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
Yesterday is a British romantic comedy directed by Danny Boyle and written by Richard Curtis, based on an original screenplay by Jack Barth and Mackenzie Crook. A struggling musician who, after an accident, finds himself as the only person in the world who remembers the Beatles. That leaves him with the unprecedented opportunity to become famous by taking credit for writing and performing Beetle songs. The film falls a little short on imagination but since it’s the Beetle’s songs, it “rocks”.
Yesterday opens with Jack Malik (Himesh Patel), a struggling singer-songwriter from Lowestoft. His manager and childhood friend Ellie Appleton (Lily James), begs a bewildered Jack, not to give up on his dreams. During a global blackout, Jack gets hit by a bus, when he awakens, aside from two missing front teeth, he discovers that no one else on Earth had ever heard of the Beatles. Once he confirms his suspicion, he begins performing Beetle songs, claiming he wrote them. Soon he is heard by a local music producer, Gavin (Alexander Arnold) and records a demo for him, which leads to a performance on local television, which leads to Jack being invited by pop star Ed Sheeran (Ed Sheeran) to play as his opening act in Moscow. Ellie declines to join him, saying she has to work her day job as a schoolteacher, so Jack’s roadie friend, Rocky (Joel Fry) travels with him instead. After the gig, Jack is signed by Sheeran’s agent, Debra Hammer (Kate McKinnon), and rises to global fame. Hoping to trigger more memories of Beatles songs, Jack goes to their hometown of Liverpool, visiting landmarks such as Strawberry Field, Penny Lane, and the grave of Eleanor Rigby.
This being a good place to stop, I can only say that I enjoyed Yesterday, especially the music. I felt too much of the story went unanswered, leaving me to fill in the blanks myself. I also didn’t love Himesh’s singing voice and style. He seemed a bit “pitchy”, to coin a phrase. Yesterday gave us lots of school for thought but didn’t really satisfy our need for explanations. This is a totally British production and therefore, culturally different but still entertaining. Perhaps I’m suffering from culture shock but Yesterday could have been better. The acting was brilliant — too bad the story wasn’t. I recommend you wait for the DVD/Blu-ray. FYI: Getting the rights to include the Beatles’ music cost the filmmakers $10 million. Although none of the Beatles were involved in the production, Boyle received blessings of the project from them and their families. The film received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for the premise, performances, light tone, and musical sequences, but criticism at the familiarity and simplicity. Check It Out, after all, this is only my opinion!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged Alexander Arnold, camile Chen, carol, Debra hammer, Ed Sheeran, Elise Chappell, ellie Appleton, Gavin, Harry Mitchell, himesh patel, jack Malik, Jaimie killer, james corden, Jed Malik, Joel fry, John lennon, Justin edwards, Karl Theobald, karma sood, kate mckinnon, lamorne morris, Leo, lily james, liz, lucy, Meera syal, Michael kiwanuka, nick, robert carlyle, Rocky, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Sarah Lancashire, Shelia Malik, Sophia di Martino, terry, wendy, yesterday, young ellie Appleton
Joy is based on someones real life but this is not their true story. Joy is a semi-biographical story of a divorced mother with two children in the early 1990s who became a multi-millionaire by inventing the Miracle Mop among other inventions. Joy’s full name is Joy Mangano (Jennifer Lawrence) and in this film she is living the “mother” of set ups; Joy and her mother, Terry (Virginia Madsen) live on the main floor, Joy’s ex-husband, Tony Miranne (Édgar Ramírez) live in the basement, the children and her grandmother, Mimi (Diane Ladd) live up stairs. To top things off, her father’s 3rd wife Cindy (Drena De Niro) has just returned him to Joy, for good, so now he’s living with Joy’s ex-husband in the basement. I should add that Joy’s husband and father, Rudy Mangano (Robert De Niro) hate each other. Joy also has a half sister Peggy, (Elisabeth Röhm) who is very close to her father but are miles apart from her sister Joy. Peggy uses every chance she gets to exploit Joy, needless to say, they do not get along. Despite Joy’s crazy life, she manages to stay focused on her dream of becoming an entrepreneur. While sailing on her father’s newest girlfriend Trudy’s (Isabella Rossellini) yacht, Joy gets an idea when she cuts her hand cleaning up a spill from a broken glass of wine. This incident leads to Trudy becoming Joy’s financier, which eventually leads to Joy meeting Neil Walker, (Bradley Cooper) an executive at QVC. Dascha Polanco plays Jackie, Joy’s best friend who was instrumental in motivating Joy throughout the entire process. There are many, many players in this movie and even thought it seems as though I’ve given the whole story away, I’m far from it. We all know of the Miracle Mop because most of us purchased one, at least I did. Many more characters show up and many more twist and turns happen.
I think you’ll enjoy Joy. It’s entertaining, well acted and funny. I was delighted to see Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence back together again. They did a terrific job acting out this film. This is a sign of true acting when the same actors and actresses can get together and play entirely different roles and still be convincing.
[Joy is nominated for Best Actress]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged brady cooper, dascha polanco, diane ladd, drena de niro, edgar ramirez, elisabeth rohm, jackie, jennifer lawrence, joy, mimi, neil walker, peggy, robert de niro, rudy mangano, terry, tony miranne, virginia madsen