Editor-in-Chief Alex Heeney, Executive Editor Orla Smith, Editor at Large Mary Angela Rowe, and Associate Editor Brett Pardy discuss one of 2019’s most controversial films: Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story.
From Orla Smith’s TIFF19 review:
With a title like Marriage Story, which implies universality, it’s notable how specific Noah Baumbach’s film is. Transparently inspired by Baumbach’s own divorce from actress Jennifer Jason Leigh, the characters in the film are also a director, Charlie (Adam Driver) and his actress muse, Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) who have a son together, just like Baumbach and Jason Leigh. The characters in the film are angry and bitter, but Marriage Story, is not bitter but confessional — apologetic, even. He reflects evenhandedly on where both sides went wrong, pulling no punches when it comes to deriding himself. What results is a grueling but ultimately optimistic film about the horrors of divorce and how hard it is to learn, grow, and move on.
In this episode, our editors discuss how Baumbauch’s blocking criticizes Charlie, the film’s brilliant ensemble cast, the limits of biographical readings of the film, and the questionable use of Stephen Sondheim songs.
Show notes and Recommended Reading
- We ranked Marriage Story as the fourth best film of TIFF 2019
- Elena Lazic wrote about Adam Driver’s performance in The Last Jedi as one of 2017’s unsung performances
- Read Alex Heeney’s 2013 review of Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha
- Order our next ebook on Céline Sciamma, one of the best directors working today.