Writer-director Noah Baumbach once again taps into a specific point in life with astute observational skill, even if the plot feels oddly forced. The vividly defined characters continually surprise with their awkward honesty, although this comedy-drama suffers from the contrived plotting of Greenberg (2010) rather than the free-spirited joy of Frances Ha (2012). Still, people on the cusp of middle age will find it hilariously, and worryingly, resonant.
In their early 40s, Josh and Cornelia (Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts) feel like everyone is judging them for not having children. And Josh has the additional pressure that his filmmaking career has stalled: he has nothing to show for eight years spent on his latest documentary. Then they meet 25-year-old aspiring filmmaker Jamie (Adam Driver) and his wife Darby (Amanda Seyfried), who inspire them to recapture their youthful interests in art and culture. Even their sex life begins to perk up. And Jamie encourages Josh to make progress on his movie, just as Jamie gets his own project underway, consulting with Cornelia's well-established filmmaker dad (Charles Grodin). But is this trans-generational friendship appropriate?
The fact that they even wonder that gives away Baumbach's own perspective, especially as he fills the film with witty contrasts that work a little too hard to make the point. For example, Josh collects CDs and DVDs while Jamie collects LPs and VHS tapes. Continual touches like this add lots of clever observational humour, although they also make everything feel a bit cartoonish and over-constructed. Plus of course the nagging sense that there's a right and wrong way these kinds of things should play out. Thankfully the dialogue is fiendishly smart, delivered to perfection by the gifted cast. And it helps that each of the actors are willing to be fairly unlikeable in his or her role, although Stiller is sometimes sent over the top with Josh's inexplicably harsh reactions to everyone around him.
Continue reading: While We're Young Review
Mad Max just keeps on running. With nothing else to lose in his life, his only instinct is to survive the ever more savage climate the world has become. Trapped in the Australian desert where water and oil run low and any resources are precious, he finds living easier when he's alone, occasionally interacting to rescue the odd tribe who have found themselves in serious trouble. When he his captured by power-hungry barbarians intent on claiming the world and its inhabitants as their own, he must escape; though sometimes that means using more force than you ever thought you were capable of. On the way he meets Furiosa, a desperate woman on a mission to re-discover her childhood home and find salvation. There's more sand-soaked stunts and death-defying action as Max hits the road in his most brutal adventure yet.
Continue: Mad Max: Fury Road - Extended Trailer
With the world first running out of oil, water soon followed. Planet Earth is now covered in endless deserts, and people driven completely insane through desperation. Across the lawless land, flee two rebels, desperately holding onto what could perhaps be the only chance for the world's salvation and order. Perusing them, is an evil, chaotic bandit leader, desperate to get his hands on what they carry. And then there's Max (Tom Hardy) - a simple man of action and few words, who just wants to live his life outside of all this madness. But in a world gone insane, just how long until he becomes Mad Max?
Over 35 years after his directorial debut with 'Mad Max', George Miller returns to the franchise that made him with 'Mad Max: Fury Road'. After almost 25 years in development hell, the fourth film in the 'Mad Max' series began its principle photography in July 2012 in Namibia, with filming finishing in December of the same year. In November 2013, certain parts of the film had to undergo re-filming before it was finally finished. 'Mad Max: Fury Road' is set to hit theatres on 15th May 2015 in the US.
Could Frances Ha join the race for the Oscars?
Noah Baumbach's new move Frances Ha is easily one of the best reviewed movies of the year. A 93% fresh score on review aggregating website Rotten Tomatoes sees in climb inside the year's Top 20, though most critics agree that Greta Gerwig's performance as an apprentice dancer in New York is the year's best.
Shot in black and white, this overtly cool indie-flick tale follows Frances and her best friend Sophie. When the latter moves out of their shared apartment to live with another friend, Frances is forced to figure her life out.
There's shades of Greenberg here, though whereas Ben Stiller was the focus in that movie (despite Gerwig stealing every scene), it is the 28-year-old from New York who maintains her position as one of the world's finest actresses.
Continue reading: Greta Gerwig Gives Performance of a Lifetime in 'Frances Ha' [Trailer]
This film may look like one of those annoyingly mannered independent films, with its wacky young cast and arty-farty black and white photography, but it's actually a fresh, smart and very funny comedy. It also features one of the most honest female characters in recent memory: Frances is a true original who is awash in optimism as she tries to navigate the obstacles in her life.
Gerwig has made a career of playing quirky goofballs (see Damsels in Distress), and Frances is definitely offbeat. But she's also likeable and real. She lives in New York with her best pal Sophie (Sumner). But their close bond is strained when Frances' romance with her boyfriend (Esper) collapses while Sophie moves forward with her partner Patch (Heusinger). Now Frances needs to find a new place to live, so she moves in with Lev and Benji (Driver and Zegen). She's also pushing her dance company director (d'Amboise) for more work. While everyone around her is growing up and building their lives, she seems to be going backwards. But she never lets that get her down.
Frances is such an engaging character that we can't help but fall for her. Her relentlessly positive approach to life may seem corny, but she also insists on achieving her goals on her own terms. This may make her progress more difficult, such as when she takes a humiliating job at her old university, but at least she has her integrity. Sort of. Meanwhile the film is punctuated with moments of hilarious slapstick, sarcasm and relationships that ring sometimes painfully true. And at the centre is her strained but unshakable bond with Sophie.
Continue reading: Frances Ha Review
Frances Handley is a 27-year-old aspiring modern dancer and an apprentice for a dance company, though she has no real talent in the art. She lives in an apartment in New York with her best friend Sophie who is smarter and much more mature with an ambition in publishing. As time goes on, their bond begins to weaken as their lives take different courses and their personalities take different courses. Sophie wants to move out with another friend of hers leaving Frances to work out her own life and take care of herself for once in her life. Will this pair be separated forever by romance, ambition and growing older, or will they find it in themselves to reconcile?
'Frances Ha' is a black and white comedy drama with many similar qualities to a rom com, except platonic. It has been directed by Noah Baumbach ('The Squid and the Whale', 'Greenberg') who also co-wrote the screenplay with the movie's star Greta Gerwig ('Hannah Takes the Stairs', 'Nights and Weekends'). It looks at love in a way that is rarely explored in movies these days and has so far received immense reviews since its premiere at Toronto Film Festival. It is set to hit screens on July 26th 2013.
Release date 26th July 2013
Continue: Frances Ha Trailer
Amanda Seyfried says she lost weight after moving to Hollywood.
Les Miserables actress Amanda Seyfried says she lost her "beautiful, huge breasts" after moving to Hollywood to pursue a career in movies. The 27-year-old - who plays Linda Lovelace in a forthcoming biopic - called in on the Ellen Degeneres show this week to discuss her beginnings.
"I looked way better when I was 15. I had beautiful, huge breasts!" the actress explained, "And then I came to Hollywood and I was like I gotta lose weight. I gotta look thin. I gotta get fit. And I lost them a little bit." It seems she lost more than "a little bit," telling DeGeneres she was an D cup though that she doesn't miss them, "...because they were ... uncomfortable."
Despite her own decisions, Seyfried warned, "I was feminine. I had some nice curves. And I think we should appreciate that instead of trying to get rid of everything."
Continue reading: Amanda Seyfried Wants Her 'Beautiful, Huge Breasts' Back!
Frances Ha is one of the best reviewed movies of the year so far.
Frances Ha, the new movie starring Greta Gerwig as an apprentice dancer in New York, has been critically acclaimed ahead of its release this week. The movie, by Noah Baumbach (Squid And The Whale, Margot At The Wedding), follows a young woman named Frances who lives with her best friends Sophie, until she moves out to live with another pal.
Gerwig and Baumbach first collaborated in 2010's Greenberg, starring Ben Stiller, though decided to work together again and began exchanging ideas which ultimately became the co-written script for Frances Ha. The movie is shot in black-and-white to emulate parts in Woody Allen's Manhattan (1979) and the movie is gaining comparisons to the director's most famous work, Annie Hall (1977). The film boasts a 92% score on reviews aggregating website Rotten Tomatoes (Star Trek Into Darkness 81%, Iron Man 78%) and critics have been unanimous in their praise. "An American independent film (shot in luminous black and white by Sam Levy) that feels off the cuff but is in fact exactly made by a filmmaker in total control of his resources," said Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times. John Anderson of the Wall Street Journal said, "Perhaps Ms. Gerwig is the greatest actress alive. And maybe "Frances Ha" is just the ghost orchid of independent cinema."
Watched the Frances Ha trailer:
Continue reading: Is Noah Baumbach's 'Frances Ha' The New 'Annie Hall'?
Instead of developing the characters or situations for comedy gold, the filmmakers instead just crank up the chaos. So while some scenes are both funny and visually impressive, this second sequel is simply too inane to make us hope there will be a part 4. Very young kids may be distracted by the hectic pacing and hyperactive characters, but everyone else will quickly be bored by the nonstop mayhem, simply because there's nothing interesting going on.
Anxious lion Alex (Stiller), chatty zebra Marty (Rock), nerdy giraffe Melman (Schwimmer) and silly hippo Gloria (Smith) are living a Lion King-style existence in Africa, although their only hope for escape has just flown away. Namely, the brainy penguins and their monkey assistants. So our heroes follow them to Monaco, where they all end up on the run from the notorious animal control agent Dubois (McDormand). They run straight into a failing circus, which they set out to bring back to its glory days so they can catch the eye of an American promoter and go home to New York. To do this means working with the current circus acts: sultry cheetah Gia (Chastain), dorky sea lion Stefano (Short) and tetchy tiger Vitaly (Cranston).
The circus premise lets the filmmakers have a lot of visual fun with the characters, most notably in a riotously colourful Cirque du Soleil-on-acid performance in London. But the plot makes no sense at all (if they can get to Monaco, surely they could get to New York, right?), and there are so many new characters that the central quartet feels almost sidelined. Especially since they've also wedged in an under-developed romance for the lemur king (Baron Cohen). Yes, it's all over the place, and being busy is not the same thing as being clever or funny.
Continue reading: Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted Review
Greta Gerwig, Noah Baumbach, Annual, New York Film Festival, Premiere, Frances Ha, New York City and Sept Sunday 30th September 2012 Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach , 50th Annual New York Film Festival -Premiere of " Frances Ha" - arrivals, New York City, USA, Sept 30 2012
Noah Baumbach and Jennifer Jason Leigh - Noah Baumbach and Jennifer Jason Leigh New York City, USA - New York Film Festival 2007 - Screening of 'Margot at the Wedding' at the Frederick P. Rose Hall in Lincoln Center - Arrivals Sunday 7th October 2007
THE SQUID AND THE WHALE writer/director NOAH BAUMBACH was terrified when he woke up at 8.50am (PST) on Tuesday (31JAN06) without any news of an...