Marriage Story is a drama written, directed and produced by Noah Baumbach. The film follows a married couple going through a coast-to-coast divorce. Marriage Story is probably an unlikely scenario for divorce but not impossible. I was annoyed by their situation because I was hoping for better but didn’t get it.
Charlie Barber (Adam Driver) is a successful theater director in New York City. His theater company is currently producing a play that stars his wife Nicole (Scarlett Johansson), a former teen film actress. The film delves into happier days when the couple only had good analogies to define each other. They have a son Henry Barber (Azhy Robertson) that they both adore. Suddenly things begin to go sour initiated by Nicole. The couple begins to experience marital troubles, which sends them to see a mediator, who suggests that they each write down what they like about one another. Charlie writes his feelings but Nicole refuses to read hers aloud so they decide to forgo the counseling.
Meanwhile, Nicole is offered a starring role in a television pilot in Los Angeles, and she decides to leave the theater company and temporarily live with her mother Sandra (Julie Hagerty) in West Hollywood, taking the couple’s young son, Henry with her. Charlie decides to stay in New York, as the play is in the process of moving to Broadway. Despite the couple agreeing to split amicably and forgo lawyers, Nicole hires the family lawyer Nora (Laura Dern). Nicole tells Nora the full story of her relationship with Charlie and how she gradually felt neglected by him and how he rejects her ideas and desires.
Because I’m a happy ending kind of gal, I’m always looking for one. I truly dislike endings that leave me in tears or unknowing what happened or “make it up yourself”, resulting in open-ended closures. Marriage Story gave me semi-quasi closure but not the one I was hoping for. Driver and Johanssen are two of the best actors around and played Nicole and Charlie excellently. In some parts, the movie was a tad bit boring but was interesting for the most part. I didn’t really care for their son’s attitude but I think it’s a cultural thing. I’m not sure what message Marriage Story sends but it was well-acted. An awful lot of people really liked it and that’s what counts. Since Marriage Story is airing on Netflix, it’s easy to see it at your leisure, just remember the Oscars are presented on February 9th this year, so you don’t have that much time if you follow the award shows. Check It Out!
[MARRIAGE STORY is Oscar-nominated for BEST: Picture, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actress, Original Score and Original Screenplay — TOTALLING 6 OSCAR NOMINATIONS]
Posted in STREAMING
Tagged adam driver, alan alda, Azhy Robertson, Becca Blackwell, Bert Spitz, Beth, Brooke Bloom, Carter, cassie, Charlie Barber, frank, Henry Barber, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Jay Marotta, Judge Neil Tilden, Julie Hagerty, Kyle Bornheimer, laura dern, Lucas Neff, mark o'brien, MARRIAGE STORY, Martha Kelly, Mary Ann, Mary Wiseman, Matthew Maher, Matthew Shear, Mediator, merritt wever, Mickey Sumner, Nancy Katz, Nicole, Nicole Barber, Nora Fanshaw, Pablo, ray liotta, Rich Fulcher, Robert Smigel, sam, Sandra, scarlett johansson, ted, terry, Tunde Adebimpe, Wallace Shawn
Welcome to Marwen is a drama directed by Robert Zemeckis, who co-wrote the script with Caroline Thompson. It is inspired by Jeff Malmberg’s 2010 documentary, Marwencol. This movie follows the true story of Mark Hogancamp, a man struggling with PTSD who, after having his memory erased from being physically assaulted by Nazis, creates a fictional village to ease his trauma. The film was a box office bomb, with projected losses running as much as $60 million. Still, I was excited about seeing this movie — while it didn’t thoroughly satisfy my overall enthusiasm, I loved the brilliant special effects and thought the acting was superb.
Welcome to Marwen begins with a World War II warplane, piloted by a doll-like figure, hit by enemy fire and forced to crash land into a ditch. The pilot’s shoes have burned up because of the forced landing. While canvasing the area, the pilot finds a pair of women’s high heel shoes, which he decides to wear. The pilot is confronted by doll-like German soldiers, who taunt him after discovering he is wearing women’s shoes. The Germans threaten to emasculate him, but are killed by a group of doll-like women who come to the pilot’s rescue.
Shown in flashback, it is revealed that the doll-like figures are actually modified Barbie dolls photographed by Mark Hogancamp/Cap’n Hogie (Steve Carell), who has created a model village named Marwen (later renamed Marwencol) to help him deal with his diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder and memory loss from an attack some time earlier by five men after he unwisely told them about his fetish for wearing women’s shoes. Mark fantasizes that the dolls are alive and act out in scenes, which he photographs. The dolls correspond to people that he knows in real life: himself as the pilot; female friends as his protectors; and his attackers as Nazi soldiers. A green-haired doll named Deja Thoris (Diane Kruger) is a witch who prevents Cap’n Hogie from becoming too close to any woman, sending the women far into the future. Deja Thoris herself represents the pills which Mark takes to relieve his pain, to which he has become addicted.
**** SPOILERS BELOW ****
Mark has a court date to make a victim impact statement at the sentencing of the men who attacked him. After being initially reluctant to appear in court to confront his attackers, Mark is finally convinced to make an appearance at the hearing by his lawyer Demaryius Johnson (Conrad Coates) and Roberta (Merritt Wever), who is a sales clerk at the hobby store where he buys dolls for his village, but flees the court when he imagines the defendants becoming Nazi soldiers and shooting at him. Judge Martha J. Harter (Veena Sood) reschedules the sentencing hearing for the same day that Mark’s photographs will be shown to the public at an art gallery.
Mark falls in love with a woman named Nicol (Leslie Mann) who moves into the house across the road. He then buys a doll named Nicol to represent her. The doll Nicol, is in love with Cap’n Hogie and they get married. In real life, Mark proposes marriage to Nicol, who tells him that she just wants to be his friend. Mark takes Nicol’s rejection very hard and contemplates suicide. Mark imagines Nicol being shot by a Nazi, who in turn is killed by Cap’n Hogie and brought back to life.
Welcome to Marwen is a very interesting movie. After a tragedy, art reared it’s head in the creation of a Nazi village, represented by Barbie dolls. The fact that Welcome to Marwen is based on a true story makes it one of the most imaginative films I’ve seen. The special effects were absolutely brilliant and Steve Carell’s performance was convincing and showed a side of him you would otherwise rarely see. Welcome to Marwen is a fascinating movie that wheels you into a world of fantasy yet truth for Mark Hogancamp. While I don’t think this movie is for everyone, I highly recommend it for its art form and enlightenment. Check “Welcome to Marwen” out!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS, STREAMING
Tagged alexander lowe, anna, cap'n hogie, caralala, carl nikolai witschl, conrad coates, deja thoris, demaryius johnson, diane kruger, Eiza González, elsa, eric keenleyside, falk hentschel, friar, gwendoline christie, hauptsturmfüher ludwig topf, janelle monae, judge martha j harter, julie, kurt, larry, leslie mann, leslie zemeckis, louis matt o'leary, lt benz, mark hogancamp, marwencol, merritt wever, neil jackson, nicol, roberta, rudolph, rudy patrick roccas, siobhan williams, stefan, stefanie von pfetten, steve carell, stevie, suzette, the belgian witch, veena sood, vern, welcome to marwen, wendy, werner