Noah Baumbach’s ‘Marriage Story’, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival, has made it abundantly clear that the fall movie season has its first proper Oscar contender. The divorce drama, which comes from Netflix, generated immediate awards buzz with critics praising Baumbach who has written and helmed the movie, as well as the two stars, Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver. The film has been called an astonishing showcase of a couple going through a divorce after ten years of marriage. Naturally, Driver and Johansson, who are earning career-best reviews, have delivered nothing short of spectacular performances.
Variety writes, “At once funny, scalding, and stirring, built around two bravura performances of incredible sharpness and humanity, ‘Marriage Story’ is the work of a major film artist.” The Hollywood Reporter raves, “It’s also funny and, when you least expect it (and most need it), almost unbearably tender, thanks in large part to the sensational leads, who deliver the deepest, most alive and attuned performances of their careers. ‘Marriage Story’ puts you through the wringer, but leaves you exhilarated at having witnessed a filmmaker and his actors surpass themselves.” Vanity Fair agrees with the assessment, asserting that both Johansson and Driver have major awards potential.
Meanwhile, The Guardian has singled out Johansson’s performance, saying, that she displays brilliantly textured work. The Wrap notes that both Driver and Johansson are splendid actors and their performance in ‘Marriage Story’ is outstanding, “It’s difficult to call either Johansson or Driver a ‘revelation’ here on the heels of so much strong work in recent years, but both manage to outdo themselves. It’s devastating, essential, and destined to be remembered long after this awards cycle ends.”
Screen Daily writes, “Both leads impress. Johannson expands on the range she has previously shown to portray a woman who may be likable but isn’t always sympathetic. Driver gives a bold performance with just the right observations of the unconscious control his character has exerted over his partner. His choices add great depth to the role as written: he would seem a natural for awards attention here.”
The overall consensus is that Driver and Johansson have delivered outstanding performances, which might go on to become highlights of their career. Notably, the universal acclaim that the leads of Baumbach’s ‘Marriage Story’ are getting, makes it imperative that we watch each one closely in the Oscar races for the Best Actor and Best Actress awards. Netflix, for its part, is clearly championing the movie as one of the top awards contenders as the platform is bringing the drama to major film festivals including Venice, Telluride, TIFF, and NYFF, much like ‘Roma‘ last year.
‘Marriage Story’ will make its limited theatrical debut on November 6, 2019, before it becomes available for streaming on December 6, 2019.