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Why the & # 39; Wedding Story & # 39; by Noah Baumbach really looked like setting up a kind of dance & # 39;

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There is a moment in Noah Baumbach & # 39; s & # 39; Wedding story & # 39; in which Nicole and Charlie, the couple in question played by Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, have a dramatic confrontation in Charlie & # 39; s recently rented apartment LA. It is a layout that Angelenos will be well known for: the late 60s design, early 70s, where the kitchen and living room, as Baumbach notes, almost form a "split screen". The New York-based filmmaker knew what he wanted, but the capacity utilization turned out to be a problem for production.

"It was harder to find that location than to find a child actor," Baumbach jokes. "We rehearsed in the apartment, and we blocked the whole thing right down to the close-ups, because I knew which line I was going to cut when we got into the tighter close-ups."

That scene, which was shot for two days in an apartment building in Hollywood, is perhaps the culmination of Baumbach's heartbreaking opus about a love affair that inevitably falls apart. The lawsuit between the divorced couple takes a dark turn and right now during the film, Nicole comes by to try and prevent the situation from getting worse. This series was so important for Baumbach that he blocked the 11-page scene as intricately as for an action movie.

“I have photos of those I have just sent them recently. I was like "That's how it started," Baumbach remembers. "They just sit on chairs in a rehearsal room."

Baumbach adds: “(It was) just dragging the language down, because all (dialogue) overlaps are also all in a script. Everything there is rhythmic. It was really like they set up a kind of dance for them. & # 39;

The writer and director best known for & # 39; Frances Ha & # 39; and & # 39; The Squid and the Whale & # 39; says the idea for & # 39; Marriage Story & # 39; had been in vogue for quite some time. But it was his increasingly frequent collaborations with Driver – this is their fourth film together – that led to a finished scenario.

"We have five or six things (which we are talking about) that might be something," says Baumbach. "& # 39; Wouldn't it be cool if you were this in this world, or that world?" He will send me a photo, or he will send me a message, "What about this?" It can just be a visual one, or it can be a whole idea of ​​a plot. & # 39;

Coincidentally, Baumbach also knew Johansson a little and wanted to do something together. Working with Driver and him seemed like a good pitch. And, as Baumbach makes clear, it was an "open conversation" with the actors that enabled him to work out their characters.

"They were both so candid about not just their relationships, lives – in the case of Scarlett, her divorces – but about the film in general," Baumbach says. “Adam had the idea of ​​a theater company and the idea of ​​performance, the idea of ​​the character's profession and the relationship between him and Scarlett, but it also brought this concept of performance to the film. And we have talked a lot about theater and films. "

That said, Baumbach threw a broad net to try to convey universal truths about what has become an age-old process.

"I did research at the same time and talked to people, friends who are separated on both sides. The women and men, and professionals, judges and lawyers," he says. "I think when I gave them the scripts, I don't know what exactly they expected. I think they didn't really know what was in it, but I hope they already recognized it, that it would feel familiar in some way, that they would know their way through it, although they didn't necessarily know what was coming. "

Of course, many in the industry will see similarities in the film's marriage to Baumbach & # 39; s own union with actress Jennifer Jason Leigh, who officially ended in 2013. Like the couple on screen, Leigh was older than Baumbach, they had a son and she returned to Los Angeles after the couple had lived together in New York for a number of years. Baumbach does not consider the similarities, but sees & # 39; Wedding story & # 39; as something very different.

"It's a good question, and I get versions of it on most of my films, and I understand why people have it because I draw on reality and my experience for my fiction," Baumbach says. "Philip Roth has this quote:" I am combining two stones of reality to stimulate the imagination. "When he said it, I immediately recognized what he is describing. It is daily experience that I find cinematic, and I am forced to find cinematic language for things that I have experienced, or things that other people have experienced, people around me experienced and to express it. & # 39;

Yet Baumbach says it is all an invention and would otherwise not work. He remarks: "What I always try to do is, both with the actors in their performances as well as during the writing, to always maintain a kind of emotional presence. It is as if we are all censoring ourselves. So (I) try so openly and to be honest as I can, but that does not necessarily mean personal truth. It is a kind of narrative truth. "

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