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Studio Six: Marriage Story

17 min read

Gene Riddle

A second set of notes was prepared by Gene Riddle, a second studio participant. He agreed to share these notes:

-One theme of this movie: People can consciously or intuitively play roles, but often, roles come to play them

-Marriage as hopeful/desperate self-search in the other

-People (The main two plus all the adjunctive characters) squeezed into roles dictated by supposedly impersonal external circumstances of law and social norms

-Live and function   in a society that boasts (or pretends) that is one of “laws, not men”  (Justice image with blindfold that cuts two ways.)

-Ideas of good social structure and or justice have to be codified in an instrumentalist society and so in practice become rigidified concoctions (Bill’s (1)

-Poignant, esp b/c two leads are actors having to play roles w/o rehearsal or direction; much of the film they are desperately if inchoately looking for someone to direct them explicitly of implicitly.  Nicole even puts on makeup as the audition for Nora unfolds.

-Nicole can seem overly enmeshed in the cause of love and devotion with Henry (likely by reaction formation to her intrusive domineering mother)

-“Charlie” seems a good name for him when he was in Indiana, but not in NY/performing world. Perhaps one way to indicate that he retains that legacy, but this seems not otherwise developed.

-Him as hyper New Yorker; leaving there would deprive him of his identity refuge

-Meaning of his seemingly unintentional self-cutting and passing out/possibly dying not developed (in my grasp of it anyway).

-Opening monologues clever to give them a kind of somewhat idealized baseline, but used sappily later.

-Some implied role reversals;

-Some seemed like envy;

-Most seemed like a catalogue of missing parts of themselves they sought from the other

-Each competitive, loss is a deflating narcissistic injury

-Sense of aliveness (after death) when N met C.

-Strikes me as a poor tactic by the divorce mediator for so early in that process

-Henry: Pregnancy seems unintentional

-N’s sense of existential abandonment as soon as Henry born

-Henry’s purgatory of truly loved and narcissistic paw. [keep typo)

-Monopoly games signifies wanting to monopolize the other

-They each seem to have many warm acquaintances but no friends

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