Frances Ha

  • Year:2012
  • Rating:M
  • Director:Noah Baumbach
  • Cast:Greta Gerwig , Adam Driver, Mickey Sumner
  • Release Date:August 15, 2013
  • Distributor:Transmission
  • Running time:86 minutes
  • Film Worth:$18.00
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

Greta Gerwig is superb in this smart, candid and charming feature about navigating early adulthood in the big city.

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When Frances attempts to pay for dinner in one of Frances Ha’s best scenes, her card declines, and she blurts out, “I’m so embarrassed – I’m not a real person yet.” And that earnest but beguiling sentiment is at the centre of the latest feature from writer/director, Noah Baumbach (The Squid And The Whale, Greenberg), who’s crafted a smart, wry and surprisingly tender film about standing at the crossroads of adulthood. 

Greta Gerwig (who shares a co-writing credit) plays the eponymous character, an aspiring dancer in New York who, at 27, has probably passed the age of making her big break. Early on, Frances rebuffs her boyfriend’s offer to share an apartment, only to be dumped and then learn that her best friend and roommate, Sophie (Mickey Sumner), is moving out. We then follow Frances through various living arrangements as she attempts to both break from and cling to her past.

Taking its cues from its disarming lead character, Frances Ha is packed with scenes that make epic cinema out of the most intimate moments – watch as Frances makes an emergency run to an ATM, or pirouettes through the streets to David Bowie’s “Modern Love.” Shot in gorgeous black and white, Frances Ha takes the familiar notion of being young in a big city, and makes that template fresh and romantic again. It’s not devoid of pain, however, as we watch Frances struggle to make ends meet, with Baumbach deftly revealing that while endless twentysomethings may fall in love with New York, it’s a city that doesn’t always love them back. But the way that Frances (brought to life in an irresistible, idiosyncratic but grounded performance by Gerwig) navigates these challenges and ultimately accepts adulthood is quietly heroic.

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