Kylo Ren and Black Widow Can’t Team Up in Marriage Story

Academy Award nominated filmmaker Noah Baumbach, presented at the 76th Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica a compassionate and piercing story about the collapse of a marriage.

Marriage Story stars Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, playing respectively Nicole and Charlie, a Californian screen actress who turned to Off-Broadway plays, to perform in the productions directed by her talented New Yorker husband. The exceptionally witty script (written by Noah Baumbach) demonstrates wholeheartedly the emotional intricacy of a separation. The partners initially opt for a non-aggressive uncoupling, but their mutual lawyers — played terrifically by Laura Dern and Ray Liotta — decide to go for a brutal negotiation, that unveils the way the legal system of divorce resembles a battlefield.

Baumbach’s incisive film shows the way the end of a marriage has many contradictions involved, especially when there is a child who needs stability, despite the entire routine is being disrupted. The neurotic malaise of this condition is fully shown with the juxtaposing situations that can occur within the same day of a separating couple: a civil mediation in a courtroom can occur, then the two spouses can start slinging insults when they are alone, and ultimately go home and put on a happy face for the kid’s Halloween Trick or Treat.

Moreover, when lawyers get involved, the couple’s conversations and enjoyable quirks become leverage tools. Stories morph and the truth gets distorted. It’s a race to see who gets to define the marriage. The bureaucratic procedure for divorce obfuscates both parties’ perspectives, as it breaks down people, family, time and property.

However, unlike the classic film about divorce Kramer vs. Kramer, Marriage Story shows with great authenticity the love story that was present before the separation and that still lingers between Nicole and Charlie, despite they are bound to go their separate ways. This can be perceived not only through the incredibly piquant dialogue, but also by Nicole’s and Charlie’s physical interaction, that fully reveals the tactile habits developed by a couple. Marriage continues in divorce, as does affection that undergoes a metamorphosis — the relationship drifts to an uncertain evolution, but the certitude remains that despite the divorce, there is still a family.