★★★★★ Watched 12 Dec, 2019
The director Baumbach pulled me in right away with very intimate close-ups in the first 7 minutes during which the main two characters played by Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver describe one another in a flattering way. It is essentially a love story told in reverse as we get to know the couple during the divorce procedure.
The whole movie has been approached like a theater play with only a bunch of outdoor scenes and face close-ups chosen very carefully and thoughtfully. I was pleasantly surprised by both actors, especially Johansson’s ability to emote a whole range of situations in a relaxed and natural, yet completely realistic fashion.
There are several scenes I could directly relate to since I’m a father of two young boys. It never ceases to amaze me how similar we all are no matter where in the world we are presently raising kids. Co-sleeping, bathroom routine, use of tablet/phone, talking about not liking particular friend any longer…
I found it interesting how some viewers got the impression that the movie portraits one of the two main characters in a more favorable light, because I saw them as well balanced, each with their own flaws and strengths. I guess that must be heavily influenced by your own life experiences and situation coupled with a level of personal growth. I went through a divorce, which was emotionally extremely taxing, but we managed to split in a civilized way. I contribute that to the fact that kids were not involved, which complicates any situation and heightens the emotions and stakes as it is evident in this movie.
I would warmly recommend it for any couple at any stage of their relationship as it will most certainly bring many important self-reflecting questions, which should lead to deeper conversations between the couple.