Double Bill! Part 1: FRANCES HA
Noah Baumbach directs this entertaining film starring Greta Gerwig as a 27 year old apprentice dancer whose life goes into turmoil when her best friend and roommate decides to move on with her life. She hops around from place to place and person to person looking to make some new connection that will restart her life, which honestly hasn’t seemed to really start. Luckily for her (and the audience) she doesn’t wallow in self-pity or grow mired in despair, and she eventually finds her place in the world, and reconciles with her life.
Mr. Baumbach has previously directed films like THE SQUID AND THE WHALE, MARGOT AT THE WEDDING, and GREENBERG, all rather acerbic and semi-downbeat observational films about other out-of-place characters. I liked them all, and he always gets good performances from his casts. With this film, and no doubt aided and abetted by Mrs. Gerwig (who co-scripted), he retains his observational techniques while acquiring a bubblier and more energetic subject to focus on, and which makes this film a joy to watch. The dialogue and acting are especially fresh and unlabored, and though the film doesn’t shy away from her troubles it doesn’t grow truly troubling to view. It feels like (and from what I’ve read has been patterned after) early Woody Allen New York comedies, even down to its MANHATTAN-esque black and white cinematography.
Good adult entertainment, nary a car crash or explosion in sight. Recommended.