Movie Review #682
Studio: RT Features — Pine District — Scott Rudin
Distributor: IFC Films
Spoken Languages: English
Directed by Noah Baumbach. Produced by Noah Baumbach, Scott Rudin, Rodrigo Teixeira, and Lila Yacoub. Written by Noah Baumbach & Greta Gerwig.
Rated R by the MPAA – mild sexual content, profanity. Runs 1 hour, 26 minutes. Premiered at Telluride Film Festival on September 1, 2012; at Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, 2012; at New York Film Festival on September 30, 2012; at Berlin International Film Festival in February 2013; at D’A – Festival Internacional de Cinema d’Autor de Barcelona on April 27, 2013; at IndieLisboa International Independent Film Festival on April 28, 2013; at San Francisco International Film Festival on May 2, 2013; at Montclair Film Fsstival on May 3, 2013; and at Seattle International Film Festival on May 17, 2013. Limited release in the USA on May 17, 2013.
Starring Greta Gerwig, Adam Driver, Charlotte d’Amboise, and Grace Gummer.
“Frances Ha” is a petite independent movie with all 86 minutes existing for one reason: to prove it’s truly something special. The one thing it has that Frances the character doesn’t is inner talent. Noah Baumbach directs this beautifully. Not as a 2013 flick, but a simple 2013 dramedy with a 1950s finish. It looks beautiful and it sounds beautiful. The soundtrack is every bit worth hearing.
Baumbach also cowrote the movie with its star, Greta Gerwig. Every breath of the screenplay is lifelike. None of it is overwhelming, nor underwhelming, nor superficial in any way that I can tell. What’s best is that the two writers seem to equally love and hate the titular character. She’s rendered a complete dork (and Gerwig’s appearance says so, too). It takes time to warm up to her, but once we do, we fall in love with her. What more can I say? This is pretty much what we want in a purist indie comedy. “Frances Ha” is always oddly humorous, often unapologetic where it is brisk and lighthearted. It has its flaws, but I’d rather not point them out. Not at the expense of a movie that had me willing to go for a second viewing before it was halfway over.
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