The group chat is on fire with another Verse review. Got something you want the Verse team to review something? Send your movie recommendations, favourite books or Kmart receipts here.
Anna — I don’t know about everyone else but I felt really uneasy watching Marriage Story (Noah Baumbach, 2019). The intentional change of pace from this loving family, to this untamed chaos to then the unspoken, friendly hostility left me on edge. And then, of course, it all blew up in that colossal argument scene but that just made me feel worse. Both Charlie (Adam Driver) and Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) were under so much duress that I was white-knuckling the entire scene. I appreciated the nuance, though. At no point could I decide ‘she’s in the right’ and ‘he’s in the wrong.’ Marriage Story said a lot on the emotional cost of divorce; however, because it was so brutally honest and confronting, I still can’t decide if I enjoyed it. I think that’s because I’m the type of person who wants to finish watching a film with positive emotions. Also, I couldn’t get Adam Driver as Kylo Ren out of my head. He is Ben Solo and he cannot escape that.
Emma — Oh man, I’m the same with Adam Driver except to me he will always be Adam Sackler from Girls. Okay look—I didn’t want to enjoy this film. It’s about an upper middle-class white family who work in the arts (and make a living), experiencing something fairly ubiquitous and feeling sad about it. I’m not crazy about ScarJo either after the Rub and Tug casting controversy in 2018…but, I digress. Okay something not ranty: I think that aside from zero casting diversity, this was a well-executed film. Anna, I agree with you— you feel emotionally tugged all over the place, unable to determine who is right and who is wrong. I feel like films usually rely on setting up that duality or conflict, which doesn’t actually reflect the nuances of real-life situations. Marriage Story did a great job of reflecting these nuances. Also, they (albeit reluctantly) had me at Merritt Wever.
Jordan — Guys, let’s make this clear: Adam Driver is Charlie. His brilliant portrayal is all over the place just like this emotional roller coaster of a film. Scarlett Johansson is amazing as ever, too. I loved every bit of this film – the tender scenes, the uncomfortable court-room ones, and the explosive argument between Charlie and Nicole. Their eventual breakdown is raw and nuanced. It shows just how messy the end of relationships can be—a refreshing step away from the romanticism of other dramas. The soundtrack, and beautiful composition of each camera shot were wonderful. And of course we’re always here for Merritt Wever! I loved the bittersweet ending scene, above all. The whole family dress as (Sgt Pepper’s) Beatles and show us that this painful end to a volatile relationship is “Getting Better” after all.
Leah — Uncomfortable and uneasy were the main emotions I felt when watching this film, from the beginning to the very end. I’m not married (or divorced) so can’t reflect on that experience personally, but by the end of the film, I felt as if I’d been through the entire messy, confusing relationship breakdown with them! I appreciated the depth and intimacy in which the story was told, making it feel like a pretty true representation (for some people). Still, the starkness between the way the characters were communicating with each other in one scene while planning out their legal ‘fight’ in the next was pretty abrupt. Jordan, I agree that it was well shot and had a good soundtrack but overall, I still can’t decide if I enjoyed it or not either.
Image via Angelus News
Words – Verse Team