Nicole ( Scarlett Johansson ) and Charlie ( Adam Driver ) were once happily married. She, a former star of a youth film entitled All Over the Girl , had given up the sirens of a probable Hollywood ascent totally within his reach for following her husband and acting in her off-Broadway theater productions. Together they also raised their only son, Henry, with love. Now, however, everything has changed: their divorce is imminent, the aftermath of the past difficult to overcome the respective lawyers ( Laura Dern and Ray Liotta ) more ruthless and cynical than ever in making the defects of both worse for having won.
Lulled by the usual melancholy and refinement, the cinema of Noah Baumbach still does not sit down, to evolve, to displace with unpredictable trajectories. It is a clear demonstration of his latest work, Marriage Story , presented in Competition in Venice 76: the story of a marriage between two creatives who assumes in spite of the contours of a judicial drama dotted with rotten anger, recriminations with an open heart but dictated by the guts, regrets without return. A theme that the filmmaker, spearhead of the New York indie, had already faced in his most beautiful film to date The squid and the whale , inspired by the separation of parents, and which finds in the story interpreted by Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson the landing without a doubt more mature and measured than his career
A small great jewel , which shows millimetric writing and touching atmospheres with surgical precision. It starts with a surprising double initial monologue with voiceover, affectionate catalog of a shared everyday life , to then start a radiograph merciless , but not for this reason not empathetic, of what we call family . His frailties and distortions, his stumbling and the many mutual and often disregarded needs that he tries to satisfy as he decides to embark on this titanic challenge with another person.
The intelligence of the script is coupled with the equilibrium of the director, conversational and relaxed, at Woody Allen , so to speak. Always at the service of a fusion of pain and love from a lump in the throat , where one never understands where one ends and the other ends, and a minimal and universal fresco graced by marvelous interpretations, full of subtleties, of Driver and Johansson. From them two Baumbach brings out a miraculous alchemy , of those that are rarely seen and that it is a privilege to admire. Maybe getting lost in one of those helpless foregrounds that surprisingly invade the screen, doubly satisfying precisely because unexpected, sudden, not required (not to mention one of the most vibrant scenes of quarrels recently seen in the cinema of every latitude).
And if Marriage Story is a film that has the wisdom to crouch beside his two characters collecting the fragments of their existences, discovering the most hidden and unmentionable bruises and tendernesses, the viewer remains only the pleasure very bitter and engaging to immerse yourself in a flow of emotion , to be spied with the same natural shamelessness and never grim of the director's eye, intimate and subdued out of necessity and never for installation. The same sincerity with which Marriage Story ci suggests suffusingly call to life which, as the final teaches, needs above all ordinary and unexpected gestures to throw the heart beyond the obstacle of narcissistic cries, of the sample of funny and ridiculous neuroses, of the physical cuts and moral slaps (the same awareness which, after all, seems to have come Baumbach's cinema is blindingly too). Of what we inevitably end up leaving behind, as we set off towards new roads, no matter whether in New York, Los Angeles or elsewhere.