Comedy Drama

Together, Apart: A TIFF Review of ‘Marriage Story’

September 17, 2019Rattan Mutti

Afilmmaker with a track record for telling authentic character stories, Noah Baumbach continues that trend with Marriage Story, a tale that follows Nicole (Scarlett Johansson), a stage actor, and Charlie (Adam Driver), her director husband, as it chronicles their time together — and, ultimately, apart.

Baumbach's eye for naturalism continues to amaze. Not one second of this film doesn't feel like it couldn't happen to the family down the street. There's really nothing flashy or extraordinary about the execution here; it's all plain and simple. But where the movie does lack is in its pacing, feeling noticeably longer than it actually is. There is letting scenes breathe and then there is letting the scene go on for too long, which happens on multiple occasions throughout the film.

That said, Marriage Story's anchors are without a doubt Driver and Johansson, whose performances are authentic to a tee. Coupled with Baumbach's true-to-life writing and direction, the result details the demise of a personal partnership in flawless fashion.

Marriage Story makes its Canadian premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. Its runtime is 2 hrs. 16 min.

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