Depiction of Marriage in Films Essay

Pages: 3 (970 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Family and Marriage

Marriage in Movies

Marriage in the Movies

In Jean Luc Godard's Contempt, marriage is depicted as a relationship in which all sense of meaning and purpose has been emptied out. Brigitte Bardot plays Camille, wife of Paul, a playwright. Though they still converse and live together, an estrangement has crept into their marriage. They no longer seem to know one another or really care for the other.

Meanwhile, Paul's producer Prokosch, played by Jack Palance, takes an interest in Camille and goes out of his way to be alone with her. When Paul does not try to assert his rights, Camille takes offense. She clearly wants to be fought for -- but Paul is so dejected by the environment in which he finds himself that it is impossible for him to really fight for anything, especially a wife who fails to inspire him.

The emotional vulnerabilities of marriage as depicted in the film are clear: husband and wife drift apart into meaninglessness; they have no higher vision; they are trapped in a menial existence in which sensuality and materialism are everything. The economic vulnerabilities are less clear but are hinted at: Paul must earn his wages somehow, and if he must write tedious work for the movies, then so be it: but the work does not truly stimulate him and his marriage may suffer for it as a result. The social vulnerabilities are evident in the fatalism which the film projects: any joy that the married couple may have had is never to return; the society around them is crippling force and they are speeding towards death on an unstoppable course.

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Marriage in Contempt is not ridiculed. Far from it -- what is inspected is the state of married life in the modern world; there is little sense of its true meaning and purpose, and therefore little hope of marital success.

TOPIC: Essay on Depiction of Marriage in Films Assignment

In Derek Cianfrance's Blue Valentine, marriage is depicted in a similar way. There is little sense in the film of any meaning or purpose. There is, instead, a clear longing on the part of the main characters, Dean (played by Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (played by Michelle Williams). Both characters long for love and support, but they rush into marriage because Cindy is pregnant and Dean wants to help support her.

However, Dean tends to drink and Cindy wants him to have more ambition. He is happy painting houses and doesn't want to do anything else. All he asks for is a little consideration. When he doesn't get it, he becomes angry -- to the point of causing a scene at her work, which causes her to lose her job.

The emotional vulnerabilities of the marriage in this film center on the unstable nature of the relationship. Neither Dean nor Cindy really connect with one another. They met at a time when both were in a state of emotional need. They fulfilled that need… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Depiction of Marriage in Films" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Depiction of Marriage in Films.  (2013, June 19).  Retrieved December 2, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Depiction of Marriage in Films."  19 June 2013.  Web.  2 December 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Depiction of Marriage in Films."  June 19, 2013.  Accessed December 2, 2021.