Marriage Story

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

The structure of the film was much different than I was expecting.

First, there were less flashbacks than I’d assumed. The film spends most of its time in the present walking through the actual divorce instead of examining why the breakup happened. The reasons were certainly covered, but the movie was much less about that than I expected. The reason for their breakup is not actually the story the film wants to tell.

Related to that, the film spends very little time looking at “both sides.” Again, I think this is mostly because the reason for their breakup isn’t the story the film is telling. But, I also spent a chunk of the film waiting to hear his side, probably because that’s normally how these stories are told. She certainly wasn’t portrayed as perfect, but the “fault” was much more clear cut than I expected.

I can relate to trying to navigate transitions in relationships and the writing and performances make the film feel very real. The major yelling scene was the only point that kind of lost me. I can understand how someone could get that angry, but it didn’t feel entirely consistent with the characters. It definitely pushed me away a little bit.

I found the ending to be very intense in a way. He finally, in the very last scene, made it clear that he was starting to make the changes she needed. But, it took a divorce to do that. Is it too late now? Probably. Their relationship is finally healthier, but they’ve both lost something they still want and they may never be able to get back. It’s good and it’s sad. Both at once.