At least so Far, the New York Film Festival belongs to Netflix. A day after announcing that the Martin Scorsese-directed The Irishman will open the 57th NYFF in a World Premiere, Film at Lincoln Center today announced that its prestigious Centerpiece film will be another Netflix entry, the Noah Baumbach-directed Marriage Story.
That film, which stars Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, will make its New York premiere at Alice Tully Hall on October 4. Marriage Story is on the earlier slates of both Venice and Toronto, and, likely Telluride.
Fest describes Baumbach’s film as the rapid tangling and gradual untangling of impetuosity, resentment, and abiding love between a married couple negotiating their divorce and the custody of their son. Driver plays Charlie, a 100-percent New York experimental theater director; Johansson is Nicole, his principal actress and soon-to-be L.A.-based ex-wife. Their “amicable” breakup devolves, one painful rash response and hostile counter-response at a time, into a legal battlefield, led on Nicole’s side by Laura Dern and on Charlie’s side by “nice” Alan Alda and “not-so-nice” Ray Liotta. Merritt Wever, Julie Hagerty and Azhy Robertson also star, the latter playing the son in the middle of the tug of war.
“What amazed me about Marriage Story is the way that Noah keeps the many conflicting emotions between his characters flowing into and around and under and over each other, so beautifully that the film achieves the condition of music,” said New York Film Festival Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones. “In fact, it actually flowers into song in two of the film’s loveliest and most surprising moments. Marriage Story is a heartbreaker, it’s very funny, and it has an emotional complexity that’s worthy of Bergman.”
Said Baumbach: “I grew up coming to the New York Film Festival with my parents. And it’s where my first film Kicking and Screaming premiered 24 years ago. I couldn’t be more thrilled and proud that Marriage Story has been selected as Centerpiece of the NYFF. The 14-year-old me’s mind is blown; the 49-year-old me’s mind is also blown.”