Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” is already being praised as a major awards contender, and the Inside The Film Room staff is here to let you know if the hype is real.
Zach Goins: “Marriage Story” is devastating. It’s surprisingly comical, but make no mistake, nothing here is sugar-coated. So raw, so emotional and so human. Driver and Johansson bring the house down. Heartbreakingly beautiful… I’m a wreck.
David Sobczak: Noah Baumbach delivers the best screenplay of the year. Adam Driver transcends anything we’ve seen from him before. This failing friendship and marriage is all-too-real. Truly hilarious at times, so warm, but devastating all the same.
Josh Martin: “Marriage Story” – The nuances and complications of devastating human emotion processed through the ruthless bureaucracy of the legal system. Focused on mundanities of daily life, couched within the earth-shattering event of divorce. Four or five of the best scenes of the year.
ZG: As brutal and devastating as it may be, Driver and Johansson unleashing on each other is absolutely incredible. It rapidly builds into one of the most intense shouting matches I’ve ever seen, and it just feels so real.
DS: One of the most realistic, brutal arguments between a couple ever put to film. Waterworks.
JM: Either the phenomenal opening or a harrowing vernal fight for the ages.
Most Memeable Moment
ZG: This is not a very meme-worthy movie, but I definitely got a laugh from the shot of the entire family dressed up as The Beatles for Halloween and Driver following behind as a sheet ghost.
DS: Probably Driver singing.
JM: Adam Driver singing?
ZG: It’s tough to beat the warm and fuzzy feeling of the opening and then BAM… things immediately get brutal. Yeah, I knew it was about divorce, but damn… I thought there’d be a little time together at the start.
DS: RAY LIOTTA.
JM: Just how much Randy Newman’s score moved me.
What You Wanted More/Less Of
ZG: More Laura Dern. She was already in the film a ton, but she was MAGNETIC. From the very first scene we meet her it’s impossible not to fall victim to her sweet talking her, too.
DS: More scenes in New York City, but maybe I just love New York City too much.
JM: Maybe cut 5 minutes? There’re a few expendable moments, but it’s close to perfect.
In which Oscar categories is this film a legit contender?
ZG: Give it everything. Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actress, Score… a clean sweep.
DS: Legit contender? Probably actor, original screenplay and supporting actress. But it will surely be nominated for picture, director and actress.
JM: Best Picture, Director/Screenplay, and all the acting categories.
Grade out of 100
ZG: 97 out of 100
DS: 99 out of 100
JM: 98 out of 100
Stay tuned for more reviews and exit survey’s from Film Fest 919 all week long.
Zach Goins is a member of the North Carolina Film Critics Association based in Raleigh, N.C. Zach co-founded Inside The Film Room in 2018 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the website and co-host of the podcast. Zach also serves as a film critic for CLTure.org.