Movie Reviews: Marriage Story, The Aeronauts, Latest Movies News - The New Paper

Movie Reviews: Marriage Story, The Aeronauts


RATED: (M18)

Beyond the age rating, this should come with an extra warning: DO NOT WATCH AS A COUPLE.  Not unless you're looking for a split yourself.

The premise of a film by mumblecore doyen Noah Baumbach about middle-class theatre types getting a divorce does not sound like a huge draw.

But the power of Adam Driver as Charlie and Scarlett Johansson as Nicole, who share a young son, instantly pulls you in.

Currently streaming on Netflix, Marriage Story starts with one of the most charming sequences as the pair describe what made them fall in love with each other.

In the space of just over seven minutes, it's hard to not fall for these characters in some way.

Yet even through this delight, there's that dark sense of something awful about to spear the joy.

This gets raw. The Golden Globe nods for Johansson (capping a brilliant year with Avengers: Endgame and Jojo Rabbit) and Driver are well-deserved.

You genuinely hope they will get back together – a hope dashed once the family lawyers (Laura Dern, Ray Liotta and Alan Alda) get involved. For them, it's all about the win, and the couple's initial amicability shatters.

There is still some humour, Julie Hagerty as Nicole's mother has a few fun moments. Amid the tension, Driver delivers a striking version of Stephen Sondheim's Being Alive that's so spontaneous, it almost takes the film into becoming a musical.

But most of the time you are  simply in awe of the leads laying it all out there.

SCORE: 4/5



 Marriage Story, The Aeronauts



The last time Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones paired up for a period biopic in 2014, it led them and their film to Oscar glory.

But neither The Aeronauts nor their chemistry reaches the heights of The Theory Of Everything, despite trying to recapture lightning in a bottle - or wicker basket, in this case.

In 1862, maverick hot air balloon pilot Amelia Wren (Jones) teams up with pioneering meteorologist James Glaisher (Redmayne) to advance human knowledge of the weather and fly higher than anyone in history. But they face physical and emotional challenges due to extreme weather conditions, as the ascent tests the endurance of the spirit and becomes a fight for survival.

Wren is actually a fictional character based on Glaisher's real-life male co-pilot, but the gender switch is a welcome one, providing us with a feisty female point of view.

She ends up steering the endeavour in multiple ways, while Glaisher appears to be just along for the ride.

But whatever pretty visuals and thrilling balloon sequences on show are weighed down by dull flashbacks of the duo's personal baggage, eventually deflating The Aeronauts' ability to rise above the material and truly soar.

SCORE: 2.5/5