Frances Ha

2013

Frances Ha

Critics Consensus

Audiences will need to tolerate a certain amount of narrative drift, but thanks to sensitive direction from Noah Baumbach and an endearing performance from Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha makes it easy to forgive.

92%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 176

77%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 19,989
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Movie Info

Frances (Greta Gerwig) lives in New York, but she doesn't really have an apartment. Frances is an apprentice for a dance company, but shes not really a dancer. Frances has a best friend named Sophie, but they aren't really speaking anymore. Frances throws herself headlong into her dreams, even as their possible reality dwindles. Frances wants so much more than she has but lives her life with unaccountable joy and lightness. FRANCES HA is a modern comic fable that explores New York, friendship, class, ambition, failure, and redemption. (c) IFC Films

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Critic Reviews for Frances Ha

All Critics (176) | Top Critics (46)

  • One of the happiest sights you'll see all summer is a montage of Gerwig running and twirling across Chinatown with David Bowie's "Modern Love" on the soundtrack.

    Jan 6, 2014 | Full Review…
  • As Frances literally dances her way through the streets of New York, you can't help smiling and knowing she will be OK. She will figure out how to be the adult she was meant to be.

    Dec 11, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Frances Ha -- both the movie and its heroine -- is graceful, awkward, luminous and hilarious.

    Dec 11, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Few films top Woody Allen's Manhattan for capturing New York City's blend of rapture and apprehension. Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha comes close.

    Dec 11, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Writing with Gerwig, Baumbach has created a fey, sneakily charming generational touchstone on a par with Annie Hall and his own Gen Y col-grad comedy Kicking and Screaming.

    Dec 11, 2013 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • Frances Ha might well strike some viewers as ridiculously twee and tiresomely indulgent to its immature heroine. Not me, though. I'm happy to be enchanted.

    Jul 26, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Frances Ha

  • Jan 14, 2017
    Greta Gerwig is so immensely likable. Her performance is so uninhibited and she performs as if there isn't anyone to impress. It is a starmaking performance in a rather funny and warm little lark of a film. Frances Ha utilizes lovely black and white visuals to portray a struggling 27 year old dancer in a city where dreaming is easy but achieving dreams is harder. The dialogue spikes with insight and comedic mini moments and if it occasionally is just too self-knowing and quirky, there is another gem of a moment around the corner. It is an endearingly small and truthful film. One that feels homemade its lack of a true plot makes it a laidback and enjoyable experience. Rating: 83
    Bradley J Super Reviewer
  • Jul 07, 2015
    Quintessential mumblecore film
    Spencer M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 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.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Apr 18, 2014
    The inspiration sources of <i>Frances Ha</i> are nothing short of honorable: we have the introspective dialogue invasions of Jean Eustache, the energy of the Nouvelle Vague, the nostalgic setting of Woody Allen's <i>Manhattan</i> (1979) and the cinéma vérité style of early John Cassavetes. However, making an amalgamation of all of them and compressing them into 86 minutes seems like a bad idea. Let's dissect these perceived influences one by one: 1) Eustache took <b>more than three full hours</b> to dissect one of the most fascinating trios in cinema history. Similar circumstances and scenarios than those of the characters of <i>Frances Ha</i> surrounded them. Therefore, what made this trio so fascinating was the characters themselves. Their otherwordly capacity to verbalize their inner conflicts and the exteriorization of their actions was what made the film so unique. 2) The Nouvelle Vague movement was a revolutionary cinema trend too rich in features to be described here, but among them, we can find complex character conflicts and an energetic pace that made the personalities of the characters, including their actions and perspectives towards life, correlate with the energy that they seemed to obtain from the vivid life of the city and from the people around them. 3) The black-and-white use in <i>Manhattan</i> attempted to mirror Woody's nostalgic sense towards a city rich in content, social strata, intellectual discussions and ironies. It had elements that referenced popular culture of generations prior to which the film was set. 4) Finally, in 1959, Cassavetes made an extremely underrated, yet undeniably landmark achievement in American moviemaking applying a neorealist tone to the depiction of cultural elements from the perspective of a modern youth, resulting in a collage of their troubles and their eccentricities. Indeed, <i>Frances Ha</i> attempted to include all of that (it is starting to sound ridiculous, right?), and also maybe to pay proper tributes. Nevertheless, contrasting it with the previous points: 1) Characters are never dissected. We barely care about them. 2) A similar energy is indeed transmitted, and even some comedy touches worth of the Nouvelle Vague were applied. However, the film moved too randomly, and too quickly to pick a grasp out of anything. 3) The film takes place in the modern time. It doesn't coincide with the feelings transmitted with its B&W tone. 4) It's free-spirited, and the characters represents a particular age segment. But something good had to come out of this mess. Indeed, Frances had all the potential/capacity to become an iconic character meant to remind us of all the 'Anna Karinas' and the 'Corinne Marchands' improvising in the 60s. She didn't, but she's memorable. The style is very appealing, especially to the film buffs that (sadly, just like me) will be immediately making movie references and style connections while analyzing the characters and appreciating the style, which was beautifully shot. To close this paragraph, the topic of a central character having multiple unconcluded roles or activities with its consequential personal life issues is a theme I approve because the ironies involved in such lifestyle are hilarious and, at the same time, worth of reflection. Conclusions: - <i>Frances Ha</i> is Noah's lucky strike. - The film has too many ideas to tell with little vision, and with little budget, resulting in characters that come and go without any of us caring, discussions not sufficiently engaging to be remembered afterwards, and a movie that feels uneventful at the end, despite some charming moments in between. - The use of black-and-white is not justified, but it was not a detriment to the quality either. It was just "there", making no difference if it had been in color. - Given the handful of ideas to share, the film had some glimpses of truly smart screenwriting. Damn, was this difficult... 66/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer

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