The paradox READ MORE

Justin Chang

Marriage Story, a critical standout at this year’s Venice International Film Festival, begins with some of the loveliest, most emotionally resonant filmmaking of writer-director Noah Baumbach’s career.
The title doesn’t lie: We listen as Charlie (Adam Driver), a theatre director, sings the praises of his actress wife, Nicole (Scarlett Johansson), and gently ribs her for some of her more endearing flaws; she does the same for him. These voice-over testimonials play out over two fleeting, gorgeous montages of their everyday life and work together in New York, a city whose bustling streets and tight interiors will soon recede as the movie looks west toward Los Angeles and the marriage abruptly heads south.
If you saw Marriage Story here on the Lido, the island where the Venice Film Festival is held, you might have felt a charge of emotion run through the audience,

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