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
Birdman tells a powerful story about a has been, washed up actor who was renown as a super hero called The Birdman. Michael Keaton (The Birdman/Riggan Thomas) played the heck out of this role. Riggan, a father and divorcee is feeling the pain of age and abandonment of a once robust and exciting crowd, known as his world, and so decides to show the world that after 20 years, he’s not washed up but a big time Broadway theater director putting on a play of the short story, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” that was written over 60 years ago. Everything was going south, mostly because he hadn’t cast a good enough actor in the lead role. In comes Ed Norton, who saves the day with his super talented acting abilities. Of course, extraordinary comes with a price. Between Riggen’s screw-up of a daughter (Sam) played by Emma Stone, the critic (Tabitha) played by Lindsay Duncan, who could render his play it’s doomsday exit on the very first day and Ed Norton’s shenanigans, Riggan has his hands full — perhaps more full than he can handle. Birdman is an extremely well acted movie with a touch of crazy that makes for an entertaining day at the cinema. Naomi Watts (Lesley) gave a brilliant performance as the love interest for Ed Norton and the lead actress in the play. I don’t want to reveal anything that would be considered a spoiler so I’ll just say the ending was my only pet peeve. Things were not clear enough for me but I loved that I could use my imagination. It’s possible that Birdman could get an Oscar nod. Since this movie has flown under the radar, it’ll be out on DVD soon. Pick it up and see what I’m talking about — it’s worth your time.
[BIRDMAN is nominated for Best Picture, Best Directing, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress, Sound Editing, Cinematography, Sound Mixing, Original Screenplay (writing)]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged birdman, broadway, critic, director, ed norton, emma stone, has been, lesley, lindsay duncan, michael keaton, naomi watts, play, riggan, sam, tabitha
Last Vegas is a pretty good movie. Michael Douglas (Billy), Morgan Freeman (Archie), Robert Di Nero (Paddy) and Kevin Kline (Sam) are best friends from childhood. Now senior citizens, they get together to attend a wedding in Las Vegas. Michael Douglas is getting married to someone half his age and is not in good favor with one of the members of this elite party of long time friends. It seems they butted heads years ago because Paddy’s wife died and Billy didn’t attend the funeral, among other things. To complicate matters more, they meet a singer in Las Vegas, Diana (Mary Steenburgen) and both Paddy and Billy fall for her. Eventually they suck up their differences and the journey continues. Last Vegas is a lesson in friendship, trust and doing the right thing. An enjoyable movie with a wholesome message. Now that it’s out on DVD, I think it’s certainly worth checking into. There are some very funny moments and its interesting to see how the team works out all their problems.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged archie, billy, funeral, kevin kline, las vegas, married, mary steenburger, michael douglas, morgan freeman, paddy, robert dinero, sam, singer, wedding, wife
Baggage Claim is an average girly flick about the oldest daughter, out of 3 sisters, who is still not married or engaged. Paula Patton plays Montana, the daughter of an annoying mother, played by Jenifer Lewis. Hunks like Taye Diggs, Djimon Hounsou, Boris Kodjoe and Tyler Lepley ended up in hot pursuit of Montana but none were worthy. Montana wanted to please her mother by getting married and providing her with grandchildren but just wasn’t feeling any of her suitors. Montana’s best friend, played by Derek Luke, lives in the same apartment building with his fiancé and is always lending her a shoulder to cry on. Montana is a flight attendant whose co workers/friends are Jill Scott who plays Gail and Adam Brody who plays Sam. Together, they pull out all the stops to help Montana find someone, within 30 days, to take to her sister’s rehearsal dinner. At this point, she would do anything to get her family off her back about getting married. The pressure is on since her sister’s marriage will leave Montana as the only woman in the family not to have taken the plunge. Baggage Claim is a cute film that holds a cute message. Worth seeing on DVD.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged 30 days, adam brody, baggage claim, boris kodjoe, derek luke, Djimon Hounsou, flight attentant, gail, girly flick, hunks, jenifer lewis, jill scott, married, montana, paula patton, rehearsal dinner, sam, suitors, taye diggs, tyler lepley