Frances Ha Reviews
August 17, 2014
For some reason, I really didn't get this movie...
February 11, 2014
rances Ha is a small budget quirky black and white film that follows its title character Frances through her everyday struggles. Frances is an awkward 27 year old dancing apprentice who struggles with romantic and platonic relationships and who seems to be perpetually down on on her luck.
Frances is an incredibly well-realized three dimensional character. It is because of this character that the film was as enjoyable as it was. The film does tread on some familiar territory and frequently boarders on cliché, yet it is entertaining and heartfelt.
June 13, 2013
"I'm sorry, I'm not a real person yet," our heroine Frances says when she's unable to pay for dinner with her debit card. She's talking about not owning a credit card, which the restaurant she's at requires, but the statement fits every aspect of her life.
Frances is a 27 year-old postgraduate and a dancer at a New York company. Well, she's an apprentice, but maybe with due time and a performance at the company's Christmas show she could start touring? Maybe. She's definitely a drifter with more of an idea of where she might live, than how.
Unsure twenty-somethings aren't new territory for director Noah Baumbach (Kicking and Screaming, The Squid and the Whale). But his latest, co-written with Greta Gerwig who plays Frances, offers a more focused view into the uncertainties of growing up - even when you're a grown up.
Frances, a charismatic yet self-proclaimed "undatable" woman in New York, has problems keeping her job, her boyfriend, and her best friend Sophie. With trouble finding a footing years after she has left college, her experience of adulthood savors of playful immaturity. And Baumbach captures it all quite well in a stylish black and white reminiscent of the goofy and sexually-imbued French New Wave films of the 1960s.
We find ourselves from the beginning rooting for Frances. She's a nut, but we love her, and even after four vodkas and way too much inappropriate dinner talk, we shrug our shoulders and let her continue, hoping she'll make better decisions the next morning.
The film, which has a capacity to resonate largely with young audiences, is energetic. Frances, who we see running and skipping (and occasionally falling) everywhere she goes, lifts herself from pedestrian streets and over the high-rise buildings of downtown. She's uplifting, and for that we love her.
August 7, 2014
Easy to adore and identify with if you can ("Ahh, life... Yes..."), odd and potentially despicable if you can't.
March 25, 2013
There is something honest about black-and-white. In the golden age of cinema, only the melodramas used it, while the comedies and the musicals preferred Technicolor. Without rosy reds, warm oranges, there is a sort of thin-skinned, bone-dry look that we don't see in everyday life. We don't have to push through bright images to get to the core of the story - with black-and-white, we can nearly see everything the way it's intended to be.
Certainly, Baumbach is a genius for filming "Frances Ha" this way - it clearly pays homage to Woody Allen's refreshingly honest "Manhattan" - and the film is all the better for it. The titular Frances is portrayed by Greta Gerwig, the new Parker Posey; the new Queen of the Indies. Frances is 27, a "dancer", and unmarried. She lives with her best friend from college, Sophie (Mickey Sumner), and their relationship is so Lucy and Ethel that you get the feeling that separating them would be like cutting siamese twins in half.
The rug is pulled out from under Frances' feet (and ours) when Sophie casually announces that she is seriously considering moving to the Tribeca area, with a different friend. When she actually does, Frances' feeling of emptiness was shared by me. How could her sister from another mister betray her like that?
Without Sophie, Frances' life is even more aimless than before. She longs to be a top dancer, but her enthusiasm doesn't match her talent by a long shot. Soon, she is let go from her current job, but can't admit to herself that her hopes and dreams have failed, and her BFF doesn't need her much anymore these days. All in all, Frances is having a hard time.
Gerwig is brilliant, a complete knockout in a role of such small means. If there were an Olympics simply for awkwardness, Frances would be a gold medalist. But Gerwig does something similar to what Lisa Kudrow did all those years with Phoebe on "Friends" - sure, she can be maddening, and sure, she can make terrible decisions, but she possesses quirks and neuroses' that are endearing rather than seriously irritating. It's a wonder that Gerwig, who co-wrote "Frances Ha" with Baumbach, is able to flesh out a character so easily through both her screenwriting and her acting.
But what makes the film such a success is how well it portrays the life of a person in their '20s. Gone are the free college days, the days where being unsure of your future was hit with an OK stamp. Gone are the days where your friends were your family. You are thrust into reality without a cushion, and it can be hard to accept the bloodied cement in front of you. But thanks to the sharp and insightful script, things never get too completely dark - it's a film that is seamlessly witty while still in-touch with its slice-of-life origins. Baumbach's direction is carefree enough to make the film feel smooth and unpredictable, though harshly deglamorized.
"Frances Ha" is truly something else. Who knew the failing life goals of an adorable 27-year old could be so timely, so eye-opening?
August 5, 2014
Writing with Gerwig, Baumbach has created a playful, sneakily charming generational touchstone on a par with Woody Allen's Annie Hall. I loved Frances's irrepressible spirit which prevailed in spite of crushing disappointments. She never becomes embittered. She is beautiful in her awkwardness. I hope there will be more Gerwig/Baumbach collaborations!
August 1, 2014
Hopeless at times but her "everything's gonna be alright" kind of attitude is quite envious.
July 30, 2014
Going into Frances Ha, I must admit I didn't expect anything much out of it. But I came out enjoying quite a bit. The film is quite short, but during its short run time, the film provides a well crafted story and some good performances. The film may not be the excellent picture that everyone says it is, but it's most certainly a film well worth seeing, and one that blends drama and comedy perfectly into one film. The result is an enjoyable picture, and the performances provided by the cast are very good and entertaining as well. If you're looking for a pleasant little film to pass the time, then give Frances Ha a shot. The film is entertaining, but it could have also been better as well. I really wanted to like more than this, and I felt that the film has unrealized potential to be something really memorable. But it does manage to be a worthwhile viewing experience, but at times you do get the sensation that things could have been improved upon. Frances Ha has all the trademarks of Indie productions, and it's a film that does manage to work much better than its contemporaries as it's a simple, yet effective storyline with much better acting than others of the genre. Enjoyable, fun and charming, Frances Ha is a film that is well worth seeing if you enjoy these types of movies. As well as that, I think that aside from Greta Gerwig role in The House of the Devil, which was directed by Ti West, this is her best performance yet.
July 25, 2014
Their is so much beneath the surface.
November 14, 2013
This is the best movie I've seen in a long time. The main character's really great, and the director told her story in a way that makes it seem like you've spent a lot of time with this person, instead of less than an hour and a half.
March 6, 2013
Frances: "Sometimes it's good to do what you're supposed to do when you're supposed to do it."
July 17, 2014
Beautiful in the most unexpected way.
July 13, 2014
Its a beautiful movie. Interestingly it does not warrant an active 'watching' and that is where its beauty lies. A not so simple feat the creative genius of maker and intelligent camera work ends up achieving. Movie got such a young vibe and you realize it in the two contrasting dinner table conversations. The Lead Greta Gerwig did a fantastic portrait of frances and the very last frame explains the title. Along the story line, you see how renting out your own apartments equals the feeling that you are arrived and got the grip. In end you make a mental note at least to learn and know a person the way you know Frances now.
November 2, 2013
Noah Baumbach's most accomplished work to date, and Greta Gerwig finally is able to establish herself firmly as a rising leading lady.
June 26, 2014
What a delight of a movie. See it, you will not be disappointed.
December 14, 2013
A festival of Greta Gerwig many talents and charms
June 19, 2014
Normally stories about aimless adult children talking a lot but not saying much annoy me, but Greta Gerwig is absolutely charming and single-handily makes this one a winner.
June 12, 2014
great direction and script saved this film from being lame, which it could have easily been. I enjoyed it.
|Ghazi Ali K||
June 8, 2014
An excellent movie with brilliant acting and lovable characters. Greta does a beautiful job playing Frances - a young 20 something woman in NY struggling with finding her feet, scrambling with career and social connections in a fast moving city.
May 29, 2014
Brisk and beautifully shot in black and white. "Frances Ha" is my favorite Noah Baumbach movie.