A Marriage Story Movie
Netflix‘s A Marriage Story is not mere Hollywood fiction. The story is not embellished. It is not intended to shock people that are happily married or to placate those who have been through a divorce. A Marriage Story is an accurate portrayal (and perhaps even underplayed at times) of divorce. Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson could not appear to be more different people with dissimilar ambitions, opinions, goals, moral and values.
Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson in Netflix’s A Marriage Story
Adam Driver is supreme in A Marriage Story, and thankfully, all of his awkwardness and unique likeability is teased out by helmsman Noah Baumbach. Scarlett Johansson’s character is deliberately loathsome to men and lovable for women. There is a clear dichotomy between the male and the female lead. The couple’s struggle for career, individuality, and honor is soulful. While the marriage may be half the story, the other half is the underbelly of divorce law.
As a divorce lawyer, Laura Dern is loathsome, and one questions whether that is acting at play. Her role as smarmy divorce attorney captures the stereotype about the profession with meticulous attention to every detail. No allegation or misrepresentation of the truth is off-limits so long as the argument favors a particular client with deep pockets. Meanwhile, her opposing counsel portrayed by the brusque Ray Liotta portrays a pit-bull divorce lawyer standing in contrast to Alan Alda’s character that is a total pushover seeking reasonableness to the detriment of his client.
The California family law courts apply the best interests of the child standard in determining child custody timesharing. Naturally, Mom does not believe Dad has any true care and consideration for their son, whereas Dad believes his ex-Wife only cares about her career and that she used him to be able to move to LA and reboot her career at his and their son’s expense. The truth is somewhere in between. The problem is that the truth becomes distorted and clouded for legal and personal purposes.
A Marriage Story is a poor title for a motion picture about divorce, albeit lending itself to interpretation about the irony of the movie being about divorce which somehow unravels the story of the spiraling final days of a marriage. There is so much to appreciate about this movie’s honesty and forthrightness. There is nothing sugar-coated here. People can attack each other in a divorce. Not everybody is suited for marriage and not everyone parents cooperatively. Netflix‘s A Marriage Story tells it like it is, and for that, it earns my vote for best picture of the year.