Four-time Oscar nominee Julianne Moore (Children of Men) and two-time Tony Award winner Matthew Broderick (The Producers) star in this serio-comic trip through a day in the lives of a dysfunctional married couple. Adapted by Wallace Shawn (My Dinner With Andre) from his own play, Marie and Bruce begins with the couple's venomous breakfast conversation and ends with an intimate dinner where Marie finally reveals her secret desires to her husband. Brilliantly sarcastic, often funny, yet deeply moving, Marie and Bruce is an acting tour de force that finely captures Shawn's legendary "perverse wit" (Kurt Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter).
First comes love, then comes marriage--then comes the roller-coaster ride of a lifetime. The wickedly dark yet moving Marie and Bruce
, written by arch-wit Wallace Shawn, is an unflinching look at a marriage, warts and all. (Or perhaps it is all warts.) Julianne Moore and Matthew Broderick, playing the title couple, are in peak--often surprising--form, giving nuanced performances to Shawn's often stagey-sounding dialogue (the film is based on his play). In the same vein as Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
, Scenes from a Marriage
, and War of the Roses
, the film wades into harrowing emotional territory--and stays there, unwavering. Marie, unsatisfied in her marriage, throws words like "dear," "darling," and "sweetheart" at the slightly hapless Bruce as though they were poison-tipped darts. But Bruce has a secret life of his own, far from the reach of the acid-tongued Marie. It's the screenplay's strength that each scene and revelation involving this couple are a surprise. The situation is not all bleak. There's love between these two. And Marie has, under her barely contained rage, a tremendous vulnerability, portrayed perfectly by Moore as traces of anxiety flicker across her face at a cocktail party where she's suddenly uncomfortable--and sympathetic. The deeply affecting performances of Moore and Broderick will stay with the viewer long after Marie and Bruce have taken their journey into the dark side of love. --A.T. Hurley
Stills from Marie and Bruce (Click for larger image)