Marriage Story: Baumbach’s Netflix Movie, Centerpiece of New York Film Fest

Noah Baumbach’s personal film, Marriage Story, will be the centerpiece selection at the 57th New York Film Fest.

The film’s world-premiere, however, is at the Venice Film Fest, on August 29, and it also plays at Toronto Fest in early September.

Like his colleague, Wes Anderson (with whom he has collaborated as a scripter and/or a producer), Baumabach is a director whose career has depended on film festival showings.

The news comes just a day after the N.Y. festival announced that Scorsese’s The Irishman, will be its opening night film. Both pictures are released by Netflix, giving the streaming service two of the most prominent slots.

Marriage Story, a look at a couple going through a divorce, stars Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson. Despite their determination to keep their break-up amicable, Charlie (Driver) and Nicole (Johansson) quickly find themselves in an often pitched legal and custody battle.

The cast also includes Alan Alda, Ray Liotta, Laura Dern, Merritt Wever, Julie Hagerty, and Azhy Robertson.

The movie appears to be a companion piece to The Squid and the Whale (my favorite Baumbach movie to date), his critically acclaimed 2005 drama about a family divided by the dissolution of a marriage. While that film looked at the breakup from the perspective of the two children (both boys), this one examines it more from the point-of-view of the adult parents.

Baumbach got divorced from actress Jennifer Jason Leigh, but he said in a recent interview with IndieWire that “Marriage Story” isn’t pseudo-autobiographical even if it is informed by his experiences.

He has described Marriage Story (and I assume any marriage) “as a hidden thriller, a procedural, a romantic comedy, a tragic love story. I felt like this was a subject that could handle all those things.”

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