Marriage Story Explained: Themes, Meaning and True Story

“You know what people say, Criminal
lawyers see bad people at their best, divorce lawyers see
good people at their worst.” Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story
finds love in a hopeless place. This tale of two people
legally dissolving their union “I want to talk about it as us.” “Who the f-[BLEEP] is us?” takes care to honor the
good things that remain between Adam Driver’s Charlie
and Scarlett Johannsen’s Nicole no matter how angry
and hurt both feel. “Honey, let me finish. Sorry. I keep saying that.” Ultimately, the movie’s
title tells us everything. This isn’t a “divorce story” —
it’s the story of a marriage as a whole told from the vantage
point of its final days. “I wanted the movie
to be a love story.” The film begins with
the couple describing each other’s most charming traits “Nicole gives great presents… She’s always inexplicably brewing a cup of tea
that she doesn’t drink.” “Charlie is undaunted. He’s
very self-sufficient he can darn a sock and cook
himself dinner and iron a shirt.” and ends with a gesture of
one taking care of the other, reminding us that — as
parents to their son Henry — they’ll always be family. “As you come apart,
you’re reminded that… this is a person you had great feeling
for, and maybe still do in many ways.” The result is the rare divorce
narrative that feels for both characters and after grieving
what they’ve lost makes us feel optimistic
about their separation. Because these two people,
who do love each other, don’t belong together. And that’s okay. This video is brought to you by Mubi a curated streaming service showing
exceptional films from around the globe Its like your own
personal film festival – streaming anytime, anywhere. Baumbach has emphasized that
Marriage Story is not autobiographical. “You know, there’s a distinction
between personal and autobiographical.” But it’s also clear that the
movie is deeply informed by the filmmaker’s own
personal experiences and feelings. “Philip Roth has a great quote
that he takes two stones of reality and rubs them together
to spark the imagination.” The story bears overt
similarities to Baumbach’s relationship with his ex-wife
Jennifer Jason Leigh. Like Nicole, Leigh is an L.A.-born
actress and the mother of Baumbach’s firstborn son who at 9 years old is now close
to Henry’s age in the film. “Henry’s eight.” “Henry’s eight.” Even though Baumbach
and Leigh divorced when their son was an infant. When the couple separated,
Leigh moved back to L.A. while Baumbach stayed
primarily in New York —echoing Charlie and Nicole’s
cross-country divorce. “We need to make an argument that
you’re a New York-based family.” “Well, we are.” “Otherwise, you’ll probably never
see your kid outside of LA again.” Leigh shot to fame when she starred
in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. “Don’t bite.” – [laughs] which seems to have inspired Nicole’s
breakout role in a college movie. “You might as well get
what you paid for!” “After that movie, All Over The Girl, she could have stayed in LA
and been a movie star.” Charlie and Nicole’s relationship
as director and actress “She’s my favorite actress” echoes Baumbach and Leigh’s
collaborations on movies like Greenberg and Margot at the Wedding. [screams] “I let you in. God damn dude,
you’re SUCH AN ASSHOLE!” Baumbach is also a child of divorce and in 2005’s Squid and the Whale
he examines divorce from the perspective of the kids. “I’ve got you Tuesday, Wednesday and
Saturday and every other Thursday.” “Every OTHER?” “That’s how we each have you equally.” “That was your father’s idea.” Now, in Marriage Story, he revisits it
from the point of view of the parents. “Getting divorced with a kid can be one
of the hardest things you’ll ever do. It’s like a death without a body.” This feeling of a death or a severing
is emphasized in scenes where the two feel pulled or
are visually cut off from each other. There’s a notable difference
in how much Baumbach’s view of divorce
has evolved between these films. Presumably, in part, because
he’s now been through one himself. Squid and the Whale has
a dark view of patriarch Bernard as an arrogant egomaniac and focuses on how the kids are deeply
scarred by their parents’ separation. “Has anything been going on at home
that might’ve provoked this behavior?” “Well, Bernard left him behind
for three days last week.” Marriage Story is far more optimistic, framing both Charlie and Nicole
as good parents and suggesting Henry will
emerge more or less unscathed. Ultimately the movie’s basis
in real experience – both Baumbach’s own and
those of people he knows – leads to a story that
feels chillingly universal. Anyone can see something familiar
in this portrait of how love coexists with conflict, hurt, and even hatred
— all for the same person. [Screams] “I can’t believe I have
to know you forever!” Marriage Story isn’t just one story — it interweaves a number of
narratives about this marriage. The film opens with lists of what’s
lovable about each person in the other’s eyes. “He loves being a dad. He loves
all the things you’re supposed to hate” Then we start hearing
the couple’s conflicting narratives about their
family’s home and future “We are a New York family,
thats just a fact.” Eventually we watch the
lawyers twist these narratives “So, you got married here, your kid
was born here… and she served you here?” “Yeah, but we lived in New York.” “We’re gonna have
to reshape the narrative.” to create dark, damning
portraits of each spouse. “She confided in Charlie
one night recently having just carried Henry to bed
that she was having trouble STANDING while walking
down the staircase.” “you see it in thrillers all the time all the stuff that seemed
innocent in the beginning you know he touched the
wine glass, we have the fingerprint — all of those things that suddenly become
part of the police investigation. I thought in a funny way that’s
also what happens in a divorce.” But near the end, the movie
comes back to Nicole’s list of things she loves about Charlie as if to declare that this is
the true story of their marriage. “And I’ll never stop loving him, even though it doesn’t
make sense anymore.” Onscreen divorce narratives
frequently pick sides and focus on the vitriol to the point that the couple’s entire
past is shaded with regret. But Marriage Story is the
rare example that fights fair and prevents us from
blaming one spouse as wholly at fault for the split. “I have a kid from my ex who is a narcissistic
artist…and verbally abusive.” “Well, Charlie’s not terrible.” From the start, the film brings us into
both Charlie and Nicole’s subjectivity. The camera foregrounds each
person’s emotional experience. Cinematographer Robbie Ryan is
most known for 2018’s The Favourite and for his collaborations
with Andrea Arnold, which also ground us in
her characters’ subjectivity. And one of Baumbach’s
visual inspirations was the faces in
Ingmar Bergman’s Persona. The fake newspaper article
we see also alludes to Bergman’s
Scenes from a Marriage, another intimate psychological portrait
of a marriage coming undone. [Screams] [In Swedish] “Your idiot sarcasm
drives me crazy!” [In Swedish] “Lord, how I hate you!” Ironically, the visual focus on
what each character is feeling draws our attention to how
their spouse isn’t seeing that. There’s universal truth in this. often when couples are struggling,
they’re feeling similar things and may be closer or more
in agreement than they think but lack of communication causes hurt
and animosity to spiral out of control. “One thing that was
very important to me was having this line here
in the middle of the space that way when he’s here
talking and she’s you know, standing over here we have two people talking to
each other who can’t see each other.” The film captures how easily
conflicts can snowball into a terrible mess even when both parties have
good intentions, and neither has done anything awful. When Johansson gives
her major monologue to Laura Dern’s hotshot
divorce lawyer Nora about why the
marriage went wrong, Nicole’s reasons for divorcing
Charlie are valid and inspire sympathy but they’re hardly evidence
that he’s the devil incarnate. “He… truly didn’t see me. He didn’t see me as something
separate from himself.” Except for one thing — at the very end of her
monologue, Nicole says “Also, I think he slept with
the stage manager, Mary Ann. That f-[bleep]ing asshole.” confirming what the movie
hints at earlier, when Nicole reacts intensely
to Mary Ann speaking to Charlie and he tries to pacify her by
leaving their own party early Briefly, it might seem
that the story is giving us our cue for who to condemn Cheating is THE textbook
bad husband behavior that narratives use to get
us on the wife’s side But when we get
more context a little later, this one-time infidelity after their
marriage was already on the rocks “It was after I was
sleeping on the couch.” “all this bullshit about working on us.” is at most a catalyst,
or a symptom of what was already wrong — not central to why
they’re separating. After giving Nicole this
early advantage by letting her air her grievances
and tell her side of the story, the film shows more of
Charlie’s suffering as he’s isolated and torn down
by the divorce process. Given his growing fears
of becoming alienated from his son, and the way he’s forced to give up time in his beloved New York
for LA, a city he hates he’s the bigger “loser”
in the situation. “New York is a long
way from here.” “Well, we like it because we can walk.” “You can walk here.” “Not really.” “And the space.” Charlie’s two Halloween costumes symbolically announce
his emotional state the first year he feels
like the Invisible Man, and the next year he’s become a ghost
you could easily miss in this frame. These costumes reflect the
pain of feeling like he’s no longer as
central in his son’s life like he’s being partially erased,
just as – over the course of the film – he’s removed from the family portraits
on the walls of his son’s primary home. “And at your mom’s?” “At home, I have most of my toys. There’s a pool.” And this reflects one of the
most terrible results of divorce with a child:
the loss of being a full-time parent. “But if he stays here
and I stay in New York this just… then I won’t… I’ll never really
get to be his parent again.” Some viewers expressed
the opinion that the movie ultimately sides
more with Charlie but in reality it simply shows
feeling for them in different ways. giving more weight to Nicole’s reasons
why Charlie fell short in the past and more screen time
to Charlie’s present pain. The ultimate message
that the movie gets across: so often in relationship breakdowns — no one is truly wrong but that
still doesn’t make anything right. “I feel like maybe things
have gone too far.” “Uh huh.” “You know, it’s common that
people meet with as many lawyers as possible so that
their spouse has limited options.” “Oh, I don’t think she
would’ve done it deliberately.” “You’d be surprised.” In this movie where
neither party is the bad guy the one true antagonist
is a bureaucratic system that seems determined to bring
out the worst in everyone involved. “This system rewards bad behavior.” Charlie and Nicole try to begin their separation from an
amicable, mature place. But the film illustrates that it’s not
possible to have a gentle divorce. Initially, it’s the divorce lawyers,
Nora and Jay who seem to blame for
fueling hostilities in their egotistical
ambition to win. “This is a street fight now.” Nora even slips in a last-minute
clause just to make sure Charlie’s and Nicole’s
custody isn’t quite equal “Take it. You won.” Yet the lawyers’ competitive
winner-take-all mentality is really just a symptom
of a larger problem. The system requires lawyers
to resort to mean immoral tactics to do their jobs well. “We need to hire
a private investigator.” “Really? I mean, really?” “Does your wife do drugs or anything?” Charlie’s first lawyer
Bert is the rare exception who retains a
human perspective but this is precisely
why Charlie has to fire him. “You’re just transactions to them. I- I like to think of you as people.” “Oh, okay, good.” “And not just you, her too.” The movie also offers a
commentary on how parents have to pretend to be unrealistically
perfect to hold onto their kid. Nancy Katz, the woman who comes
to observe Charlie’s parenting reflects a system that’s designed to
hyperfocus on potential flaws and risks. “Some parents won’t take their kids to a
restaurant because of these superbugs.” instead of paying
attention to the positive values of quality time with each parent. When Charlie accidentally
cuts himself while doing the knife trick this accident highlights
the unnaturalness of being evaluated as a parent. “Do you ever observe married people?” “No. Why would I?” — and it also provides an
apt metaphor for how Charlie’s custody battle feels like
bleeding out on the floor. Meanwhile, the way that
Charlie and Nicole’s behavior is held against them
in the divorce proceedings illustrates that any mom
or dad would look bad when put under such
a paranoid microscope “Anything since you’ve been a mother?” [Sighs] “Pot a few times. Coke once at a party. I mean, Henry wasn’t with me.” Nora gives a stand-out
monologue highlighting how, to this day, there’s a double standard
especially when it comes to mothers “but people absolutely don’t accept
those same failings in mothers. Because the basis of our
Judeo-Christian whatever is Mary, Mother of Jesus,
and she’s perfect.” In one of the most famous
custody movies of all time Kramer vs. Kramer, Meryl Streep’s character
comes off as the parent in the wrong for temporarily
abandoning her child. But Marriage Story
takes care to counter this bias that a good mother
must be perfect. “We can accept an imperfect dad. Let’s face it, the idea of a good father was only
invented like 30 years ago.” Here, Nicole’s desire
to carve out a brave new life without Charlie
is the right instinct. “You’re saying,
‘I want something better for myself.’” “I do.” The movie also acknowledges
that Nicole isn’t interested in stereotypically gendered
expectations for mothers like cooking and cleaning but in
no way frames this as a failing. Instead, she comes
across as a loving, engaged mom who values connecting with her son. “She’s a mother who plays really plays.” Overall, what the system creates
— and what makes this divorce go so terribly
— is distance. It doesn’t work when Charlie and Nicole
hide their true feelings from each other “I’m not gonna read this out loud.” and put others in control
of this process, as if it’s happening around them,
without them truly being a part of it. “She said you’d take custody
and everything if I didn’t respond.” “It’s better if we just
let the lawyers do this.” “Yeah, but she’s saying
things I don’t think you mean.” It’s only when the pair talk through
and understand each other — even though that requires
painfully exposing their wounds. [Screams] “Every day I wake up
and I hope you’re dead!” — that things turn around. “this scene when Nicole
comes to talk to Charlie and maybe try to find
some kind of common ground I felt like the story of this sequence,
which is about 11 pages in the script, was the story of them trying to find voice.” Ultimately, Charlie and
Nicole need to take ownership of their divorce and do it together “It’s up to us, it’s our divorce.” So ironically, it takes
collaboration and goodwill — not being at odds — for them to negotiate the healthiest
possible future for their family. A couple coming apart in divorce, but a family coming
back together in a new way. As much as the film emphasizes
the love between this couple, it also makes it clear that
Nicole and Charlie are better off apart. Each expresses that the
other holds them back “But if I suggested we do a year
or something, he’d just put me off” “ I was hot shit and I wanted
to f-[BLEEP] everybody and I didn’t.” There’s also a damaging undercurrent of competition between
Nicole and Charlie. “he made fun of it and…
was jealous like he is.” In the backstory,
Nicole is the more famous one after her early movie career but she loses status thanks
to her choice to stay in New York as part of Charlie’s
avant-garde theater company. Meanwhile, his star rises — and while he says he
appreciates the sacrifice she made — he seems content with her
as the lower-status spouse, as he won’t consider spending time
in LA or letting her try directing. “At our theater I always wanted to direct, and then Charlie would say
something like,’The next one,’ but he was always the director,
so there never was a next one.” Ironically, their opening
lists name their competitive natures as something they like about each other “Are you kidding me, I was just in jail? God damn it!” “She’s competitive.” “He’s very competitive.” “Who owns Baltic Avenue? – Me. How much is it? – I don’t have enough. – $450. Okay, so I’m done? I’m done, right? That’s it? This is so frustrating!” The couple also has an
unhealthy relationship with control. We’re told Charlie was
a controlling husband “Directed by her husband,
supposedly very controlling.” Nicole feels he regulated
every detail of her life with him “All the furniture in
our house, that was his taste. I didn’t even know what
my taste was anymore because I had never
been asked to use it.” and we see brief hints of
this even after they’re apart: “Did you dye your hair again?” “You don’t like it?” “No, I guess it’s fine. Is it shorter? I prefer longer but-” “Oh, sorry, it’s just absurd.” This part of their relationship
echoes their director actress dynamic. These two are used
to him directing her “Lets try it crawling…
but also standing.” which fuels her feeling that she’s
always implementing his vision. “I can tell you want to give me a note.” Stifled by this power imbalance,
Nicole is eventually overwhelmed by a desire to be the director herself —
both onscreen and in her life. But the best reason
this couple shouldn’t be together — the only reason that really matters–
is that they don’t actually want to be. “I know you don’t
want the disruption, but you don’t want to be married. “Not… really.” “In the couple’s climactic fight scene,
where they have it all out, Nicole says the problem is: [Screams] “You didn’t love me
as much as I loved you!” And tellingly,
Charlie doesn’t disagree. [Screams] “What does
that have to do with LA? [Long pause] What?” He reveals that
he actually didn’t want to get married
in the first place — and he long resented that
he didn’t get more time in his twenties to enjoy being single. [SCREAMS] “And you
wanted so much so fast. I didn’t even want to get married…. F[BLEEP] it! There’s so much I didn’t do.” Thanks for that! You’re welcome!” Often divorce is framed
as a desperate last resort, like you must need a dramatic
reason to want out of a marriage. “The only grounds for divorce
in this state are absence of a spouse, incurable insanity,
life imprisonment or adultery.” But isn’t not wanting to be
married reason enough? During the movie,
the power balance shifts, as Nicole blossoms
from being unsure of herself… “He’s very clear about what he wants,
unlike me, who can’t always tell.” into a thriving, confident
career woman “She got an Emmy nomination.” “She’s a great actress.” “No, for directing.” while Charlie falters
after winning his grant. But in the end,
the silver lining is that both come into their own
as a result of the uncoupling. Baumbach said,
“her monologue and his song at opposite ends of the movie
are mirror images of something: in a way, both of them find their voice.” Their mirror journeys are
reflected in the songs they sing from the Stephen Sondheim
musical Company. Nicole performs
You Could Drive a Person Crazy [sings] “You could drive a person crazy” which ends with the line [sings] “Bobby is my hobby
and I’m giving it up!” reflecting her successful
extrication from an affair that’s been toxic for her mental health. And Charlie impulsively
sings Being Alive [sings] “Being alive” in which he rediscovers
the need for love [sings] “Somebody crowd me with love…” Despite Charlie’s struggles, he needed this shake-up
to rediscover his passion… [sings] “Want something. Want something.” and ultimately this moment is hopeful that there will be love
again in his future. [sings] “Somebody make me come through
I’ll always be there As frightened as you. To help us survive” Marriage Story counters our culture’s
habit of seeing every end as a failure. “Partly what I wanted to say
with the movie is that endings don’t have to be failings,
and that we can still celebrate the thing for what it was even if it’s over.” It underlines that
the enduring connection of sharing a big part of your life
with someone doesn’t just go away “Charlie will have, um… the Greek salad, but with lemon and olive oil
instead of the Greek dressing.” “Okay.” As Baumbach has said, “It can still be a love story
even if they don’t end up together.” Some of the best love stories
of all time finish this way. This movie about divorce
is an affirmation of love, in all its messiness,
complexity, and impermanence. “It’s… not as simple
as not being in love anymore.” This video is brought to you by Mubi,
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  2. Wow, amazing analysis. I decided not to watch this movie coz its emotionally draining and last thing I want to watch is loud, frustration filled fights on the big screen, I can watch them at home anytime I want, thank you very much. Though, I knew, it is a good movie to learn something from..its always better to see things from a distance, as a 3rd person and you realize far more than when it happens to you, but I think I won;t be able to pull it off till the end. Hence, thank god and thank you for this amazing analysis. "You can feel love, conflict and even hatred often for the same person" = just be clear whether the hate qualities are tolerable and the love overpowers hatred you may feel in other quarters of relationship.

  3. Watched it a couple of days ago, I wasn't aware of Scarlet Johansson and Adam Driver both talent for drama. They absolutely nailed it, most of all that arguing scene ❤️

  4. I… can't watch this. It hit me hard. Because my parent's separation was because when it boils down to it my dad was emotionally abusive.

  5. The thing that irked me the most about this movie is everything could have been solved, but nope, lets just have a messy divorce, when everyone just needed to communicate BEFORE the separation. "Hey, I feel I support you more than me, please support me sometimes." "Holy cow, I'm sorry you feel that way, glad you TOLD me otherwise you'd just expect me to read your mind which I can't do. Lets work on your career as well as mine." The End. And sure they could still get divorced just not in the mess that it was.

  6. Thanks. I think I'd sooner watch an episode of current Dr Who than pay to see this tripe. So, it's a no from me. EEAWWWW!

  7. To be honest, this movie felt like prime oscar bait. Two household name actors in a personal, small-cast drama that felt like a play, in which two theater- and movie-artists go through a divorce. I mean, come on.
    That being said, I enjoyed the movie, if only for the performances of ScarJo and Adam Driver. Super frustrating movie overall, as I always felt like they could make it work if they only communicated their hopes and dreams a little better, but well-made.

  8. It shows that sometimes love isn't enough. The ending is bittersweet even though it is almost the 'happy' outcome of a divorce, separate but civil. They do love each other but that doesn't mean they are good for each other.

  9. I keep wondering what would have happened if Nicole had read the things she wrote about Charlie in the counselling session. Sometimes miscommunication or no communication with each other can cause a huge distance in any relationship. In the beginning of the film, Nicole swallows Charlie’s last criticism and cries alone, which I think it shows her hiding her deep thoughts. You have to keep trying to talk to each other to resolve the problem, otherwise being together with someone would lose its value in the first place. And you can’t just indulge one side like Nicole did because it would eventually fall apart. Talking through is a must to keep the balance.

  10. I don't understand the movie's point about perfect mothers. It's nearly impossible for a man to get full custody. Socially, we expect too much of mothers. But, not legally. I've known drug addicts who still have custody of their children.

  11. divorce sucks. watching my parents go through it at 21 was hard. i feel so sorry for children bc it is traumatizing for them. every one in my family – all my aunts & uncles are divorced. & i am married. lol why 🙃 i agree – once you have kids you are never truly separated from your partner. you will always be family.

  12. I feel like marraige story and Phantom Thread are anti parallel. Marriage story is two people who love each other who are not meant to be together. Phantom thread is two people who most of the time despise each other but are meant to be together.

  13. Watching this really helped me understand the process of ending a realtionship but still appreciating the time spent together. Now comes the wine..

  14. Now we need another the take just about the lawyers behaviour and why do we need those people in society.
    *When I think you girls can't get any better, you go and nail it again!

  15. Well I understand Charlie looks he needs all the pitty and stuff, but guys let me remind you:
    Nicole's desire to spend more time in LA during their marriage, is like "one of those things you said we can buy to put between the coach and the wall,we discussed it!". A man who when confronted for his cheating, would say it's not cheating,NOT TO what he COULD have done!
    You're such a dick!!😂

  16. It was completely tragic. I’m upset that Adam will lose the Oscar to a clown (knowing full well none of the other noms could play Charlie)

  17. I feel like this film is subconsciously Noah Baumbach’s own marriage story, like one day he just wrote it from the back of his mind and didn’t even know it.

  18. Divorce lawyers dont know how to win when both parties are good, thus they must make the other look as bad as possible

  19. Honestly, I don't care if someone no longer cares about another person. Cheating is just disrespectful whether you love them or not…

  20. There are two kind of people that have seen Marriage Story: those that felt they were getting a divorce and those who felt their parents were getting divorced. Legit, there's no in between.

  21. I liked this story for its raw genuine observation but I hated it too bc these two had problems that they could've worked through at many points with a lot of good counseling & willingness to work hard but they didn't choose that. love is a choice and takes work.

  22. I feel like it's sad because they could have just read the letters and avoided all that horrible shit they went through
    Which was probably the obvious point of the film.

  23. SPOILERS: Idk why you’re watching this if you haven’t seen this movie tho

    The scene where Charlie cuts his arm by accident and then just plays it off to the examiner while he’s literally bleeding out was the most intense shit ever for me as a viewer. I really thought he was going to just to die there on the floor.

  24. This movie made me feel like I'll never want to marry and the best solution for me to have children is to make a co parenting/platonic parenting agreement with a woman.

  25. Whatever makes the director sleep at night. Being stuck with an ex because of children has to be the most life sucking joy outcome in someone’s life.

  26. This movie was so well done. Makes me feel even more empathy for my father.
    Also, thanks for the “First Wive’s Club” references! God I love that movie!!

  27. Jeez people have a lot of free time to sit and over analyse all sorts of things… Videogames, PC culture, movies, god, corruption…the world of full of itself…

  28. Funny that scarlett's character was john lennon in the sgt pepper uniform, considering he got divorced a year later after that album was released

  29. The lawyer's monologue about the 'unfair' expectations of mothers is so short-sighted and biased against men. She says the idea of a "good father" was only invented in recent times, but this is a false claim insofar as it measures the pressures of fatherhood according to the same sets of standards currently used to determine the pressures of motherhood , namely, day-to-day child-rearing. However, if she was to remove her one-dimensional feminist glasses to take a closer look at this picture, she'd realise that the standards for what qualifies as "good parenting" actually differs between the genders, and thus, between the models of 'motherhood' and 'fatherhood' that she's conflating here to make her claim. For example, whilst traditional models of fatherhood may not have prioritised the hands-on/nurturing aspects of child-rearing in the same way motherhood did, they were however expected to conduct a different type of child-rearing in the form of financial support/care, which was- and still is- a parental responsibility exclusive to fatherhood… both in the historical context (when men were the primary bread-winners), as well as in contemporary societies of today, where fathers are typically no longer the only bread-winner in the family, but nevertheless remain the only ones who are financially responsible for them.

  30. This movie is stupid and normal everyday people can't really relate to it because these characters have no real life problems. They have zero financial issues. Are they one pay check away from living on the streets? No! What kind of difficult life do they have when they're living in Manhattan in a nice apartment or her mom living in a mansion in L.A. Who lives like that? No one but the upper 1%

    Normal everyday people stay in unhappy marriages because they're placed in a desperation situation financially which is so much more worse. And dangerous. They can't leave. Where are those stories??? Why doesn't Hollywood tell stories about modern day desperation? Which is purposely created by the politicians who help the banks that fund these movies. BINGO!!!!!!

  31. 2/5/2020 (Follow Up) HA!! … I TOLD YOU!! … Here's a verbatim quote from an anonymous (Official/Credentialed) Oscar voter in the Hollywood Reporter: "Marriage Story was FAKE, which is too bad because there probably is a story there— but it just —> doesn't ring true."

    See my "PS – PS" at the very bottom.

    1/31/2020 (Original Comments) Here's MY original critique from only watching the first 15 minutes of the movie:
    The first ten minutes of this movie was TERRIBLE… I literally STOPPED watching… a total bore-fest of (in my opinion) TOO MUCH front-loaded (often exaggerated — melodramatic) CHARACTERIZATION that went on waayyyyyyy too long. Maybe I’ll go back and watch the rest another time, but I’m in no hurry — that’s for damn sure. (More below)

    PS – Not for nothing, but whose great (meaning stupid) Idea was it to PURPOSELY make Scarlett Johansson so unattractive/tomboy-ish? (if you get my drift.) I believe they did this because the core audience of this type of movie is women, and they didn’t want to intimidate them with having the female lead be another “perfect” looking “movie star” so they decided to have her look as plain and unremarkable as possible. I think they could have achieved this by just toning-down her beauty, without destroying it beyond recognition. My two cents.

    PS—PS — the number one rule in making a movie is have the audience temporarily suspend reality and believe (FEEL) that the characters on screen are REAL. Neither main character in this movie seemed “real” to me … they both came across as “actors” (who OVERACTED) playing real people… but did it badly.

  32. 2 kind of selfish rich and successful artists don't like each other so they get a divorce none of us could ever afford. They are emotional but ultimately unrelateable do to their experience and economic status. The end.

  33. I was expecting it to be the last 5 years and it was and I love it. Both stories show a chillingly real story of a marriage that ends. The guy is a creator of art becoming successful. The girl is an actress that feels like she's become an accessory to a hot shot instead of her own person. She moves to pursue her acting dreams. He eventually cheats on her. A key difference is that the last 5 years is much less equal. People side against Cathy in the last 5 years easily and I think it's because the play was much more shamelessly autobiographical. Of course the guy paints Cathy as paranoid when she's literally a mean view of his ex wife. The fact that she comes off as crazy when she's correct about him cheating on her shows how unfairly she's portrayed. Marriage story takes great pains to show both character in humans who both love their child and each other. They just want different things and lost the ability to connect. She drinks and he cheats are basic stereotypical failings of a marriage but Charlie and Nicole are so much more then that.

  34. The law in our country requires that you and your spouse are unable to communicate to even be considered. The parties can't just agree to disagree and be separated, they have to be 'unable' to be together. So one of the spouse should take the fall, and be the bad guy/girl for the separation to be approved by law.

    It's insane.

  35. I loved this movie. I literally cried at the part where she chooses his food from the menu. I knew there could be no other end to the movie but this part gutted me. Loved the movie.

  36. Gosh this movie is fucking amazing I for sure don't get the criticism that this movie is a remake of Kramer vs Kramer outside of a divorce being a part of the movie I see hardly any other similarities so glad I watched this movie it was incredible!!!

  37. The husband makes himself a victim and then uses his victimhood to destroy the relationship. The fight scene is emotional abuse and its not normal. Its just her defending herself the whole time while he tears her down and tells her he hates her? Yeah… not normal

  38. Personal stories about divorce that toxic, but they are good parents which is a good thing, the guy will never learned next wife same pattern making her another victim. Many man or woman don't care for kids unless is to use them as weapon to hurt the ex in every level possible even if means to traumatized them.

  39. I could see a bit of Stanley Donen's Two for the Road DNA in how this portrays marriage: all the good and bad happening all at once.

  40. Ultimately any choice they made through the years could have led them to the same ending. If he compromised and moved to L.A. for her his buiness would suffer which will lead to resentment and conflict. even if he is content with the move and she succeed, her schedule and travels along with the fame and money will creat the same problem. That's life and it is what it is.

  41. lol literally she forced their family to move across the country and he spent a ridiculous amount of money to try and keep seeing his son. lol when you go and see eleven other divorce lawyers to get conflicts…. girl that’s a vicious move

  42. As a child from divorce it’s always important to try and remember what kindled your marriage and carry that when you’re going through court. My parents went in mutual and on good terms but came out hating each other. It’s amazing how he directed and shot this to make parents both seem victims of Love and the divorce system. Its crazy.

  43. I feel like this movie vilifies Jay but treated Nora differently even though they were both essentially doing the same thing for their perspective clients.

  44. 2 selfish people get married…. that's it. Not much to it…. a divorce in the making. While well acted, I don't see why anyone would enjoy watching someone elses… There's a reason there is pre-marital counseling, to bring up tough questions BEFORE you get married… For a great film experience go watch Parasite, where everyone is guilty on some level, but it's entertaining and masterfully filmed, designed and acted.And yet about a much bigger social problem.

  45. i felt bad for charlie from start to finish during this movie, but i think people whose parents HAVENT been divorced will have different opinions

    i felt bad for charlie because my parents have been split up since i was 7. and my mom bullies my dad and puts him down completely at every turn and i saw the possibility of that in nicole and just reminded me of my mom and ugh

  46. Yet again, a review that thinks this movie was a balanced view of two people both responsible for this marriage breaking down. It is not. The line of the story is, "you wanted this life until you didn't". That is why they are divorcing. She just aint feeling it anymore. So on a whim, she destroys their family. This is not an even handed story.

  47. Whatever ambiguity I felt about the couple vanished when the wife moved to L.A. and took the boy with her. She was inappropriate. In real life, I doubt she'd get away with disrupting the child's welfare on a speculative pilot TV show — to say nothing about denying his father custody with a cross-country move. But then, the action happened so quickly that audiences might miss this salient feature in the plot.

    On a deeper level, however, what seemed to trigger the dissolvement of this marriage was his unwillingness to assist his wife become self-actualized — after she assisted his accomplishments. In that, the story reminded me of "War of the Roses."

  48. They were each right in many aspects and wrong in others. That's marriage. The look Nicole gave to Charlie in the end felt like she still loved him. And the way Charlie reacted to her letter hit me harder than expected. Great movie 👍🏼

  49. actual marriage so incredibly difficult and complex that the telling of such a story that feels authentic and not an effort to falsify what marriage is make their marriage even realer then it had been when they had been married.

  50. I made the mistake of watching two divorce movies back to back, this movie and "A Separation," which won the Best Foreign Picture Oscar in 2012. I watched "Marriage Story" first and was left feeling weird. I knew it was a good movie. But there was just something off about it–like these were not normal people going through a gut-wrenching emotional trauma. There was too much grandstanding and pontificating coming from both the husband and wife, that epic fight scene felt forced, even contrived, and the ludicrous bubble of privilege these people lived in was just too unrealistic, at least for me. Then I watched "A Separation," and that movie blew me away. I was awestruck at how marvelous and realistic the acting was–everyone in that movie was pitch-perfect in their acting, even a little kid (which is incredibly hard to pull off, realistic acting by a little kid). This was a true slice of life, true human beings going through a terrible, awful process. The best acting I have ever seen, and from Iran and in Persian with subtitles, of all things. "Marriage Story" just paled in comparison, and now I consider it an OK movie. To see a true masterpiece about a family falling apart, you must see "A Separation."

  51. I love the Take, and love this movie. I only wish my parents were able to watch this when I was younger…
    thank you for your content.

  52. So everyone feels sorry for Charlie, but at the same time, nobody wants to acknowledge how Nicole was bullshitting. I wanna divorce all of you

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