is a #2012
American #blackandwhite #comedydrama #film
, directed by #noahbaumbach
and written by Baumbach and #gretagerwig
. Gerwig also plays the title role.
Baumbach shoots in crisp black-and-white, with a floating, Nouvelle Vague succinctness that’s more #truffaut
– his soundtrack liberally samples the Sixties film themes of Georges Delerue.
Gerwig’s character Frances is 27, permanently broke, and not fully grown either. She’s a dancer and choreographer, but not a very successful one. She has a boyfriend, but not one she feels very strongly about one way or the other. If anything, her main devotion in life is to her best friend, Sophie (#mickeysumner
), but this is a bond Frances blatantly overestimates, as if still investing in an adolescent platonic crush which is only half-reciprocated. So she is later half-occupying other friends’ digs on sofa-beds — the sort of early-twentysomething existence that’s less of a good look the closer you get to thirty.
Frances herself is above nothing, which is part of what makes her Gerwig’s most delightful and oddly heroic creation to date. She has a rueful naivete. The movie sends her off on excursions out of New York, defying her drained finances, and every one of them is like a Lorrie Moore short story.
Gerwig makes everyday bad luck into a sad ballad, and bursts of happiness into soaraway anthems — the movie goes stratospheric when she’s running across New York’s streets, with #davidbowie
putting a spring in every step.
Above all, she’s in her element as a comedienne: no one could sheepishly light a cigarette indoors and say “I feel like a bad mother in 1987” while making it sound like such a perfectly in-character witticism, found in the moment.
Frances Ha has the joy of slightness — of being a non-definitive slice of its heroine’s life, more a passing shower of surmountable disappointments similar to its german companion #ohboy