We here at Cosmopolitan are absolutely obsessed with movies, but we get that you’re a busy person and it’s hard to see all the films that are going to be “important” in any given year. In this series, Low-Key Highbrow, we’re giving you the basic gist on every one of those pictures you probably should have seen but never got around to. When your friend inevitably throws that Oscars watch party, we’re here to help you scam your way into sounding like the smartest person in the room.
Marriage Story is the type of movie that will absolutely wreck you. Written and directed by Noah Baumbach, the film stars Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson as a couple going through a divorce, trying to figure out custody of their son and whether they should live in L.A. or New York City. The title is obviously misleading, because it’s more about divorce than it is about marriage, but it focuses on how their relationship unravels over time, digging themselves further into hatred for one another. That’s the basic gist, but here’s the trailer.
The movie hit Netflix in December after premiering at the Venice Film Festival this past summer. The buzz was great coming out of that festival, because critics loved it. People were already talking about Adam and Scarlett for acting noms. But like The Irishman, it’s hard to figure out how the movie actually performed because there aren’t any box office numbers to reference. However, the movie did earn a 95 percent critics score on Rotten Tomatoes and an 84 percent audience score. So basically, people liked it.
I was actually able to see the movie in a theater, because it was in limited release in New York City, which was really cool. I watched it again as soon as it hit Netflix. It might hit even harder for people who have been through a divorce themselves or had one in their family, which I have not, but it still fully ripped my heart out and made me think about the fragility of marriage and how people’s lives can change so much in such a short period of time. It made me never wanna get married. True story!
Now, the film is up for Best Picture. Here’s what people will be saying if it wins.
Why people would be pumped if it won:
- A lot of people actually saw this movie. Because it was a Netflix release and Netflix is so good at meme-ing its own films, the amount of people who saw funny stuff about this on Twitter and then decided to watch is probably really high. Giving this trophy to a movie that was really accessible would be a good thing for everyone.
- It would be kinda nice for a movie about something as common as divorce to win Best Picture. The relatability level here is really high, whereas most people living today probably weren’t a part of the mob responsible for killing Jimmy Hoffa (sorry, Irishman).
Why people would be pissed if it won:
- Somewhere in the meme-ification of this movie, people started to get upset with the big fight scene, where Adam’s character says he wishes Scarlett’s were dead, then punches a wall, then curls up at her feet. You know the one I’m talking about. I can see how that scene would look absolutely insane in the context of a Twitter timeline, but it makes much more sense in the movie and I didn’t really have a problem with it either time I watched.
- The people in this movie are very privileged, and the counterpoint to the relatability thing above is that while this movie is about divorce, which is an unfortunately common experience, it’s really about white people getting divorced. I mean, she is an actress and he is a director. That’s a very specific story.
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