There the semblance of a story trajectory here as Charlie and Nicole learn to navigate their new, separate lives while also dealing with how to share custody of their son Henry (Azhy Robertson). But what Marriage Story is most interested in is simply hanging back and observing these two people as they each try to make sense of what the hell is happening to what they both previously thought was a secure relationship. But Nicole heart belongs more to the screen than the stage, and she spent years yearning to return to Los Angeles to get back into movies - a move that Charlie has no interest in what-so-ever.
But that a stance that Nicole does not stick to, and she soon hired a high-priced lawyer, played perfectly by Laura Dern, who brings both fiery indignation and affable charm to the role.
Like a tea kettle left on the burner for far too long, the emotions between Charlie and Nicole begin to simmer, boil and then shriek with pressure the more complicated the divorce grows. The constantly fluctuating emotional states of the characters require Baumbach to balance a tricky level of both heartwrenching drama and laugh-out-loud comedy, causing Marrige Story to be both funny and bleak.
He lets the camera hang back in the scenes Charlie and Nicole share together, illustrating the literal empty space that now separates them. Driver, his tall, lanky frame suggesting an inherently awkward individual, plays Charlie as someone utterly clueless as to why his marriage is over.
Her character is the one initiating the split, and since the focus of the film tilts towards Charlie, there was a real fear that Baumbach could have ended up portraying Nicole as something of a shrew - the angry, bitter woman a male audience might resent.