Where does a love story begin? Is it love at first sight? Or it is the love that starts as friendship? Here it doesn’t matter as this genre re-defining film flips the idea of a love story on its head as it depicts not the falling in love but the falling out of it.
Director and writer Noah Baumbach brings us a microscopic deconstruction of divorce (the result of now 50% of all marriages) in his new film. Every conversation, argument and tear shed is shot beautifully documenting the ugly process that Broadway actress Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) and genius Broadway director Charlie (Adam Driver) put themselves through from the serving of the divorce papers to the closing of the court case.
It’s a tender story dappled with humour and ruled by the two giant performances
It’s a tender story dappled with humour and ruled by the two giant performances from Driver and Johansson which act as the Sun with planets such as dialogue and plot line orbiting them. They seem to not just climb into the skin of their characters but absorb part of them; executing every small mannerism with delightful charm. You can see the tears appear in each character as they are violently heaved from their respect for one another to their desire to claim custody over their son; Henry (Azhy Robertson)- think Kramer vs Kramer (1979).
This film felt as if the humour opened me up, the performances trampled on my heart and the story put me back together and sewed me up again. Each aspect of the film was balanced perfectly by Baumbach to avoid falling into a bitter story about a vicious cat-fight of a divorce, leaving you loving each character just as much as you did at the beginning. It’s an honest and seductive story leaving you captivated from the first line “What I love about Nicole…”