February 12, 2020
One of the most gut-wrenching movies nominated for best picture, Marriage Story, dissects the divorce process and leaves viewers feeling the losses in Nicole Barber’s (played by Scarlett Johansson) and Charlie Barber’s (played by Adam Driver) separation as if it were their own.
Nicole and Charlie’s divorce seems to take on a life of its own, as their lawyers drudge through each client’s opponent’s entire life and romantic history, looking for dirt to work to an advantage. The movie shows the tug-of-war battles wages over every aspect of the exes’ new lives: who gets custody of their son, where they will live, and whether work-related responsibilities would remain priorities over spending time with their son. As the tugging in court becomes more strenuous, we see Charlie and Nicole’s relationship tearing in the gruesome game that is their divorce.
Marriage Story reveals what few people know: Divorce doesn’t always mean that the love in a marriage is gone. It shows that marriages, friendships and other relationships are not simply black and white, but can be complicated, messy and draining, as well as wonderful.
Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver manage to convey an emotional bond that persists even though their characters are divorcing, thereby demonstrating the complexity of love, visible through the camera and across technology onto your television screen— you may very well cry.
Tears aside, I highly recommend this Netflix movie because it includes love, hate and anguish, and it all feels so real. It’s painful, but it remains hopeful. Stream it! It will grab your attention, and not let go.
— Jolie Wineburgh, Arts & Culture Editor