film critic at A.V. Club, NY Times, Criterion, Film Comment, Reverse Shot, and more...
Don’t forget to select your favorite films!
When Nicole (Johansson) meets Nora (Dern), she's given the opportunity to articulate her feelings and work through the reasons why she wants to divorce her husband. Baumbach gives her an attentive audience, not just through Dern's (comically) overly earnest Nora, but through a long, uninterrupted shot that gives Nicole the opportunity for extended monologue. It registers as theatrical, a one-woman show.
In contrast when Charlie (Driver) first meets with his eventual attorney Ted (Liotta), rapid cuts jump from Ted and…