Untitled Noah Baumbach Project makes a part of a difficulty, which is to build a film around a theme and not so much of a story: although the two terms appear in the title, the whole film tries to adapt to the ambition of saying something, not just about the story of a particular couple, but about marriage, or about the end of marriage. Of course, all good movies say a lot about many topics, but they do it in the background, without a megaphone, without an agenda; here, no matter how much we are attending the divorce of Charlie (Adam Driver) and Nicole (Scarlett Johansson), there is not even a lack of talk about the excessive demands on mothers in charge of the diabolical lawyer that Laura Dern interprets, and the situation “divorce ”Sweeps everyone and every single character, watch it now and you'll understand.
Some of Noah Baumbach's previous films contained the name of their protagonists in the title: Greenberg, Frances Ha, The Meyerowitz Stories, armed a universe of wounded characters, always fragile, that were made known to us through details of life Handicraft daily. To show how a father worked and what that generated in the son, The Meyerowitz Stories staged a lunch between Dustin Hoffman and Adam Sandler in which it was seen how the father did not register the son in front of him but, in his old age, eventually I needed it, or in Frances Ha the wonderful youth was portrayed, even one as disoriented as the one that crossed Greta Gerwig, with her running-dancing through the streets of New York, lightly, to the rhythm of Modern love.
It is this way of narrating and showing what shaped a universe of its own and inhabited by memorable beings in the cinema of Noah Baumbach, enemy of the generic. And in Untitled Noah Baumbach Project, suddenly, the director has to deal with the generic, because the claim of the movie is that Charlie and Nicole are themselves and at the same time all the couples that separate (with the recognition, of course, that not all of them have the economic resources of these two, as explicitly stated in a moment).
This makes Untitled Noah Baumbach Project a hybrid that does not work at all: if at the beginning they are detailed, through two texts that she and he write, the particularities of each unx that loved the otrx, the film has a hard time keeping them as individuals and for moments you have the feeling that they are pieces that move on a board - pieces with an important emotional display, yes - to illustrate different moments of the separation process. It might be interesting to show that in certain circumstances we are reduced to predetermined functions - after all there is much of that in marriage - but it is simply boring.
Charlie is a bewildered guy who will never fully take care of the kind of husband he was, and it shines when Adam Driver manages to make him appear in scenes that have more to do with Baumbach's previous films, such as when he cuts his arm and bleeds or When he sings in a bar. Nicole also has her lovely musical number, but in general she is "the mother", a woman who closes her pullover, caresses the son's head, smiles compassionately. His career does not matter to Charlie and neither does Noah Baumbach, more interested in his male protagonist.
Even so, the theater world that surrounds it does not have its own life; It is as if Charlie and Nicole were two elements so heavy in the film, so absorbing, that nothing that is around them can stand out, with the exception of perhaps the cartoonish lawyer Laura Dern plays. Nicole's family, on the other hand, the boyfriend who appears at the last minute, Charlie's ex-lover, his theater companions, the son himself, are just satellites that revolve around the main couple. And it doesn't matter if this couple screams and falls on their knees or breaks into tears, it doesn't matter if the movie is “heartbreaking”: Noah Baumbach knew how to build emotion in much more interesting ways and say more about the links even in a movie like brilliant Fantastic Mr. Fox, of which he was a screenwriter, starring a fox that stole chickens. Watch online Untitled Noah Baumbach Project and judge by yourself.