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‘Scenes From a Marriage’ Review: A Devastating Tour De Force from Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac

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Last weekend Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain nearly broke the internet from a red carpet at the Venice Film Festival. The glammed up actors were posing for photos on the Lido when Isaac turned away from the paps to look at Chastain while her arm was languidly wrapped over his shoulder. Isaac suddenly let his hand brush against the inside of Chastain’s bare arm. As she turned to look at him, Isaac decided to make intense, smoldering eye contact with the actress before leaning in to kiss the inside of that very arm! Laughing, she took him into an embrace. Right there, in front of the whole wide world.

It was one of the most intensely sexy performances of either actor’s career and Twitter gobbled it up like a whole box of Dunkin’s munchkins.

The project the actors were promoting in Venice was the HBO miniseries Scenes from a Marriage. Based on the groundbreaking Ingmar Bergman series of the same name and updated by The Affair‘s Hagai Levi, this new take on the toll of matrimony is a showcase for Isaac and Chastain as artists. Watching it feels like being on stage with the actors during a theater show — and that’s clearly by design. Levi opens each episode following the actors past masked-up crew members and into a carefully constructed set of a suburban house. We are being invited into a world of grounded, heartbreaking performances. Indeed that seems to be the sole reason for Scenes from a Marriage‘s existence: to showcase the Juilliard-trained Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain as two of the greatest actors of their generation.

Scenes from a Marriage tells the story of Jonathan (Oscar Isaac) and Mira (Jessica Chastain), a couple who don’t yet realize they’ve reached an impasse in their relationship. The series opens on an academic’s interview with the couple. The woman (Sunita Mani) wants to probe Jonathan and Mira as they are a (seemingly) happy monogamous couple where the woman is the breadwinner. While Jonathan, a fellow academic, seems totally amused by the attention, tech exec Mira is obviously bothered by the probing questions. It is only later in the episode we learn she has become distracted by news of an unexpected second pregnancy.

Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain in Scenes from a Marriage
Photo: HBO

When Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage premiered on Swedish television in the 1970s, it was heralded for its “realism.” It tackled the still somewhat taboo subject of divorce with tenderness and honesty. Perhaps in huge part because the story was meant to mirror Bergman and his leading lady Liv Ullmann’s real relationship. HBO’s new spin on the story is so gorgeously acted, though, you can’t stop thinking about the theatrics of it. The very thing that will hook you — Isaac and Chastain’s full-throttle performances — might also take you out of it.

Much like their sizzling display on the red carpet, Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain are putting everything they can into selling us on a portrait of intimacy in Scenes from a Marriage. But there’s something a tiny bit uncanny valley about it all. The way Chastain twitches throughout the opening interview or the way Isaac sadly hands his wife a can of Diet Pepsi to swallow her pills in the last scene feel true to life, and yet the drama of the first episode is culled together like a carefully scripted theatre show. The opening shots lifting the curtain on the production and an incendiary dinner table battle between another couple played by Corey Stoll and Nicole Beharie only adds to this feeling. Everything is so “real” that it’s obviously a studied facsimile of real life.

Still, Isaac and Chastain are brilliant in Scenes from a Marriage. The miniseries offers the long-time friends and collaborators the chance to put both their technical craft and incandescent chemistry front and center. If you are a fan of watching Jon Lovitz voice *acting*, then you’ll love Scenes from a Marriage. Isaac and Chastain snap right back into that same level of intense intimacy they showed off at the Venice Film Festival. The only problem is watching those 51 viral seconds on the red carpet is a million times more fun than anything the actors give us in their HBO show.  [nyp_brightcove playerid=”8pFHB1TaaP” videoid=”6268352500001″

Where to stream Scenes from a Marriage

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What Time Will ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 Be on Netflix?

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The season finale of Riverdale aired in late July on The CW. Notice we said season finale? Thankfully, the beloved series will return for a seventh season, but, unfortunately, Season 7 will be the final installment of Riverdale.

If you already streamed the current season, make sure to read Alex Zalben’s interview with Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa on Decider. If you’re waiting to binge Season 6 on Netflix, well, you better clear your calendar because all 22 episodes are about to drop on the streamer. What time will the sixth season of Riverdale debut on Netflix? What time does Netflix release shows? Here’s everything you need to know.

WHEN IS THE RIVERDALE SEASON 6 NETFLIX RELEASE DATE?

Riverdale Season 6 premieres Sunday, August 7 on Netflix.

HOW MANY EPISODES ARE IN RIVERDALE SEASON 6?

The sixth season of Riverdale consists of 22 episodes.

WHAT TIME DOES NETFLIX RELEASE NEW SHOWS?

Netflix releases new episodes at 3:00 a.m. ET/12:00 a.m. PT.

WHAT TIME WILL RIVERDALE SEASON 6 BE ON NETFLIX?

Netflix is based out of California, so Riverdale Season 6 will be available to stream at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) beginning Sunday, August 7. If the clock strikes 12:00 (or 3:00 a.m. for folks on the East Coast) and you don’t see the new episodes, give it a moment, hit refresh, and then enjoy the show!

WILL THERE BE A SEASON 7 OF RIVERDALE?

Yes! Decider recently covered that very topic.

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Actress Anne Heche Suffers Severe Burns After Crashing Car Into Los Angeles Home

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Actress Anne Heche, known for her roles in such films as Donnie Brasco, Volcano and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was involved in a fiery car crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles on Friday.

According to TMZ, Heche was driving a blue Mini Cooper and had first crashed into the garage of an apartment complex. Residents of the apartment complex tried to get her out of the vehicle but she backed up and sped off.

Footage of Heche speeding down the streets of her neighborhood had been obtained by TMZ as well as her initial encounter at the apartment complex.

In the first clip, you can hear her car crash towards the end. It has been reported that the actress crashed into someone’s home, causing her vehicle and the house to erupt into flames. Heche suffered severe burns and was resisting being taken away in a stretcher. You can also view footage of this via the TMZ article.

It has not been confirmed whether alcohol has been involved in the incident since her condition prevents doctors from performing any tests to determine if she was driving under the influence. She is currently intubated in the hospital but expected to live.

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These are the vulgar license-plate requests the DMV has rejected

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Stay CL4SSY, New York!

The state Department of Motor Vehicles nixed 3,752 requests for vanity license plates in the last three years because it deemed them too raunchy, radical or simply ridiculous.

New York’s personalized plates go for $60 initially, and then $31.25 annually for renewal. You can get any plate as long as no one else has it and it’s not offensive.

Odds are a request for a plate that marks a wedding anniversary or shows your allegiance to a team — like METS86 — will pass muster with the DMV gatekeepers.

Vulgarity won’t get you to first base.

So plates with the phrase LFGM — the acronym for Pete Alonso’s “Let’s F–king Go Mets” rallying cry — did not make the cut.

And you won’t see anyone driving around with the custom plates MILFDAD, AS5M4N and WLHUNG.

Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
New York DMV
NYC123
New York state Department of Motor Vehicles denied more than 3.5 thousand requests for license plates deemed inappropriate.
New York DMV
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
New York DMV

The DMV also put NICEBUNS, FATFANNY, GOTAPOOP and BENDOVER in the rear-view mirror.

One player unsuccessfully tried to score the plate YESDADDY, to no avail.

The DMV also shot down such dark requests as DEADGIRL, GENOC1DE, S8TAN, DETONATE and MURDERM3.

“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
New York DMV
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
New York DMV
BOOBIE is prohibited.
BOOBIE is prohibited.
New York DMV

Getting political is a dead end too — FJOEBIDN, FDTRUMP and CNNLIES were nixed.

LUDEDUDE, NARCO, GOT METH and BLUNT also went up in smoke.

Staten Island attorney Bill Dertinger said his blue 1995 Jaguar SJS was tagged with ESQLTD after his company and his 2014 Porsche had the plate GHOSTGTS because the sleek sportscar was white.

“The plates can make you stand out — which can be a curse or a blessing,” the 54-year-old Dertinger said. “Make sure you don’t cut anybody off.”

A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
New York DMV
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
New York DMV
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
New York DMV

There must be a New York Jets fan playing referee at the DMV because a request for the seemingly innocent plate GASE was sidelined. Ex-Jets head coach Adam Gase had an offensive 9-23 win-loss record during his forgettable two-year tenure.

The DMV would not reveal who gives the final yea or nay.

“The DMV reviews all custom license plate requests and works hard to ensure that any combinations that may be considered objectionable are rejected,” said agency spokesman Tim O’Brien.

“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
New York DMV
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
New York DMV

He said guidelines on what plate combinations are restricted can be found on the DMV website: https://dmv.ny.gov/learn-about-personalized-plates. Approximately 50,000 personalized and custom plates are sold per year, O’Brien said.

Bagged Tags

The state DMV has rejected 3,752 requests for custom license plates in the last three years because it deemed them potentially offensive. Here are some:

YESDADDY

FJOEBIDN

FDTRUMP

GLOCKS

FLYMOFO

BOOBIE

AS5M4N

BUDLIGHT

DEADGIRL

SUM8ITCH

GENOC1DE

S8TAN

CNNLIES

DETONATE

MURDERM3

MILFDAD

WLHUNG

Source: NYS DMV

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