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Frances Ha

Directed by Noah Baumbach
Starring Greta Gerwig

A charming portrait of post-college woes, Noah Baumbach’s deceptively simple Frances Ha is breezier than any of his previous ventures and indeed features considerably less ambition than his earlier work. However, that’s hardly an indictment for a movie so eager to please and thoroughly in tune with the themes percolating throughout Baumbach’s career. Shot in black and white, which lends this New York odyssey a scrappy feel, Frances Ha foregrounds a characteristically endearing Greta Gerwig performance defined by her usual onscreen combination of high energy wit and awkward self-effacement. Poster art for Frances HaAs the eponymous Frances, Gerwig credibly portrays a disoriented Vassar College grad attempting to lead a stable life in New York City. At first she inhabits a bubble of ignorance alongside her best pal Sophie (rising star and Sting daughter Mickey Sumner), an equally spirited young woman with whom Frances spends her days running amuck in the city. ‘We’re the same person,’ Frances routinely suggests, an apt assertion until Sophie decides to move out. That first indication that the world is changing faster than Frances can keep pace is followed by many more as she continues to eke out a living apprenticing for a post-modern dance company while perpetually couch-surfing. The saga of her nomadic existence takes centre stage as title cards routinely crop up to describe Frances’ continually shifting homes, which range from Brooklyn to her parents’ place in Sacramento to a random jaunt around Paris. Considerably upbeat by Baumbach’s standards, Frances Ha is loaded with effective one-liners Gerwig delivers so many guffaw-worthy quips that even Frances admits that her life is ‘like a sitcom.’ Sans laugh track, however, the jokes in Frances Ha also point to its lead character’s insecurities. In a moment clearly not positioned for humour, she confesses, ‘I’m not a real person yet.’ A return to the terrain of Baumbach’s The Squid And The Whale and Kicking And Screaming, the movie amplifies similar coming-of-age phobias with uncomfortable details. While playfully bohemian and enamoured of New York youth culture, Frances Ha never overreaches; instead, it settles for a series of smart riffs on arrested development that meander along in accordance with the rhythms of the life it depicts. – Eric Kohn, IndiewireOfficial Trailer

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Directed by: 
Noah Baumbach
Running Time: 
Greta Gerwig, Micky Sumner, Adam Driver
Screenplay by: 
Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig

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