There are two sides to every story, a concept that filmmaker Noah Baumbach and streaming giant Netflix seem intent on baking into the very fabric of their upcoming drama, “Marriage Story.” And that includes marketing materials, as Netflix has now rolled out not one, but two trailers for the upcoming drama, all the better to show off two perspectives on one tale.
Billed by the streaming giant as an “incisive and compassionate portrait of a marriage breaking up and a family staying together,” the film stars Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver as a once-happy couple going through a heartbreaking divorce. The film also stars Laura Dern, Alan Alda, Ray Liotta, Julie Hagerty, Merritt Wever and Azhy Robertson, with Wallace Shawn, Martha Kelly, and Mark O’Brien.
Despite the inherent drama of the premise, these first trailers still smack of Baumbach’s trademark dark humor, and while “Marriage Story” will offer plenty of tears, it seems poised to be just as blackly funny as anything Baumbach has made before. Plus, Driver’s Charlie is a director and Johansson’s Nicole is an actress, which will surely add a layer of both personal feeling and some tongue-in-cheek industry observations.
In his first interview about the film last month, Baumbach told IndieWire that, despite some shared narrative elements with the divorce-centric tearjerker “Kramer vs. Kramer,” some lighter films also helped inspire his tone and plot.
“I do love ‘Kramer,’” he said, as well as 1982’s Diane Keaton-Albert Finney drama “Shoot the Moon,” but the filmmaker cast a wider net. Screwball comedies like Ernst Lubitsch’s “To Be or Not to Be” and Howard Hawks’ “Twentieth Century” helped him explore the onscreen dynamic he wanted between the dissolving couple, who collaborated on Charlie’s New York theater projects in their earlier days.
“Both of those movies have performers who are in personal relationships in and out of their work,” Baumbach said. “What helped with this family is that because they’re show people, the theatricality of it all feels organic to them. This gave me a real opportunity in what would otherwise be considered a naturalistic movie.”
The film will screen at various festival this season, including TIFF and Venice, and will hit Netflix and select theaters in the coming months. Check out the first trailer(s!) and a pair of intriguing new posters for “Marriage Story” below.
Trailer 1 – What I Love About Nicole
Trailer 2 – What I Love About Charlie