In a career full of remarkable highpoints (The Squid and the Whale, Frances Ha, The Meyerowitz Stories), The Marriage Story is another dizzying high from Noah Baumbach. It’s also his most personal yet.
Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson deliver some of their richest work as a couple whose once enviable union crumbles under the weight of mounting resentments and divergent needs.
Charlie (Driver) is a playwright who wants to stay in New York. Nicole (Johansson) is an actor who’s landed a coveted television role that requires her to relocate to Los Angeles. Their geographical dispute tests an already strained relationship. As Marriage Story begins, the couple’s divorce is already underway, with each enlisting legal squads deploying various tactics.
Yet Baumbach’s elegant narrative goes back and forth through time, showing how Charlie and Nicole fell in love and built a life together alongside a detailed, blow-by-blow chronicle of their marital dismantling.
At turns funny, at others painful, this is arguably Baumbach’s finest film to date, a hit on the festival circuit and with critics.