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Divorce American Style

MUBI Special

A triple bill of American films, by three masters of the bittersweet––Baumbach, Allen, McCarey––exploring divorce and its consequences through a comedic lens.

The Awful Truth

Leo McCarey United States, 1937

Stanley Cavell calls films like this masterpiece a comedy of remarriage, a new story forged at the height of the screwballs where a couple falls apart and we watch (with delight) as they flirt, fight and fall in love all over again. Cary Grant and Irene Dunne here are a sparkling match for the ages.

Husbands and Wives

Woody Allen United States, 1992

We love Allen’s films twice as much when they are an open love letter to his madly admired Ingmar Bergman. Like this clever and bitter scan of two collapsing relationships, moving homage to the paradigmatic Scenes From A Marriage. Hysterical, utterly insightful and one of Woody’s finest.

The Squid and the Whale

Noah Baumbach United States, 2005

A triple bill exploring divorce, with humour! Baumbach (Frances Ha) turned to his past, Truffaut-style, for one of the best indies of the 00s, a brilliantly scripted, wincingly truthful tragicomedy about understanding parents as human beings. The cast is perfect—and the world met Jesse Eisenberg.

Life is too short for bad films

Every day we hand-pick a beautiful new film and you have a whole month to watch it, so there’s always 30 perfectly curated films to discover.