Marriage Story: Critics hail divorce drama as serious Oscar contender

The battle begins

Marriage Story - trailer

The first true contender for next year's Oscars has made itself known.

Following its premiere at Venice Film Festival, critics have hailed new Noah Baumbach film Marriage Story as the film to beat when awards season rolls around.

The film, which has been backed by Netflix, follows the dissolution of a relationship between characters played by Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver.

Both are being touted for Best Actor and Actress nominations, with praise also being heaped upon Laura Dern and Ray Liotta for their supporting roles as the couple's divorce lawyers.

The Independent said the film "strikes a near-perfect tone, combining humour and pathos," while IndieWire described Baumbach's film as an "astonishing showcase" for Johansson and Driver.

Variety called the film "the work of a major film artist", adding that the "funny, scalding, and stirring" film is "built around two bravura performances of incredible sharpness and humanity".

Interestingly, another film expected to earn Oscar nominations is Little Women, the adaptation that's been directed by Greta Gerwig – Baumbach's wife.

The two going head-to-head could add a stroke of excitement to the ceremony.

Netflix is expected to give the film a similar release to that of Roma, which was an Oscars frontrunner at this year's ceremony right up until it got beaten by Green Book.

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