The Marriage Story director on this heartbreaking sequence: “Watching Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver was like…” | Scene stealer

Today, we revisit a particularly heartbreaking scene from Oscar-nominated filmmaker Noah Baumbach’s Netflix film, Marriage Story. The film was released in 2019 and starred Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver in the lead roles.

Scarlett JohanssonScarlett Johansson in an image from Marriage Story.

We usually see happy endings on screen, and maybe even unhappy marriages that resolve over time. And that’s okay, because for many people, cinema is an escape. They go to the theater or crave a movie-watching experience so they can forget their own troubles for two hours. However, there are those for whom cinema is also about finding a part of yourself in a way, that moment of truth that is unique to you, however ugly or disreputable it may be. So while some people find happiness in the “forever and ever” endings of features, a few also find closure in lines like “I can’t believe I’ve known you forever.”

If you’ve seen the heartbreaking Noah Baumbach Marriage story, you would be able to recognize this line. This happens during a big fight scene that takes place between the main characters of Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson – Charlie and Nicole.

The four-minute exchange begins like any other argument between a couple, begins to take on a more toxic form as the blame game continues. To show themselves in a better light, Nicole and Charlie say the meanest things they might or might not mean. The subject of adultery, insults towards parents and families of the other, their choices and their careers; everything takes the form of a question mark. What did all this mean? Was love worth the sacrifices they had both made?

People, who probably have more decent days than bad days in a relationship, might think the whole sequence is a bit of a stretch, but others, who have had rough days in previous relationships or current marriages, would argue differently. . But who is ultimately the villain? Here, when we see Nicole and Charlie defending themselves, which side do you take sides? Both had their reasons for behaving the way they are behaving. And this is the crux of all disputes in all cases, whether between friends, so-called enemies, partners or even relatives. You fight because you think you are right.

The director does a great job of imbuing the scene with tension and intimacy. We see two people who were lovers once, but the love left that relationship a long time ago. Their complex and unfulfilling story of half-fulfilled dreams and desires is brought to light by the other. Adam and Scarlett are both great, sharing and holding on to each other as actors in what must presumably be a tense shoot. The moment Adam’s character wishes Nicole dead and immediately starts sobbing for the hate he felt at the time is heartbreaking. But all that brutality finds beautiful meaning at the end when Nicole consoles a regretful Charlie as he holds her leg like a child and cries like his heart is truly breaking.

Explaining the scene, director Noah Baumbach told Variety, “Up to that point, they sort of lost their voices and their lawyers took over. And it’s a moment where they kind of try to speak for themselves. Adam and Scarlett have such beautiful and expressive faces that I felt like you had to be in that space with them. Watching them was like watching two top athletes do what they do best.

The sequence also foreshadows the end of the film in a way, at least in terms of how the two characters close the chapter. The couple finally find common ground, in their love for their son Henry and the care they felt for each other as former partners and dear friends. Charlie and Nicole separated as a romantic couple, but they will always wish each other well in life. After all, they were once in love.

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Noah Baumbach said so in his chat with Variety. “When I was doing research for the movie and talking to couples, it was a common theme with people saying it brought a sense of failure. I think it’s good to shed some light on that, because it’s not a failure. Endings don’t have to be failures. We can celebrate it for what it was, even if it’s over.

Marriage Story is streaming on Netflix.

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