Frances Ha



In Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha Greta Gerwig gives a performance that will not be forgotten any time soon. She's so damn good as Frances, a 27 year old yuppie New York girl still trying to find herself in the big city and refusing to let go of her dream as a professional dancer. This is a far cry from the Sex And The City females and more like the ones portrayed in Lena Dunham's brilliant HBO series Girls. In fact, comparisons will be made just by the casting of Girls regular Adam Driver. It's more than just that. Just like Dunham's show, Frances Ha is the about the coming of age of women that have a hard time embarking in adulthood and just like that series' best episodes there is an episodic uncomfortableness to Frances' every day situations. Going from apartment to apartment and never really finding her place. At times you just cringe at the situations she puts herself

Baumbach's real life girlfriend is Gerwig. She has become a sort of muse for director as he had previously used her in his previous film 2011's Greenberg. If that film -starring an excellent Ben Stiller- failed to deliver in its study of a middle aged loser going through the motions and an angst driven crisis, this new film by Baumbach succeeds admirably in its titular character's isolation of everyday society. Stiller's Greenberg was cold, detached and ultimately not very likable. Gerwig's Frances is the opposite. No matter how many stupid decisions she does we still root for her to end up okay. The same couldn't be said of Stiller's Greenberg, a mean spirited and not very genuine complainer.

Gerwig -with her long wavy blonde hair and clumsy posture- is spectacular in more ways than one. She brings realness to a character that could have easily delved deep into caricature. It doesn't happen here. Instead Baumbach, in his best film since The Squid And The Whale, launches the career of a new star. Gerwig's gestures, movements, facial expressions are spot on and make you fall for Frances - flaws and all. Her life is a confusing mess, while her best friend/roommate finds love and moves out. She is down on cash, single, awkward and in search of herself. She acts younger than her age, takes things one day at a time and doesn't think much about the future. At some point living this way catches up to you. It caught up to me in my life and it caught up to many other late twenty somethings that I knew of. Baumbach's character study doesn't cozy up to any conventions. The director speaks the truth for my generation and creates a sort of wake up call. Shot in beautiful black and white he proves that The Squid And The Whale was no fluke. With all that being said Frances Ha is the Greta Gerwig show, Oscar pay attention.
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