Marriage Story ★★★½

The first day of the St. Louis International Film Festival opened with Marriage Story and it was the perfect event film to start it off. An open bar lubed the audience up enough to get our hearts open to digest such a heavy tale. Honestly, this was my first ever Noah Baumbach experience and it did not disappoint. Never has an opening to a movie so convincingly showed the love these two characters had (has?) for each other and then creates instant doubt by thrusting the film straight into the separation process.

Adam Driver (Charlie) and Scarlett Johanson (Nicole) will get Oscar nominations for their efforts. The way Baumbach moves the camera creates an intensity that enhances the already intense dialogue. The intensity is not constant in Marriage Story, though. A much more realistic approach to how divorce works and seen through the eyes of the adults, not the child. Divorce is a topic that is already avoided in cinema and if it is addressed we are told of the divorce. Allowing the characters to not be their worst immediately shows the gradual progression "the courts" (Alan Alda is amazing in this movie) forces manipulation upon these couples.

Marriage Story stumbles towards the end when the theatrical performances turn somewhat fantastical. Baumbach attempts to fuse so many genres together and one genre he brings into it took me out for the quick five to ten minute scene. It rebounds hard into a cautiously happy ending that left the audience silent and in awe with what they saw.

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