.
The acting by the cast is flawless. Laura Dern won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress at the 2020 Academy Awards.