Noah Baumbach’s Netflix film Marriage Story is easily a strong contender among Oscar-season hopefuls. Since its August 29 premiere at the Venice Film Festival, the drama film has made steady Oscar buzz. There’s a chance the film might bag the Best Picture award from the Academy and a Best Actress recognition for Scarlett Johansson has been widely speculated.
Marriage Story explores the issues within marriage, divorce and how the legalities further complicate an already daunting separation. It asks the question, what drives a married couple from counseling to finally making the heavy decision to call it quits.
Marriage and divorce is not an unfamiliar topic to Baumbach prior to creating this tear-jerker. The director went through a divorce himself back in 2010 when his ex-wife, Oscar-nominated actress Jennifer Jason Leigh, filed for divorce citing “irreconcilable differences.” Divorce is something that he’s seen early on from his own parents’ divorce.
But despite his own personal ties with marriage, separation, and divorce the director says he didn’t at all base Marriage Story on his own personal life. Rather, he saw it as an opportunity to paint a bigger picture. He said of the film:
“It’s a personal movie, but it’s not based on my personal life. I mean, I certainly have a personal connection to the material.”
“I interviewed people who have gone through divorces, professionals who work in the system, lawyers, judges, and it’s something that so many families go through,” the filmmaker tells Deadline in a recent interview. He adds, “So, I sort of saw it as an opportunity to really kind of invent this story.”