Film Review: ‘Marriage Story’ paints love and loss with levity

Updated 18 September 2019

Film Review: ‘Marriage Story’ paints love and loss with levity

VENICE: A French photo-journalist once told me that her former husband would come to her place to mend things — a broken tap, an electrical short-circuit — and she quipped that if only he had been as attentive during his married life, they would have never got divorced. Noah Baumbach’s latest film “Marriage Story,” screened at the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, explores the same issue — of a how, whilst a marriage can turn stale, love can remain.

When Charlie (Adam Driver) and Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) meet a marriage counsellor, he asks them to list each other’s plus points. She is a great listener, an infectious dancer. He is a superb dresser and dotes on their son. But despite all this, Charlie and Nicole separate, and since the law bars her from handing over the divorce papers to him, she gets her mother and sister to do that. The moment is awkward, it is heartbreaking. Charlie is a Brooklyn theater director, she is his company’s leading lady. Although Charlie and Nicole want things to be absolutely amicable, their lawyers will not let that happen.  

Baumbach’s work is tough (also inspired by his own divorce from actress Jennifer Jason Lee), but poignant and painful, underlining in red how money and the law can make a mess of things. 

Cinematographer Robbie Ryan’s lens does a wonderful job of capturing some of the finest moments, dipped in sweet nostalgia, as the husband and wife talk about each other. Baumbach does not let bitterness creep in. On the contrary, he livens up the script with fantastic humor, making sure that “Marriage Story” does not turn into a sob story. There is intimacy, there is dynamism to get us hooked to the screen, and we remain all eyes for 136 minutes, with the final scenes likely to leave audiences floored. 

Chiara Ferragni soaks up the sun in Oman

Ferragni took to Instagram to share snaps from her sunny holiday in Oman this week. (AFP)
Updated 15 October 2019

Chiara Ferragni soaks up the sun in Oman

DUBAI: Italian fashion blogger and entrepreneur Chiara Ferragni took to Instagram to share snaps from her sunny holiday in Oman this week, giving her followers a good dose of travel inspiration in the process.

The influencer shared a selection of shots, including a visit to Muscat’s Grand Mosque — she covered her head with a black scarf while inside the mosque — a snap in which she can be seen smiling in front of a wall of pink bougainvillea and photographs taken in the 5-star resort where she is staying with her family.

Ferragni is staying at the swanky Alila Jabal Akhdar hotel along with her husband — Italian rapper Federico Leonardo Lucia, known by his stage name Fedez — and baby son, Leone.

The family is in town to celebrate Lucia’s birthday and Ferragni didn’t let the day go by without posting a sweet message on Instagram.


Happy 30th raviolito @fedez

A post shared by Chiara Ferragni (@chiaraferragni) on

“Happiest 30th birthday to my person, my soul mate and my best friend @fedez. I’m so proud of you, our relationship and everything we’ve built together in only three years. Thanks for making me the happiest mama and wife. Thanks for making my dreams come true. Thanks for understanding who I am and always support(ing) me. When I look at you, I can only think ‘he’s my person, I couldn’t have anybody else that makes me feel this way.’ You’re family and you’re home and you make me proud everyday,” she posted next to a photograph of the couple in Oman.

Having nabbed the number one spot on Forbes’ “Top Fashion Influencers” list in 2017, Ferragni is one of the world’s most recognizable social media stars and even launched her own namesake line, Chiara Ferragni Collection, in 2013. Since then, she has expanded into apparel, accessories and children’s clothing and reported revenues of $20 million in 2016, according to the Business of Fashion website.

Ferragni launched her blog, The Blonde Salad, in 2009 while attending Milan’s Bocconi University for a degree in law and went on to collaborate with an impressive clutch of design houses, including Dior, Louis Vuitton, Ermenegildo Zegna, Benetton and Mango.