Panorama | Special Presentations
Now more devoted to their respective creative callings than they are to their marriage, Charlie (Adam Driver) and Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) have arrived at a crossroads. As an experimental theatre playwright, he finds himself poised for success in New York City, their current home. However, a move to Los Angeles - and accompanying acceptance of a coveted television role - might just vault her acting career to the next level. Consequently, divorce proceedings are in process with every intention of this being an amicable split. But their impetuous temperaments - as well as the unresolved matter of custody of their son (Azhy Robertson) - simply won’t allow them to keep from firing salvos of hurtful parting shots.
Throughout his career, writer-director Noah Baumbach has offered remarkable insights into how relationships of every stripe evolve - or distort - over time. And while the subject matter here may seem immediately reminiscent of his breakout breakup film, The Squid and the Whale, Marriage Story evinces his tonal mastery - scenes pivot from comic to caustic with exquisite precision - and the considerable compassion he harbours for the wonderfully flawed figures who populate his films. Balancing Bergman-indebted drama with warm comedy, he entices us into falling in love with Charlie and Nicole and, in turn, mourning what they have lost.