Marriage Story (2019)

Yes, we’ve all been there, a separation can be difficult, and this has been shown in movies multiple times. A divorce however, with all its legal intricacies, is a different beast, especially when kids are involved. This movies does a great job of showing a flawed couple going through this and how they both try to do what they think is best for their kid and future. What is particularly impressive is how the movie does not show any bias between which parent is the most at fault. They are both equally responsible for their failing relationship, and it’s hard to watch how they unwillingly fall into legal and bitter arguments over the course of the movie.

This movie is getting a LOT of buzz for all the major categories, including Best Actor for Driver and Best Actress for Johansson. It has now been released on Netflix and I think this is both a blessing and a curse: it will help it gather a large audience, but might get hurt by the Netflix-bashing coming from some members of the Academy (led by Spielberg, a movement that probably hurt Roma last year). If it overcomes this backlash, this movie could definitely go all the way as it has this smaller, indie feel that a lot of recent Best Picture winners have (e.g. Green Book, Moonlight, Spotlight). It is also a great contender at Best Original Screenplay, and probably the front runner right now, but it is against Tarantino, a multi-winner in that category, so the race will be close. Speaking of close race, Driver is also getting a lot of buzz, but he is against veteran actor Joaquin Phoenix (Joker) that is quite overdue for an Oscar. Driver does have the significant advantage that Phoenix has been vocal at hating awards and he will not campaign. This however has not stopped others such as Woody Allen from winning Oscars.

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