Editorial Note: The following is an excerpt from an essay entitled A Story of Divorce as Self-Realization originally published by Church Life Journal on January 13, 2020. This review contains spoilers.
I cannot stop thinking about Noah Baumbach’s film, Marriage Story, starring Adam Driver as Charlie, and Scarlett Johansson as his soon to be ex-wife Nichole. Real marriages, marriages of equals that have lasted more than a handful of years, not sitcom marriages played for laughs, are rarely given this much attention on the silver screen. It is perhaps difficult to capture the little moments that make up a shared life, but Baumbach captures them beautifully. Here is Nichole cutting Charlie’s hair. Here is Charlie cooking her dinner, or opening up the blankets so their son, Henry, can be comforted after a bad dream.
In a country where a million people file for divorce every year there are surprisingly few films about it in which neither partner gets turned into a cartoon villain or quickly written out of the script. In Marriage Story there are no villains, just two very imperfect humans struggling to find their “aliveness” and a sense of worth. . . .