Film Junk Podcast Episode #734: Marriage Story


0:00 – Intro
11:50 – Review: Marriage Story
39:05 – Trailer Trash: Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Wonder Woman 1984, No Time to Die, Black Widow, Free Guy
59:35 – Other Stuff We Watched: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Honey Boy, Kramer vs. Kramer, Silicon Valley, Dark of the Sun, Frozen II, Hold That Ghost, One Child Nation
1:35:10 – This Week on DVD and Blu-ray
1:38:20 – Outro

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  • Indianamcclain

    Regarding Sean’s comment that Marriage Story was dumped on Netflix because it probably couldn’t get a crowd. I had to drive to 3 theatres on Black Friday to see this film because 2 of them were sold out. So there is an audience that was eagerly anticipating this film.

  • Jameson

    Can’t wait to hear the review of Waves next week. I thought it was an absolute mess but my friend and I haven’t stopped talking about it.

  • Beat_C

    for once i agree with frank about how this was quite a bad year for cinema.

  • stevens1

    He’s said the same for the past 5 years. He needs to leave that Welland bubble.

  • stevens1

    This would’ve done well at the box office but Netflix gotta get those subs.

  • Falsk
  • Sean

    Good call! Totally forgot he was in this.

  • Sean

    That is great to hear although I assume it is mainly because it got such a limited release. I think it’s pretty clear that the audience for adult dramas has shrunk in recent years but it’s kind of a chicken and egg situation. If studios made more of them and promoted them as well as they promote the big blockbusters, maybe they could still do well.

  • OsoDuck

    The problem with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is that traditional fairy tales are not meant to obscure truths about life. Tarantino’s movie is like a Disney fairy tale when it should have been more Grimm’s fairy tale. Anyone who knows the true story knows that Tate was not exactly the spotless Hollywood Disney princess that Tarantino makes her out to be.

  • Jay Lee

    NOT including The Doors in a Stone Premium is mental… objectively speaking.

  • Beat_C

    that’s what i meant: i didn’t agree with him the other years. but this year i do.

  • Beat_C

    why? “the doors” is absolutely woeful.

  • Even though I’m not the biggest fan of Netflix I think it is unfair to believe everything (or every new release) that is acquired by Netflix gets “dumped” there.

    I think it is admirable that considering their majority of garbage original films they increasingly do try to get some quality material excklusively (like Roma, The Irishman, Marriage Story or festival favorites like Atlantics, I Lost My Body, etc).

    Naturally then Netflix would use these movies as “bait” to get new subscribers. If you prefer to see it in a theatre you even get the chance but not as a wide release. The alternative would be that a studio like A24 releases Marriage Story and it plays maybe in a 1,000 more cinemas in North America and then people talk shit about the shitty content on Netflix.

    Seems like a no-win scenario for the streaming service: either people criticize you for your bad content or when you get good content they criticize you for not being able to see it in a theatre.

  • Ben Bueno

    I’m with too.

  • Sean

    Just to clarify, it was not really a comment on the quality of the movie or Netflix’s intentions. I think they definitely acquire movies like Marriage Story with the hopes of drawing attention and winning awards. And I love Netflix for supporting these kinds of movies and helping them find an audience. I just think that the current state of things is that studios are generally not making or distributing these kinds of movies because they think there is not a huge audience for them anymore (or at least, people don’t deem them worthy of seeing in a theatre anyway).

  • Uh oh!

    Outer…. SPAAACE!

  • You guys are insane. My top thirty is really really solid. And I haven’t seen Uncut Gems or Star Wars or 1917 or Bombshell or Little Women or Marriage Story or In Fabric yet.

  • Furthermore – It takes a lot for me to give a film 5/5 stars; and not having seen a lot of 2019 movies still, I have FOUR 5/5 movies on my list. That’s really rare for me. I usually have only one or maybe two if I’m lucky.

  • Ben Bueno

    Well, I should’ve been clearer, I have quite a few movies to watch still, so I’ll have a more concrete opinion only around March once all the Blu Rays are out. Some of the ones I’m looking forward to are The Lighthouse, Uncut Gems, The Lodge, Waves, Jojo Rabbit and Knives Out and once some lists are out i’ll probably find some more stuff. But from what I did watch up until this point, I don’t think it was great.


    Why did Frank Veto Waves?? Is it just because he would have to travel outside the “Welland Bubble”?

  • stevens1

    Exactly. Plus the year is cinema is more than fiction based films and English language films. Every year in cinema is great because there’s so much to watch from around the world.

  • Beat_C

    i know, i live in switzerland, so i probably see more non-english language movies at the theatre than most of the FJ listeners. and in fact those are my favourites of the year: parasite, portrait of a lady on fire, system crasher, monos, pain & glory etc. but it’s true, i have not seen many documentaries this year. but did the FJ crew? i feel like they haven’t talked about docs as much as in other years, no?

  • stevens1

    It’s generally Jay and Sean who watch the docs in ‘other stuff we watched’ section. Docs are so sadly overlooked in general, when there are so many great ones. But Sean and Jay are rarely the ones who say the year in film is poor. It’s usually Frank because he has to be forced to watch something outside of his bubble. Far enough, not every type of genre is for everyone, but unless he is trying to see a broader scope (as you seem to do Beat C) then he can’t say it’s a bad year in cinema. He’s seen a tiny fraction of it.

  • stevens1

    Likewise – I always feel the FJ guys are generous with their ratings! But ultimately, ratings are pretty reductive and pointless – even though I still do it too.

  • Sean

    As far as documentaries go, here are some of the highlights from 2019 in my opinion:

    Apollo 11
    Cold Case Hammerskjold
    American Factory
    Tell Me Who I Am
    Leaving Neverland
    Diego Maradona
    One Child Nation
    The Inventor

    A bunch of others I still have not seen:

    63 Up
    Varda by Agnes
    The Edge of Democracy
    Hail Satan
    Mike Wallace is Here
    American Dharma
    The Biggest Little Farm
    The Amazing Johnathan Documentary

    I think there are a few other interesting ones that Jay has talked about as well.

  • Lior

    The matter of Frank’s “not following” the Letterboxd police rules was raised on the Patreon page but I’d like to regurgitate it here, because I want to piggiback on it and open it up: one of the problems with logging movies on Letterboxd according to the rules is that you must finish watching the film before logging it and rating it, not to mention reviewing it. I had to force myself to finish watching “6 Underground”, a two-hour garbagefest, when what I really wanted to do was turn it off after 30 minutes. But… then I wouldn’t “earn the log”. What to do?

    Anybody else here had to suffer through bad movies just to “earn the log”? Or, you know, have you been cheating? I would love to see this very important issue discussed on the show.

  • stevens1

    I’d recommend For Sama – it’s heavy going but extremely affecting. Hail Satan is really good fun and eye opening and The Amazing Jonathan is bit like Exit Through The Gift Shop. Others I’d recommend are:

    Human Nature
    The Kingmaker
    The Cordillera of Dreams
    Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound (a little dry but good see it represented on screen)

  • I guess if you want to earn the log of 6 Underground you have to watch it. But why not “shut ‘er down” after 30 minutes, not log it and instead watch something good instead? You could’ve still squeezed in a 90 minute gem there. Other option, if one really wants to log 6 Underground, would be to watch it on 1.5 speed and save yourself an hour.

  • Lior

    It’s sacrilege, but the 1.5 speed option did cross my mind, but then that would not really be “watching” the movie.

    It’s a philosophical question. Do I only log the films I like? Or am I using my account’s diary to log everything? Even reviewing bad movies has some merit, and often there is more to say about bad movies than about good movies. I dunno.

  • I’m still confused by Frank’s Letterboxd. Recently he logs movies as “rewatches” even though they’re new releases and he has not logged them previously. Like Ford v Ferrari, Diego Maradona or Toy Story 4. Is he considering them “rewatches” because he’s watching them in parts? Is Frank strolling out of movie theatre screenings to play some Candy Crush and then buys a ticket for another show to finish where he left off? What’s happening?

  • TimC

    We need more on-screen Frank material. The guy’s a natural.

  • TimC

    This is highly disturbing. Is it possible to impeach the King of Cinema?

  • Sam

    Does watching after prewatching count as rewatching? Hmmm…

  • Sam

    One second please!

  • Sam

    Serious concern about Frankie and his love for only top-tier populist auteurs.

    So it seems like Frankie usually only looks forward to movies from huge directors who specifically made films during his formative years (like 90s through mid 2000s or so), and is some times hesistant to praise directors who don’t fall within that frame.

    So this would include directors like Scorsese and Spielberg who started way earlier but were still releasing prominent movies during that time frame, through directos like Cameron, Fincher, Coens, Tarantino, finishing up around the Chris Nolans and PT Andersons. Other prominent directors around the time of Scorseses and Spielbergs were around but that mostly fizzled out come the 90s and 2000s, Frankie doesn’t consider greats. I’m thinking someone like Robert Altman, and even much less older directors like Billy Wilder, he might just scoff at as classitosis much like he did to David Lynch’s list of favorite movies. I think one exception is likely Stanley Kubrick, though he did have one movie within that time frame I mentioned.

    As for new directors, I can’t really think of any that he holds to the level of any of the directors above unless they had a movie out while he worked at the Seaway Theater. Don’t get wrong, there’s still directors he likes, like it seems he likes Noah Baumbach a bit, looks forward to Uncut Gems because he enjoyed the Safdie’s Good Time, but struggle to find modern directors that would have a movie out that he would consider must-see appointment viewing and make him not consider a year was a “shit year”.

    I guess my point is, as the years keep going by, and these directors that fell into Frankie’s cinematic “sweet spot” start to retire or die off, will cinema for Frankie just be dead?

  • Sam

    I think I need to start being more lenient with my 5/5s. I think I’ve only given like two 5/5s this whole decade. One is Inside Llewyn Davis which is more than likely my favorite of the decade.

    I might agree with Frank for once about this year though but I’m probably speaking too early because this year is easily the year I’ve seen the fewest movies so far (from this year). I make a Top 25 every year, and usually struggle cutting it down to 25. My list as it stands right now only has about 15 movies that I’d feel comfortable being on the finished list.

    Granted, I still have movies like Knives Out, Jojo Rabbit, The Lighthouse, Honey Boy, About Endlessness, Portrait of Lady on Fire, Waves, Uncut Gems, Little Women, that I still need to see.

    Took a look at your rankings Andrew, decided to add Luce to my list of 25 or so I still plan to check out. Considering adding Greta back onto it since I keep adding and removing it as a priority.

  • TimC
  • I seem to be in a minority on Greta. I just like Neil Jordan in general and this just felt like kind of an old school thriller. Performances were terrible which in this case just added to the charm for me.

    As for 5/5, I have to love everything about a movie and really be into it. These are always 4.5/5 movies for me. If by some miracle it adds an emotional component to it, that’s when it gets that extra bump up to 5 for me. It’s rare.

  • Lori Cerny

    Well, it’s certainly not Sean and Jay’s fault. They’ve tried over the years to entice Frank to expand his viewing habits. At least he will now concede that some horror movies are good!

  • Beat_C

    thanks a lot for this list!

  • Sam

    King of Wings and Thighs