Director Noah Baumbach opened up about his creative process in making his latest movie “Marriage Story” at the Variety Screening Series presented by Vudu.
Starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, the widely praised film details a couple’s journey as they navigate lawyers, courtrooms and family negotiations in undergoing a grueling divorce. Baumbach explores the perspective of both parties as Nicole (Johansson) says goodbye to her life in New York and soon-to-be ex-husband.
“From the beginning, I was always writing both of them simultaneously. I wrote the opening sequences in tandem. The structure was always going to be that we would be with Scarlett in Los Angeles in the beginning and we would very much be from her perspective,” he said. “Adam’s character would drop out of the movie for awhile and when he returned we would be from his perspective a bit. So, that was pretty deliberate. I was always thinking of both of them and thinking consciously of maintaining a kind of balance. That being a big element of the movie also guided me in terms of the way I approached writing these things.”
Baumbach said his inspiration to make the film stemmed from a common phrase.
“The expression ‘my marriage failed,’ I think is unfortunate and it was a big part of why I wanted to make the movie to sort of say endings aren’t failings. We can still celebrate what it was even if it’s no longer and you’ll also see, because of the legal system and the way — it’s not like anything you learn during that period is useful anywhere else. You know, it’s barely useful when you’re in this system. So people want to move on and put it behind them and I think it’s important to keep talking about it.”